ATC130528: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development on Budget Vote 24: Justice and Constitutional Development, dated 28 May 2013

Justice and Correctional Services

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development on Budget Vote 24: Justice and Constitutional Development, dated 28 May 2013

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development on Budget Vote 24: Justice and Constitutional Development, dated 28 May 2013

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 comprises five programmes, as well as a direct charge for magistrates and judges’ salaries. The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development is directly responsible for the Administration, Court Services and State Legal Services programmes. Programme 4 is the allocation to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). Although the Director-General: Justice and Constitutional Development remains its accounting officer, the NPA accounts separately for its spending. Programme 5 contains allocations to various auxiliary services, including transfer payments to: Legal Aid South Africa (Legal Aid SA) and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), as well as to two of the State Institutions Supporting Democracy – the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Public Protector (PP). Notably, this year, funding for the Represented Political Parties Fund is no longer found under this Vote.

1.2. The Committee recently expressed a need to canvas the public’s views on performance to allow it to better evaluate the Department’s delivery on its mandate. Although the sentiment was expressed in the context of evaluating annual performance, as well as forward funding needs, the importance of facilitating public participation applies equally in this context. This year, for the first time, the Committee advertised for written submissions on the budget allocation for Justice and Constitutional Development. The advert was accompanied by targeted invitations to organisations active in the field. That the Committee received only two written submissions was disappointing: it would have been useful to have had input from key stakeholders, particularly from the legal profession. The Committee, therefore, urges role-players to take up the opportunity to participate in future. Although Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative (CSPRI) indicated that it did not wish to make an oral submission, Shukumisa Campaign, which has 29 member organisations, appeared on 17 April 2013. Shukumisa provided the Committee with valuable input on the Department and NPA’s planning and budget relating to sexual offences.

1.3. On 26 March 2013, the Office of the Auditor-General made a presentation to the Committee on predetermined objectives and performance auditing as part of the Committee’s preparations for the budget hearings and consideration of strategic and annual performance plans.

1.4. 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, their annual performance plans for 2013 and their budgets for 2013/14.

1.5. The briefings took place as follows:

· Department of Justice and Constitutional Development – 18 and 19 April 2013.

· Legal Aid South Africa –.20 April 2013.

· National Prosecuting Authority –23 April 2013.

· Special Investigating Unit -24 April 2013.

· South African Human Rights Commission – 30 April 2012.

· Public Protector – 2 May 2013.

· Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) – 7 May 2013.

1.6. On 7 May 2013, the Secretary-General of the Office of the Chief Justice, who is newly appointed, presented, for the first time to this Committee, the OCJ’s budget and plans for 2013/14. The Office of the Chief Justice was proclaimed a government department in August 2011. The Director-General: Justice and Constitutional Development remains the accounting officer of the Office for the time being while the process of establishing and fully capacitating the Office continues. The Superior Courts Bill [B7 – 2011], once enacted, provides for the Secretary-General to be the OCJ’s accounting officer.

1.7. In October 2012, the Committee engaged extensively with all the bodies on their funding needs for the 2013/14 financial year and made extensive recommendations then. The process, however, is not only forward looking but also evaluates performance for the previous financial year and spending to date. The Committee’s response and recommendations are contained in its November 2012 Budgetary Review and Recommendation report (BRRR). Once again, the concerns expressed then by Committee should be regarded as integral to the Committee’s evaluation of this process.

1.8. This report is divided in five parts:

· Part 1 provides an overview of the overall appropriation to the Vote for the medium term and notes additional amounts allocated and Cabinet-approved reductions to the baseline.

· Part 2 gives key aspects of the Minister’s political overview and outlines the Department’s presentation to the Committee, focussing mostly on its achievements in the previous financial year, the key planned activities for 2013/14 and its challenges. The Committee’s response is also included.

· Part 3 summarises the NPA’s presentation to the Committee on its strategic and annual plans and on its budget. Similarly, the Committee’s response to the NPA’s presentation is set out here.

· Part 4 contains a summary of the presentations of Legal Aid SA, the SIU, the SAHRC and the PPSA respectively. The Committee’s response is captured after each.

· Part 5 provides a summary of key reporting requests and the Committee’s recommendations relating to the Vote.

1.9. All presentations referred to in Parts 2 - 4 can be obtained from the Committee Secretary.

Part I Vote 24: Justice and Constitutional Development

2. Overview of the Vote for the MTEF

Overall programme allocation for the MTEF - 2012/13 – 2015/16:

Budget 2012/13– 2015/16


Adjusted appropriation

Medium-term estimates

(R thousand)






1 463.9

1 534.8

1 622.2

1 703.4

Court Services

5 377.4

5 862.4

6 223.8

6 500.7

State Legal Services






2 839.8

3 050.4

3 236.2

3 357.4

Auxiliary & Associated Services

2 446.3

2 834.7

3 079.6

3 274.4


12 912.2

14 134.2

15 060.3

15 812.1

Direct charge

(Judges and Magistrates’ salaries)

2 401.9

2 575.7

2 730.3

2 855.9


15 314.1

16 709.9

17 790.6

18 667.9

2.1. The main appropriation to the Vote increases from R15.3 billion in 2012/13 to R16.7 billion in 2013/14. This amount, however, includes a direct charge against the National Revenue Fund of R2.6 billion for judges and magistrates’ salaries. If the direct charge is excluded, the appropriation in 2013/14 to the Vote’s five programmes is R14.1 billion.

2.2. Overall, in 2013/14, the allocation grows in real terms by 3.3%. At programme level, the Administration, Court Services and State Legal Services programmes, which the Department administers directly, show little real growth from 2012/13 (The programmes grow in real terms by -0.72%, 3.24% and 2.8% respectively). Similarly, the allocation to the National Prosecuting Authority grows in real terms by only 1.72%. The Auxiliary and Associate Services programme, however, shows the largest growth. This programme grows in real terms by 9.73% driven by additional allocations for the criminal justice system review/revamp and further capacity in the public entities and constitutional institutions.

2.3. An amount of R2.6 billion is allocated as a direct charge against the Vote for judges and magistrates salaries. Although magistrates’ salaries show real growth (9.35%), once again the amount allocated for judges’ salaries decreases in real terms (by -17.07%).

2.4. Additional allocations to the Vote for 2013/14 are for the following policy priorities:

· R318 million in 2013/14, R419 million in 2014/15 and R558 million in 2015/16 for the criminal justice system revamp, Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs) and security at courts.

· R22 million in 2013/14, R31 million in 2014/15 and R40 million in 2015/16 for additional capacity in public entities and constitutional institutions.

2.5. Notably, previous budgets provided additional allocations for infrastructure spending: R 340 million in 2012/13; R350 million in 2013/14 and R100 million in 2014/15. The Department, however, reported a ‘savings’ of R200 million in 2012/13 from its Capital Works Expenditure (CAPEX) budget as a result of delays on the part of the Department of Public Works. With National Treasury approval, the amount was reprioritised.

2.6. The Department, however, has made R14.4 million (2012/13), R15.1 million (2013/14) and R15.9 million (2014/15) available to LASA from its baseline for carry through costs of the Children’s Act and Child Justice Act.

2.7. Cabinet-approved reductions of R610 million over the medium term are made from spending for goods and services and payments for capital assets.

Part 2 Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

3. Political overview of Vote 24: Justice and Constitutional Development

3.1. On 5 March 2013, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Mr J Radebe, presented a strategic overview of the Vote:

3.1.1. Several matters were extensively canvassed during 2012/13:

· The Department has focused on its turnaround strategy to reverse negative audit reports, making significant strides in this regard. All qualifications on irregular expenditure have been cleared and financial statements for the Third Party Funds (TPFs) were drawn up for three financial years. The Department aims to ensure a ‘no audit qualification’ for 2012/13.

· The Department does not have the resources now to accept the additional responsibility of the Witness Protection programme but would be willing to review its position should its finances improve.

· The process of filling vacant posts at senior management (SMS) level is underway. All vacant positions at the level of Deputy Director-General (DDG) have been advertised. In addition, the Secretary-General in the Office of the Chief Justice, Ms M Sejosengwe , was recently appointed.

3.1.2. The Budget should be seen in the following context: This is last year of the fourth Administration. With general elections imminent, emphasis is placed on the consolidation and implementation of existing policy and not necessarily on formulating new policies. Also, a review of the Justice Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster’s work will assess the Cluster’s successes and challenges for the past five years and contribute to a broader review of Government’s Programme of Action.

3.1.3. Of the five priorities that underpin the Government’s Programme of Action, Safety and Crime Prevention as an output of the National Development Plan (NDP) is directly attributed to the JCPS Cluster. Illiteracy, poverty, under-development and deprivation have all been linked to criminality.

3.1.4. Crime and corruption pose the greatest threat to the realisation of all the five priorities of Government. An announcement regarding the ‘naming and shaming’ of perpetrators convicted of corruption was to be made in April 2013.

3.1.5. There has been progress regarding the re-establishment of the dedicated sexual offences courts throughout the country. Some of these courts will be ready to operate in the 2013/14 financial year, while others will be designated in subsequent years. The JCPS Cluster is developing an integrated programme to take forward the work already done by task teams established to look into the re-establishment of the sexual offences courts. This will ensure co-ordination between the sexual offences courts and the SAPS Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units. There are also on-going discussions with the OCJ, the South African Judicial Education Institute (SAJEI) and Regional Court Presidents aimed at strengthening social context training for judicial officers to deal effectively with these matters.

3.1.6. In terms of the Department’s legislative programme, the Department intends bringing legislation to Parliament that is aimed at transforming the magistracy. Also, the Department aims to introduce legislation to provide for the appointment of a Solicitor-General, as this is crucial for the transformation of State Legal Services. The Department is also considering increasing the monetary jurisdiction of the Magistrate’s Court, which has been R100 000 for a very long time. Similarly, consideration will be given to increasing the monetary jurisdiction of the Regional Courts.

3.1.7. The following spending pressures were mentioned specifically:

· Security services: it will cost the Department approximately R1.3 billion to secure justice premises over the next three years.

· The fires at the Pretoria, Inkanyezi and Polokwane magistrates’ courts will impact on the infrastructure budget.

4. Overview of Department’s Revised Strategic Plan 2013 – 2018 and Annual Performance Plan 2013/14

4.1. The Director-General presented the Department’s revised strategic plan for the period 2013-2018, as well as its annual performance plan for 2013/14. There have been some revisions to the Strategic Plan from last year to:

· Better align the strategic and annual performance plans by making use of common indicators in both documents.

· Clarify indicators that could not be finalised last year.

· Include baseline information where this has become available.

4.2. The Department’s key constitutional mandate is the administration of Justice. The Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Act, 2012, which was signed into law in February 2013, affirms the Chief Justice as Head of the Judiciary. The Act also makes the Chief Justice responsible for overseeing the development and monitoring of norms and standards for the performance of all courts. The Superior Courts Bill accompanies the Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Act. The implementation of legislation will result in the migration of the administration of the Superior Courts to the Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ), as well as the assignment to the OCJ of certain functions flowing from the Superior Courts Bill, the Judicial Service Commission Act, 1994, and the Judges Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act, 2001.

4.3. Initiatives are underway to capacitate the OCJ to execute its legislative responsibilities flowing from the Superior Courts Bill and other relevant legislation. The OCJ reported that the following is planned for 2013/14:

· The transfer of the administration of all Superior Courts to the OCJ.

· The establishment of fully-functional internal controls and accounting systems.

· The creation of a separate vote for the OCJ.

· The strengthening of governance structures of the South Africa Judicial Education Institute .

4.4. Government has recently adopted the National Development Plan with the aim of eliminating poverty and reducing inequality by 2030. The Plan calls for ‘people living in South Africa to feel safe and have no fear of crime by 2030’. This can only be achieved through a well-functioning criminal justice system in which members of the JCPS cluster work together. Key deliverables for the Cluster include:

· Strengthening the criminal justice system . The intention ultimately is to achieve a single set of objectives, priorities and performance measurement targets.

· Strengthening judicial governance and the rule of law. The finalisation of the legislative framework affirms the Chief Justice as the Head of the judiciary. The establishment of the OCJ is an example of the Department’s transformation discourse. A key deliverable is the implementation of the Seven-Point Plan (2007), which aims to address obstacles identified within the justice system. Although there has been some progress, more effort will be exerted to fully implement and monitor all aspects of the Plan.

· Access to justice. Courts are inaccessible for a host of reasons (including, the legacy of past demarcation, skewed distribution of courts, exorbitant costs of litigation and overstretched court rolls). Processes are underway to review the realignment of the magisterial districts with municipal boundaries where this is both feasible and desirable to enhance access to justice.

· The role of the judiciary. There is a need for an ‘ideal South Africa judge’ to encompass a range of qualities and attributes, which include a progressive judicial philosophy and understanding of the socioeconomic context in which the law is interpreted and enforced.

· Investment in the economy. This can only occur in an environment characterised by the rule of law.

4.5. In addition, the Department must continue to meet its commitments to effectively co-ordinate the JCPS cluster to deliver Outcome 3: ‘All people in South Africa are safe and feel safe’ and the associated outputs.

4.6. Although reworded, the Department retains its existing four high-level goals and adds a further goal:

· Goal 1: To enhance organisational performance on all aspects of administration. (Improved compliance with legal and good practice requirements in respect of governance across all branches and structures towards an unqualified audit.)

· Goal 2: To facilitate the (effective and efficient) resolution of criminal, civil and family law disputes by providing accessible, efficient and quality administrative support to the courts. (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 provide effective and cost-efficient state legal services (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 co-ordinate the JPCS Cluster in the delivery of Outcome 3. (The provision of effective co-ordination of the cluster to enable the achievement of the eight outputs that will result in the successful delivery of Outcome 3: All people in South Africa are and feel safe.)

· Goal 5: To promote the Constitution and its values (Compliance by government departments with the Promotion of the Administrative Justice Act, 2000, (PAJA) is substantially improved; citizens are better informed on how to exercise their constitutional rights; public engagement with relevant stakeholders, civil society organisations and community-based organisations is improved through public participatory fora ; and constitutional development is promoted.)

4.7. For 2013/14, eighteen 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). Further details are given below.

4.8. The Department continues to pay special attention in 2013/14 to the three key projects that it has prioritised since 2011/12. These are to achieve:

· Good governance and clean administration. The Department aims to achieve a ‘no audit qualification’ in 2012/13 and sustain this in subsequent years.

· Service turnaround in maintenance services . In 2011/12, a three-year turnaround project for maintenance services was initiated, focussing on the maintenance chain in its entirety.

· Service turnaround in the Masters’ Branch . The Department has concluded the following to improve service delivery in the Master’s Office: New offices were established in Nelspruit and the Paperless Estate Administration System (PEAS) was implemented there, as well as in Masters’ offices in Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria. In 2013/14, PEAS will be rolled out to all Master’s Offices, allowing practitioners and the public to view estate information online. Also, 92% of all payments made to beneficiaries of the Guardian’s Fund are made via EFT.

4.9. The Department has several major infrastructure projects in progress. Notably, the completion date for the Limpopo High Court at Polokwane has been revised but is due for completion in 2014/15. The plan to build a new court in Mpumalanga at Nelspruit is to be implemented in 2013/14.

4.10. The Department identified the following risks:

· Budget cuts have led the Department to reconsider its performance targets as funding is a major concern for the implementation of its plans.

· There is financial uncertainty as a result of the Department of Public Service and Administration’s (DPSA) directives on lower level employees and the pressure to include staff not covered by the directives. Also, issues relating to the Occupation Specific Dispensation (OSD) for legal professionals remain unresolved.

· There is uncertainty as to extent to which the migration of certain functions to the OCJ during 2013/14 will impact on the Department’s operations as a whole.

· Above-inflation increases in municipal rates and taxes and electricity costs continue to impact negatively on the budget allocation.

· The Department’s reliance on the Department of Public Works (DPW) for implementation of funded projects means that projects do not (always) progress as planned. A further complication is that increases in construction and material costs make projects more expensive than initially planned.

4.11. The Department reports that its spending focus for the medium term is on the following:

· Improving courts services.

· Revamping and renewing state legal services.

· Implementing new legislation.

· Constructing High Courts at Polokwane in Limpopo and at Nelspruit in Mpumalanga.

· Accelerating access to the services of the Masters and State Attorney’s offices.

4.12. According to the Department, the budget cuts (R610 million over the medium term) have affected the following areas adversely:

· The Department continues to identify crime against staff and public at service points and offices to be a risk. Despite budget cuts it intends to improve safety and security.

· A major challenge is to address historical imbalances in terms of court infrastructure. This is further complicated by factors such as: the escalation of infrastructure costs above inflation, impacting on cash flows for the building of new courts; balancing the needs of new courts with the maintenance and repair of existing courts; and using the infrastructure budget for additional accommodation and growth in the establishment and new areas of services.

· Enhanced Infrastructure support for the Department and other stakeholders.

· The implementation costs of proposed and new legislation.

· Document and record management.

· Adequate provision of library services to the various courts and support to the judiciary.

· The enhancement of constitutional development programmes.

5. Programme 1: Administration

5.1. The Administration programme manages the Department, develops policies and strategies for efficient administration, and provides centralised support services. Its objectives are linked to Goal 1: Improved Governance.

5.2. Administration is allocated R1.53 billion for its Ministry, Management, Corporate Services and Office Accommodation sub-programmes. The programme receives 16.8% of the allocation to the Department and shows negative growth in real terms (-0.72%) from 2012/13.

5.3. Office accommodation, which includes leased accommodation and payments for municipal rates and taxes) is allocated the largest portion of the programme’s budget (R742 million or 48% of the programme’s budget).

5.4. Performance is linked to the following seven objectives:

· Increased compliance with prescripts for good governance.

· Reduction of fraud and corruption cases in the Department.

· Improved effectiveness of support services.

· Increased optimisation of ICT systems and infrastructure.

· Enhancement of human resource capacity for service delivery.

· Completion of the regulations to finalise the implementation of the TRC recommendations (Amended from the 2012/13 Annual Performance Plan: Increased percentage of outstanding Truth and Reconciliation Commission victims who qualify for reparations per TRC recommendations).

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

5.5. These seven objectives are linked to 21 indicators. Selected targets for 2013/14 are to:

· Complete two progress reports on the activities of the audit action plan.

· Complete a monitoring report on CARA funds allocated by 28 February 2014.

· Vet 115 senior managers (against a baseline of 95).

· Roll out the integrated security system to 24 priority courts.

· Complete Phase 2 of ICMS (Integrated Case Management System) Civil: Lower Courts.

· Approve three regulations for providing assistance to TRC victims.

· Compile 12 (monthly) Integrated Justice System (IJS) progress reports. (A review, led by the Department, has been conducted to facilitate accelerated modernisation and integration of technology systems across the criminal justice system. As a result, a new indicator was added that focuses on reporting progress made regarding the IJS Programme.)

5.6. The 2013/14 APP contains changes to the indicators: Five indicators have been modified, another five indicators removed and there are three new indicators: Percentage of TRC victims applications processed within four months; number of Service Delivery Implementation Plan (SDIP) progress reports; and phases of ICMS Civil: Lower Courts completed.

6. Programme 2: Court Services

6.1. 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. Key functions for this programme include: case finalisation and service delivery; access to justice; protection of vulnerable groups; and constitutional advocacy.

6.2. Overall, Court Services accounts for 64.4% of the allocation to programmes. The Programme receives R5.9 billion in 2013/14, and reflects real growth of 3.73% from 2012/13. Within the programme, spending is prioritised, as in previous years, towards the Lower Courts sub-programme, which receives 61% (R3.6 billion) of the programme’s allocation. Spending on compensation of employees constitutes 69% of the Lower Courts sub-programme’s budget.

6.3. Notably, Court Services is allocated additional amounts of R11.3 billion over the medium term to build new courts. The sub-programme Facilities Management is allocated R1.2 billion. However, the Department reported difficulties spending its budget in this area as a result of delays in the delivery of capital works projects by DPW.

6.4. Performance is linked to the following five objectives:

· Improved finalisation of activities in support of the outputs of Outcome 3.

· Increased protection of the rights of vulnerable groups.

· Increased protection of the best interests of children and the promoting of family cohesion through mediation services.

· Increased access to justice services to historically marginalised communities.

· Improved delivery of services at courts.

6.5. These objectives are linked to 12 indicators. Selected targets for 2013/14 are to:

· Process 65% of unopposed taxations within 14 days of the matter being set down (in the district courts).

· Process 50 % default judgments (by the clerk in district courts) within 14 days of receipt.

· File 50% of Family Advocates’ reports within 15 days of the enquiry being completed.

· Convert five branch courts to full service courts.

· Establish 14 new small claims courts.

· Complete the alignment 20 magisterial districts to municipal boundaries.

· Record 74% of all convictions of sexual offences against children and people with mental disabilities in the National Register for Sexual Offences (NRSO).

· Complete the re-establishment of nine sexual offences courts (estimated performance in 2012/13 is 42 courts).

6.6. The Annual Performance Plan reflects several changes: four indictors are modified, four removed and three are new. The three new indictors are: the number of re-established sexual offences courts completed; the number of magisterial districts aligned to municipal boundaries; and the number of new policy documents developed. The following were removed: the number of additional one-stop justice child centres designated; number of new court building completed; OCJ – percentage of positions filled; and number of judicial officers trained by SAJEI.

6.7. Activities planned for 2013/14 to increase access to justice include:

· The following courts were completed in 2012/13: Katlehong, Ntuzuma and Gelvandale. The Ntuzuma Magistrate Court is to be officially opened in May 2013. The South Gauteng High Court (refurbishment) and the Limpopo High Court at Polokwane remain under construction.

· The Department plans to complete the alignment of 20 magisterial districts to municipal boundaries in 2013/14.

· A total of fourteen new small claims court will be established.

· A total of five branch courts will be converted to full service courts.

6.8. Activities planned for 2013/14 to protect vulnerable groups, include:

· Record 74% of all convictions of sexual offences against children and persons with mental disabilities (although difficulties remain in gathering and ‘cleaning’ historical convictions). Discussions are underway regarding the possibility of merging the NRSO and the Child Protection Register administered by the Department of Social Development.

· Re-establishing dedicated sexual offences courts – at the beginning of 2013/14, 42 courts were ready for implementation. A further nine courts are planned for implementation during the financial year.

· Implementing year 3 of the plan for improved delivery of maintenance services by extending lean management to more sites delivering maintenance services for increased efficiency in finalising maintenance orders and mediated cases.

7. Programme 3: State Legal Services

7.1. The State Legal Services programme aims to provide legal and legislative services to organs of state, supervise the administration of deceased and insolvent estates, as well as the liquidation of juristic persons, registration of trusts and management of the Guardians’ fund. It also prepares and promotes legislation, conducts research and promotes constitutional democracy. It is the smallest of the Department’s three programmes, receiving R852 million (or 9.3%) of the allocation to programmes. The programme grows in real terms by 2.79% when compared to 2012/13.

7.2. The major spending area for the programme is the Masters of the High Court sub-programme, which receives R382.7 million or 45% of the programme’s budget for 2013/14.

7.3. Interestingly, a new policy development addresses transformation of state legal services. Once underway, the process of transforming state legal services will see significant changes in the State Law Advisors and Litigation and Legal Services sub-programmes, including the appointment of a Solicitor-General. There are plans to better capacitate and enhance the state attorneys; prepare and implement standardised fee structures when briefing private counsel; and develop alternative dispute resolutions processes.

7.4. Performance is linked to the following six strategic objectives:

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

· Enhance litigation services (this is new).

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

· Provide improved legal advisory services to state organs.

· Prepare sound, effective and efficient legislation.

· Administer the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (this is another new indicator).

7.5. Selected targets for 2013/14 are to:

· Issue 90% of letters of appointment in deceased estates within 15 days of receiving all documents.

· Examine 90% of all Liquidation and Distribution (L&D) accounts within 15 days of receiving all documents.

· Service 90% of beneficiaries within 40 days (Guardian’s Fund).

· Pay 90% of Guardian’s fund monies though EFT.

· Complete the project for improved access to justice, including restorative justice mechanisms for vulnerable and marginalised groups.

· Allocate 75% of briefs to previously disadvantages individuals.

· Successfully conclude 50% of cases by state attorney.

· Finalise 75% of legal opinions within 15 days of receiving them.

· Scrutinise or certify 87% of bills and other legal documents within 20 days of receipt.

· Develop 20 legislative instruments.

8. Committee’s response

8.1. General

8.1.1. The Committee makes a number of observations relating to the budgets of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, National Prosecuting Authority, Legal Aid South Africa (Legal Aid SA), Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ), Special Investigating Unit (SIU), South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and Public Protector South Africa (PPSA). These take into account that this report occurs towards the end of the Fourth Parliament.

8.1.2. In its 2012 BRRR, the Committee made various recommendations to the National Assembly on the forward funding needs of the Department, entities and institutions that account to it. The Committee is unhappy that National Treasury’s response was not available to the Committee when it engaged with the Department, entities and institutions that it oversees. This caused embarrassment to the Committee, at the time, as it was unable to respond to queries relating to the apparent refusal of the Committee’s recommendations contained in the BRRR. The timing of the response does not assist and the Committee does not believe that the legislation was enacted with this intention. The Committee remains of the view that there may be need to revise the BRRR process to identify refinements that will facilitate greater synchronicity with the budget cycle. The Committee, however, is pleased with National Treasury’s response: ‘Over the MTEF period, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has been allocated an additional R88 million for court security, R75 million for start-up and operational costs of new courts, and R90 million for Thuthuzela Care Centres. Additionally, R45 million has been allocated to Legal Aid South Africa and R24 million to the South African Human Rights Commission for additional capacity. The National Treasury concurs with the Committee’s other recommendations, which might be considered for funding in future should the fiscal framework permit’.

8.2. Funding constraints

8.2.1. The Committee is well aware of the broader economic context that informs government’s present approach to spending. It understands the aim to reduce overall government spending to free up government resources to fund government’s key priorities, particularly infrastructure spending. Departments are directed to implement cost saving measures. In the case of the Department, its baseline is reduced by R610 million over the medium term. The Committee is extremely concerned about the impact that these ‘budget cuts’ have on the effective and efficient delivery of justice services, especially in light of the integral role that the Department has in promoting safer communities, driving transformation and in building social cohesion. The Committee noted previously that the Office of the Auditor-General had observed that the worst performers in terms of predetermined objectives for this Vote (the Department, the NPA and the SIU) have also experienced the greatest budgetary pressure.

8.2.2. The Committee questions whether the allocation is adequate in light of the responsibilities of the bodies that fall under the Vote. In addition, recent policy developments, such as government’s focus on addressing gender-based violence and the public violence courts, require additional resources that this budget does not appear to provide. Also, established policy objectives, such as ensuring two prosecutors for each court, no longer appear to be attainable.

8.2.3. Although there are certain additions to the Vote’s baseline, these are for specific items. Overall, the Department and NPA are already under considerable fiscal pressure. The concern is that there is very little remaining to trim (if anything). The NPA, for example, is so under-funded that every post that falls vacant becomes, in effect, an unfunded position that it cannot fill. The Committee is concerned that the constant pressure to trim may reach a stage where operational efficiency is undermined with adverse consequences for service delivery.

8.2.4. Incongruously, the Department has a large capital works budget that it has had difficulties spending because of delays on the part of the Department of Public Works (DPW). The situation is exacerbated by spiralling construction and material costs as a result of these delays. In light of these difficulties, the Committee has, in the past, advocated a better balance in funding priorities, questioning the emphasis on funding new infrastructure at the expense of maintaining that which already exists.

8.2.5. The Committee is concerned about the impact that the commissions of inquiry have on the budget of the Department, as the Department is expected to fund Commissions from its budget and recover the money at a later stage. The ideal situation is to have a separate budget for commissions of inquiry or to reimburse the Department from the national fiscus as soon as possible. It is not clear to the Committee if the Department has been reimbursed or whether it is funding these Commissions from its baseline and it requests further clarity on this, in writing, by 19 July 2013.

8.3. Policy and strategic planning

8.3.1. Lowering of performance targets . The Department presented both its strategic and annual performance plan to the Committee. The Department indicated clearly where it had revised its plans to better align them by making use of common indicators in both documents; to clarify indicators that could not be finalised last year; and to include baseline information where this has become available. While the Committee can understand why certain indicators were amended or removed, it is concerned that targets have been lowered. For example, performance targets for the objective ‘reduction of fraud and corruption cases’ have been reduced. Audited performance in 2011/12 reveals that 50% of new forensic investigations and 65% of older investigations were finalised. Estimating that performance in 2912/13 for these two indicators was 40% and 50% respectively, in 2013/14, the Department has set itself the target of finalising 50% of new forensic investigations and 55% of older investigations. The explanation for the reduction is that these matters can involve a great deal of travel, which is costly. The Committee believes that reducing these targets not only gives the wrong message but is also counterproductive as it is in the interests of operational efficiency and effectiveness that these matters are dealt with expeditiously.

8.3.2. Alignment with National Development Plan. The Committee notes that the Department has begun the process of aligning its work with the National Development Plan (NDP). The finalised Plan deals with the institutional reforms required to overcome weaknesses in the public sector. It specifically identifies the need to build the capabilities of our legal and other institutions, as well as strengthen human capabilities, as critical in this regard. T he Committee, therefore, understands that, for now, the Department will continue to focus on delivering in terms of Outcome 3 with certain adjustments. Still, these will need expanding on; if the Plan’s full vision is to be achieved. It is disappointing that there is no clear link between the NDP and the Department’s planning at the level of implementation for 2013 for those recommendations that do not require additional resources.

8.3.3. Reporting on policy indicators. Last year, the Department explained to the Committee that it had rationalised its ‘policy indicators’. It argued that the complexity of policy indicators makes them especially difficult to manage within the annual performance planning framework. For this reason, the Department decided to track the progress of these indicators through EXCO. The relevant indicators would also continue to form part of the performance contracts of relevant senior managers. The relevant policy indicators presented, however, embrace many areas of keen interest to it and the Department’s failure to include these in its plans makes it difficult for the Committee to monitor progress. An area of particular concern is the extent to which there has been progress in implementing the Seven-Point Plan, which emanated from the criminal justice system review/revamp. At present, the only related indicators that the Committee is able to track are quantitative and not qualitative, as they address the number of JCPS Cluster reports finalised and the number of Integrated Justice System (IJS) reports completed yearly.

8.4. Governance and operational issues

8.4.1. ‘No audit qualification’ in 2012/13’. The management of Third Party Funds (TPF) has contributed 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 a ‘no audit qualification in 2012/13’. The Committee is aware of the considerable effort that the Department has made to attain a ‘no qualification audit’ in 2012/13 and notes the Department’s quiet optimism that it will achieve its goal. The Committee notes too the Department’s plans to build capacity at regional level to deal with the TPF internally.

8.4.2. Legal status of the Third Party Funds. The Committee remains concerned that the legal status of the Third Party Funds is still unresolved. The Committee was told before that there was a need for legislation to clarify the status of these funds to allow the Department to report on them separately; then the Committee was informed that National Treasury had advised the Department that it should establish the Funds as a trading entity. More recently, the Committee was informed that the Department had decided to go ahead with legislation as there had been no further advice from National Treasury. The Committee requests that the Department provide a written report on the current state of affairs regarding the Fund’s status by 19 July 2013. Until now the Committee has been unable to facilitate a meeting between the Department and National Treasury to discuss the matter but will engage with the Department on the way forward, once it has assessed the Department’s response.

8.5. Human resources

8.5.1. Vacancies. Although the Department’s overall vacancy rate is at about 10%, the Committee remains particularly dissatisfied that the vacancy rate at SMS level hovers at around 17%. Despite the Minister’s assurance that filling of SMS vacancies is a priority, the position of Chief Financial Officer is still filled by an acting appointment and the vacancy rates of critical occupations are too high. Many times previously, the Committee has expressed its fear that, unless the vacancies in management are filled, the effectiveness of the Department’s running may be compromised. The Committee requests that the Department provides an updated report on its efforts to address its vacancies at SMS level by 19 July 2013. The Department should also be prepared to brief it on this at the next quarterly meeting. The Committee also notes with concern that the Department plans to allow its overall vacancy rate to increase from around 10% to 11%, given the current budget cuts. Although the increase is small and the Committee is sympathetic to the Department’s predicament, the Committee feels that this is a step in the wrong direction.

8.5.2. Disciplinary matters. The Committee notes the Public Service Commission’s finding that a lack of discipline and slow finalisation of misconduct cases at the Johannesburg and Protea courts has left these courts with limited capacity to function effectively. The Committee made similar observations when it visited the South Gauteng High Court. The Committee is extremely concerned that the performance targets for the finalisation of grievance and misconduct cases have been reduced. In 2011, the Department estimated that it finalised 50% of grievance cases and 65% of its misconduct cases. However, performance in 2012/13 is estimated to be 20% and 35% against the targets to finalise 60% and 70% of grievance and misconduct cases respectively. For 2013/14, these targets are 40% and 50% respectively. 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 19 July 2013.

8.5.3. Security at courts and justice centres . The Committee appreciates that the Department’s budget to adequately secure courts and justice centres is stretched – even more so as a result of the expansion of justice services. In its 2011 and 2012 BRRR reports, the Committee supported the Department’s bid for additional funding to provide increased security at courts and justice offices but National Treasury’s response was that additional funding had been allocated in the past and that the Department had not submitted a request for funds to secure courts and justice service points for 2011. Through reprioritisation of its budget, the Department increased the budget for security services by 12% over an eight -year period from 2008/09 to 2015/16. This reprioritisation has, however, adversely affected service delivery areas in the Department. Limited funds have led to some of the security projects planned being reduced. The National Security Infrastructure project, which was meant to reduce reliance on external service providers and build sustainable capacity in the Department, was initially intended to cover 127 courts. Projected expenditure patterns indicate that only 90-98 sites can be covered. In addition, finalising the plan remains a challenge and this affects preventative maintenance of security equipment. In its 2013 BRRR, the Committee therefore supported the Department’s request that additional the following amounts are allocated for security: R361.5, R399.2 and R441.4 million for 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16 respectively. This year, the Department will receive additional funds for security at courts but has estimated that it requires R3.1 billion over the medium term to secure its courts. Despite spending pressures, the Department has clearly indicated that ensuring securing its courts and justice service points is a priority. The Committee requests that the Department provide a report, in writing, on its progress in securing courts and justice centres by 19 July 2013, and be prepared to brief the Committee at the next quarterly meeting in July or August 2013.

8.5.4. Rates and municipal taxes and leased accommodation . The Department reported previous that, in the past four to five years, the budget for leasehold expenditure has grown on average by 5.5% per annum, while actual expenditure charges have escalated by more than 8% per annum. In real terms, the shortfall on the budget increased from R31.7 million in 2009/10 to more than R185.7 million in 2012/13. It is projected that the shortfall will increase to around R242 million by 2014/15. The Department has told the Committee indicated that it is no longer able to absorb the shortfall within its baseline without compromising service delivery. Similarly for rates and taxes, all municipalities have increased their property taxes at a rate that is higher than inflation. From 2009/10 to 2012/13, the shortfall between the allocation and actual accounts has grown 172% from R9.8 million to R58.9 million. If the current trend continues, the deficit will be R102.9 million by 2015/16. The Committee, therefore, supported the Department’s request for the following additional amounts for municipal rates and taxes and leased accommodation: R250 million in 2013/14; R293.3 million in 2014/15 and R345 million in 2015/16.

8.6. Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Justice Modernisation

8.6.1. Information Communication Technology (ICT ) projects. Through the BRRR process, the Department secured additional funding for ICT infrastructure for 2013/14 and 2014/15 respectively. The Committee notes that the Department has identified three key software development projects for the MTEF. In 2013/14, the Department has planned the Integrated Case Management System (ICMS) Civil: Lower Courts; ICMS Masters Deceased Estate system; and the Third Party Fund system. Various ICT infrastructure renewal projects are also planned, including providing the judiciary with new laptops, which the Committee welcomes. The Committee requests the Department to provide it with a report on these projects, with timeframes, indicating progress made, by 19 July 2013. The Department should be prepared to brief the Committee at quarterly meetings on the progress of these projects at quarterly meetings.

8.6.2. IJS projects. Although there is a close relationship between the Department’s ICT and justice modernisation projects, the Department explained that it has not been able to access IJS funding until recently, as the focus has been on developing the SAPS’ systems first. The Committee notes that the following amounts have been reprioritised over the MTEF from the SAPS to Justice for the criminal justice sector revamp and modernisation programme: R300 million in 2013/14, R400 million in 2014/15 and R450 million in 2015/16. The need for improved co-ordination and integration of the JCPS Cluster departments’ IT systems, however, was identified in 2007 as vital to efforts to ensure the effective implementation of the Criminal Justice System’s Seven-Point Plan. A Cluster review in late 2011 revealed significant challenges, including those relating to the governance and leadership of the Integrated Justice System (IJS) Board; strategic alignment of Cluster departments; and SITA’s internal limitations. The IJS Board, however, has been reconstituted and the Director-General: Justice is now receiving regular reports, which are shared with her counterparts in stakeholder departments. The Department reports five integration priorities, that are have been ‘packaged into three major programme streams.’ The priorities concern case-related integration, Cluster business intelligence capabilities and the management of persons within the criminal justice system (identification and tracking of individuals throughout the criminal justice system). The Department reports achievements that include concluding piloting various case related integrations between SAPS upgraded crime administration system (CAS) and the Department’s ICMS in the Benoni and Cullinan Court districts. The Committee is frustrated that progress is so slow, given the amount of time and money that has been invested in the IJS. Last year, in the BRRR, the Committee requested that the Auditor-General audit the IJS and this is being done. A further concern is a report that the SAPS have indicated that it will be yet another ten years before it is able to implement its electronic case management system in full. This has obvious consequences for the other departments within the Cluster, whose systems would need to integrate with the SAPS. The Committee has, therefore, decided to convene a joint meeting with relevant portfolio committees to discuss progress relating to the implementation of the criminal justice sector revamp, which will include a focus on the IJS, in the next quarter. The Committee requests, in addition, that the Department provide a report on the progress to date, with time frames, of the IJS projects by 19 July 2013.

8.7. Court infrastructure and maintenance

8.7.1. Long-term infrastructure plan . The Department receives approximately R3 billion for capital works over the MTEF to enhance access to justice: R 1.03 billion in 2012/13; R1.08 billion in 2013/14; and R1.14 billion in 2014/15. The Committee is interested that the Strategic Plan now includes an infrastructure plan, although some of the data that it contains appears contradictory (for example, the Lutzville Periodical Court is reported as handed over with a total project cost of R11.8 million but over the MTEF the following amounts are budgeted for: R6.1 million in 2013/14; R0.7 million in 2014/15; and R36.6 million in 2015/16). The Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court officially opens on 28 May 2013. The construction of the new Limpopo High Court in Polokwane began in February 2010 and was due for completion in July 2012 but is not on track. The most recent projections are that the Court will be completed next year with a total cost of R460 million. The new Mpumalanga High Court in Nelspruit is being planned and is due to be implemented in 2013/14.

8.7.2. Infrastructure spending. Last year the Committee reported that Department has struggled to spend its CAPEX budget because of DPW’s inability to deliver on capital works’ projects. The Department declared a ‘savings’ of R200 million but, fortunately, was able to reprioritise the funds. The Committee is also concerned that delays result in rapidly escalating costs (for example, delays are partially to blame for escalating project costs for additional accommodation at the Johannesburg High Court escalate from an initial tender estimate of R269 million to R345 million). Operational inefficiencies on the part of the Department of Public Works appear to be a contributing factor in the delays associated with these large projects. The Committee requests that the Department continues to brief it on spending and performance relating to the Department’s capital works (CAPEX) programme at every quarterly meeting. The Committee requests, in addition, that the Department provide a report on the progress to date, with time frames, of its infrastructure projects by 19 July 2013.

8.7.3. State of court buildings . The physical state of many courts is a concern: the infrastructure is often old and degraded. Court buildings are not maintained adequately, so that facilities degrade faster than they should. Unpleasant working conditions adversely affect the work of users and impact negatively on service delivery. It notes, too, the Public Service Commission’s (PSC) recent findings on its inspections of Regional Courts in all nine provinces. The PSC identified outdated/dilapidated court infrastructure as a contributing to court backlogs: a lack of court rooms and shared accommodation results in more postponements. The impact of this are increased postponements and delayed finalisation of cases. The Committee requests the Department to respond, in writing to the observations and recommendations contained in the PSC’s reports, indicating its plan of action and progress made, by 19 July 2013.

8.7.4. Maintenance of existing infrastructure. The Department told the Committee that DPW does have a planned maintenance programme for court buildings but that the Department is unable to establish with any certainty details of the programme. The Committee finds this altogether unacceptable and queries whether DPW should continue to be responsible for maintaining court buildings The Committee acknowledges that budget constraints pose a challenge for the maintenance of court infrastructure and the need to build additional courts must be weighed against the need to maintain what already exists. The Committee requests that the Department continues also to report on its court maintenance programme by 19 July 2013, and be prepared to present on it quarterly.

8.8. Court performance and related matters

8.8.1. Assessment of the impact of the decisions of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal . The Committee notes that the Minister indicated that a service provider will be appointed for the proposed assessment of the impact of the decisions of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal on the South African law and jurisprudence by the end of April 2013. It requests that the Department keep it regularly informed on progress made with the proposed assessment which will be conducted once a service provider is appointed.

8.8.2. Office of the Chief Justice . The Committee is pleased at the pace of progress in capacitating the Office of the Chief Justice, which was proclaimed two years ago as a government department and is mandated to provide support to the Chief Justice in his/her role as both Head of the judiciary and the Constitutional Court. The enactment of the Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Act and Superior Courts Bill will add further functions to this Office. The Department signed a memorandum of understanding with the Office to transfer administrative support functions to it relating to JSC, SAJEI, SCA and Constitutional Court. The Committee notes, however, that the SCA has yet to be transferred. In future, a transfer of certain functions relating to the Magistrates’ Commission and the Rules Board is envisaged. These, however, will require legislative amendments. More recently, National Treasury has proposed a budget programme structure that encompasses all Superior Courts, SAJEI and Judges Salaries as a direct charge from the National Revenue Fund. Once the programme structure is approved and Treasury requirements complied with, the Budget Vote for the OCJ will be created. The Secretary-General will become its accounting officer (and not the DG: Justice as is the case at present). The Committee is pleased with this development as it believes that it further strengthens the independence of the courts and the rule of law.

8.8.3. Capacitating the Office of the Chief Justice . The Committee welcomes the appointment of a Secretary-General to head the OCJ and appreciates her appearance before the Committee so soon after taking up the position to present the OCJ’s strategic plan and budget for 2013/14. The Committee was told that OCJ has 224 filled posts with 99 vacancies. Only six of these are funded, which is proving to be a challenge. At SMS level, filling the vacant posts of Chief Financial Officer and Director: Internal Audit is regarded as critical and headhunting is now in progress. The Committee this and requests that it be kept informed of progress, as well of any challenges that the OCJ encounters.

8.8.4. The Committee remains dissatisfied at slow progress in court performance despite many well-funded initiatives, including projects to reduce case backlogs and to ensure more efficient case management. The number of backlog cases appears to have declined gradually but is still unsatisfactory. A key focus for the Department is to facilitate the finalisation of case backlogs. However, the Committee is aware that the Department’s role is largely limited to providing resources and personnel – the progress of a case is dependent on a number of other stakeholders. In the past year, there have been exciting developments. The Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Act, 2012, and Superior Courts Bill [B7 – 2011] provide the legislative framework that will enable the judiciary to take responsibility for the administration of judicial functions of all courts, including case flow management. The Committee is pleased to hear that the Chief Justice has already begun addressing judicial case flow management and that there is progress. Capacitating of the OCJ should also greatly assist the Chief Justice in addressing this priority.

8.8.5. The Committee has been aware for some time that the Department is experiencing considerable challenges concerning document management in some courts. There have been various reports of chaotic conditions at High Courts countrywide and that files have gone missing. Many of our courts no longer have storage space and, as the Committee learnt on a recent oversight visit, the problem is exacerbated as the National Archives is unable to accommodate all archived case files. The Department instituted a five-year document management project to address the problem. The Department reports now that the off-site document storage project has been deployed in seven courts. The project has been implemented extremely successfully in the Western Cape: when the project is rolled out elsewhere, it will be used as ‘best practice’. The Committee welcomes the invitation for it to visit the project and will contact the Department soon in order to make the necessary arrangements for the next quarter. The Committee notes, however, the recent judgement in the Western Cape High Court on this point. It asked the Department to provide it with a report on how it intended to address the problem of missing files countrywide. The Committee has received the information requested, and will consider it as soon as its programme allows.

8.9. Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) process. Parliament approved assistance measures for victims identified in terms of the Truth and Reconciliation process. The Committee is pleased that at long last almost all outstanding beneficiaries have been traced and the reparations paid. The Department reports, therefore, that its focus has shifted to finalising and implementing the regulations seeking to implement outstanding TRC recommendations. The Department has engaged the Independent Development Trust (IDT) to conduct a needs analysis and project manage the Community Rehabilitation regulations. The process has started with consultations in Mamelodi and Alexandria. Draft regulations relating to Higher Education were submitted to the Ministers of Higher Education and Finance for comment. Similarly, draft regulations relating to medical benefits were submitted to the Ministers of Health and Finance. The Minister of Health is reported to have indicated that he is satisfied but the Minister of Finance has proposed a new model. Further research must be done. There have been discussions with the Department of Housing and it may be that the National Housing Code may render the regulations unnecessary. A needs analysis of victims must be undertaken before policy decisions can be made. The Committee accepts that although the Department is responsible for the regulations, these relate and will need to be implemented by other line-function departments. The full support of these departments is necessary. The Committee notes too that, in light of the limited funds available, the high expectations of victims pose further difficulties for the Department. Still, the Committee remains extremely displeased that the outstanding regulations are not yet finalised and requests the Minister’s intervention in this regard. It asks the Department to provide a report on progress to date, with time frames, by 19 July 2013 and that the Department continues to brief it quarterly on progress.

8.10. State Legal Services. The discussion document on the Review of State Legal Services details plans to consolidate structures providing legal services to the State to enhance performance. The Committee has previously queried certain aspects relating to state litigation, including the fragmented approach to the management of state litigation in an increasingly litigious society, and the absence of a framework making use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. It looks forward to engaging further with the Department on the Review and intends to ask the Department to brief it on the Review in the near future. The Committee notes the Department’s intention to introduce the necessary legislation to provide for a ‘chief’ State Attorney – the Solicitor-General, who will be responsible and accountable for implementation of the State’s litigation strategy. The Committee reminds the Department that there is only a narrow legislative window before the end of the Fourth Parliament’s term and urges it to table the legislation soon.

8.11. Vulnerable groups

8.11.1. Spending on vulnerable groups . The Committee is interested in how much is being spent on vulnerable groups and asks for the information regularly. The Committee supports the Department’s suggestion that the restructuring of the Court Services programme, as a result of the migration of certain sub-programmes to the OCJ, may make it possible for the Department to consider having a dedicated programme for vulnerable groups. The Committee supports this, as it will assist greatly to make spending on vulnerable groups more transparent. The Committee requests that the Department continue to report quarterly on its spending plan for vulnerable groups. This includes details of what was spent on the implementation of legislation, such as the Child Justice Act, 2008, the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007, and the Children’s Act, 2005.

8.11.2. Service Delivery Charter and Service Standards. The Committee remains pleased at the focus on maintenance matters in the Department’s strategic plan to improve delivery of maintenance services. The Department has mentioned before that its new Service Delivery Charter and Service Standards is intended to contribute to ensuring a more compassionate and responsive approach on the part of justice officials when dealing with the public. Despite this, however, members continue to receive numerous complaints regarding maintenance matters. The Committee has intended to invite the Department to brief it specifically on its new Service Charter but, due to time constraints, has been unable to do so yet. It requests, therefore, that the Department provide a briefing document and progress report on its implementation by 19 July 2013, and be prepared to brief the Committee on it at the next quarterly meeting.

8.11.3. Guardian’s Fund. The Committee queried the accessibility of the Master’s Offices for Guardian’s Fund matters although it acknowledges the innovative online services now offered and their popularity/uptake. The Committee has expressed its unhappiness in the past that, in contrast to deceased estates which can be accessed at all magistrates’ courts; there are only six offices countrywide that can deal with Guardian’s Fund matters. Some of the six offices are not even located in the biggest urban areas and for those living outside of these centres access is difficult. The Department told the Committee that the new paperless administration system should reduce the potential for fraud and will allow the Department to expand the number of service points where documents can be collected and quality controlled, and then sent to central Offices for processing. The Department reports that 29 places have been designated where documents can be verified. In addition, beneficiaries can be paid by means of EFT. The Committee welcomes these initiatives but remains of the view that the expansion of Guardian’s Fund services is urgent and that, in the meantime, consideration should be given to the increasing the use of Master’s Offices and service points as collection points for documentation.

8.11.4. Child Justice . The Committee is extremely concerned at reports regarding the implementation of the Child Justice Act, 2008. For example, the number of children coming into conflict with the law appears to be decreasing but there is little research to indicate whether or not this is a positive development. It notes too that the indicator relating to the establishment of One-Stop Child Justice Centres has been removed. The Committee intends to hold a meeting with relevant stakeholders on the Act’s implementation in the next quarter.

8.11.5. National Register of Sexual Offenders (NRSO) . The Committee learnt that there has been some progress made capturing the particulars of those convicted of sexual crimes but remains extremely concerned at the slow pace of capturing the particulars of historical records of those convicted of sexual crimes given how important the register as a preventative tool. The Department informed the Committee that it is discussing with the Department of Social Development the possibility of combining the NRSO with the Children’s Register provided for in terms of the Children’s Act. The Committee welcomes this, as it should prevent any duplication and waste of resources.

8.11.6. The Committee remains concerned about challenges relating to the implementation of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007, and intends holding a meeting with relevant stakeholders in the next quarter.

8.11.7. The Committee supports a proposal to amend the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act to provide for dedicated sexual offences courts. It notes that the regulations will determine the criteria’ for designation but is informed that this will not preclude any other court from acting as a sexual offences court. The Committee also requests that the Department consider other ways of extending the benefits of dedicated sexual offences courts, such as extending the geographical jurisdiction of equipped sexual offences courts and making use of circuit courts, to make these courts more accessible without the associated costs of a fully-fledged court. The Committee requests further details, in writing, of the re-established dedicated sexual offences, listing the courts that are ready to be re-established, as well as those that will be established soon by 19 July 2013. The Committee also requests that it be furnished with the criteria for these.

8.11.8. The Committee is concerned about the availability and preparedness of magistrates to preside over sexual offences courts: magistrates have cited stress as the main reason for their unwillingness to preside over such cases. The Committee was unable to clarify whether magistrates have access to the employee wellness programmes that are available to justice officials. The Committee is aware of the risk of trauma associated with dealing with sexual offences cases but believes that if appropriate measures, including ensuring a wider pool of dedicated magistrates and staff to allow for rotation, are put in place this risk can better managed. It asks that the Department clarify the position of magistrates in this regard, in writing, as well as provide details of its plan to lessen the risk of psychological trauma for those magistrates and justice officials who work with sexual offences cases, in writing, by 19 July 2013 .

8.11.9. The Committee’s attention is drawn to the difficulties that NGO’s are experiencing as access to donor-funding dries up. It is most concerned that NGOs, who provide psychosocial support to victims of sexual offences, are no longer able to afford to do so. The Committee believes that the support that these NGO’s provide to victims of sexual offences also assists the criminal justice system. The Committee asks that the Department looks into ways in which it, in turn, can help those NGOs, which provide psychosocial services, to access the necessary funding.

8.11.10. The Committee supports the suggestion that there should be a focus on identifying and removing backlog sexual offences cases from the court rolls. It asks that this be raised with the Chief Justice as part of efforts to improve case-flow management.

Part 3 National Prosecuting Authority

9. Programme 4: National Prosecuting Authority

9.1. The Acting National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Adv N Jiba, presented the NPA’s strategic plan 2013-18 and annual performance plan 2013/14. The NPA has reviewed its plans, remains committed to the strategic direction embarked on in the past three years: in essence, therefore, the plan remains unchanged. Severe budget constraints, however, have made it necessary to scrutinise indicators and targets and there are some changes in this regard.

9.2. The JCPS Service delivery agreement remains the basis for the NPA’s planning so that its strategic objectives relate closely to relevant JCPS outputs. In addition, the NPA has identified the following priority areas contained in the National Development Plan as being of particular relevance to it: strengthening the criminal justice system; building safety using an integrated approach; and building community participation in community safety.

9.3. The annual performance plan provides the performance indicators and annual targets for 2013 and for the medium term:

Strategic objective




2011/12 (estimated)





Increased successful prosecution of serious crime

No. of criminal cases where sentence > 10 yrs (no option of fine) is imposed.

7 311

6 889

7 027

7 168

7 311

Criminal convictions measured against no. Of new cases enrolled in Regional & High courts.


27 234


25 663


26 177


26 700


27 234

Improved collaboration with JCPS partners

Overall conviction rates


358 344


337 666


344 419


351 308


358 344

No. criminal court cases finalised, including ADRM

504 687

471 148

481 638

493 665

504 687

Improved prosecutions of JCPS officials charged with corruption

No. of JCPS personnel convicted of corruption.






Improved justice services for the victims of crime

No. of operational TCCs.






Increased successful prosecutions of serious corruption

No. of convictions where there is at least R5m assets restrained.







No. freezing orders with at least R5m assets restrained







9.4. The NPA’s budget allocation for 2013/14 is as follows:

R thousand



National Prosecutions

1 810.8

1 968.2

Specialised Prosecutions



Office of Witness Protection



Asset Forfeiture Unit



Support Services




2 839.8

3 050.4

9.4.1. The NPA is allocated R3.05 billion for 2013/14. Overall, in real terms, the allocation shows little growth from 2012/13 – the 6% growth is inflation-based.

9.4.2. The National Prosecutions sub-programme provides for general prosecutions, which includes resolution of criminal matters outside of the formal trial process through Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism (ADRM). This is the NPA’s largest sub-programme: it receives R1.9 billion or 73% of the overall allocation to the programme.

9.4.3. The Specialised Prosecutions Service sub-programme refers to specialised prosecution units that deal with priority crimes litigation, sexual offences, community affairs and special commercial crimes. This sub-programme is allocated R294.2 million or 10% of the NPA’s budget for 2013/14.

9.4.4. 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 R159.6 million or 5.6% of the NPA’s budget for 2013/14.

9.4.5. 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 R116.6 million for 2013/14, which is 4.6% of the NPA’s overall budget.

9.4.6. 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 R511.5 million or 17% of the programme’s total budget.

9.5. The following are identified as key challenges for 2013/14:

· Severe budget constraints have resulted in the NPA having to streamline its strategic objectives in order to align them with limited resources.

· As a result of the implementation of the Job Evaluation award and OSD, the NPA has had to put in place cost-saving measures that impact on its overall operations. Among others, this has led to the suspension of the Aspirant Prosecutor Programme.

· The current budget allocation does not take into account the cost-of-living salary adjustments and performance rewards for the current year. The NPA projects that there will be a shortfall of R78 million in 2014/15 and R82 million in 2015/16 on its compensation of employees’ budget. The NPA, therefore, cannot fill vacancies as they arise.

· Given the present constraints, the NPA is unable to provide two prosecutors for the re-established dedicated sexual offences courts.

9.6. Committee’s response

9.6.1. The Committee appreciates the candid manner in which the NPA presented its plans and explained the impact of its present funding challenges for performance, although it is simultaneously appalled at the possible consequences for the effectiveness of the criminal justice system as a whole.

9.6.2. The Committee notes that, in past years, it expressed concern regarding the NPA’s financial planning and management of expenditure, which had resulted in the NPA underspending on its budget. The NPA has now indicated quite the opposite: it has serious funding challenges, which may cause overspending. The NPA paints a bleak picture: It projects that it will overspend on its compensation of employees’ budget – already there is a shortfall of R25 million to pay salaries. Nor is there any money available to pay performance awards and these will be made through forced savings to the NPA’s goods and services budget, which is seemingly low at 20% of the NPA’s overall budget.

9.6.3. Not for the first time, the Committee’s attention is been drawn to the difficulties presently experienced by almost all entities that report to it regarding the implementation of Occupation Specific Dispensation (OSD) funding. Briefly, the problems appear to be twofold. The first relates to the failure to fully appreciate the carry through costs of the OSD funding, which has severe implications for the budget of affected entities (notably the NPA). The second relates to the manner in which it impacts on the professional stream. The Committee was told that there is meant to be a review of the OSD post-implementation after a specified time but this has not happened. The NPA’s financial problems are exacerbated by a court order regarding job evaluations. The NPA set out clearly the background to its projected overspending on its compensation of employees’ budget: The Constitutional Court denied leave to appeal in November 2012 in respect of the implementation of 2005/06 job evaluations for prosecutors. The award and payments have already been made amounting to R53 million. Interest was also payable but a settlement agreement was reached with Labour to forfeit the interest so that funds would be made available for the payment of performance bonuses. The Department did not support a request for additional funding for the Adjusted Estimates of National Expenditure and a request for additional funding for the MTEF was not approved by National Treasury. The Committee is sympathetic to the NPA’s request for additional funds of R200 million. It notes that the NPA has taken steps to cut costs and is actively pursuing alternative funding. However, it is unclear to the Committee why the NPA’s predicament is receiving such a tepid response from the Department and National Treasury when the consequences seem potentially so disastrous.

9.6.4. The Committee notes that the NPA has no vacancies (notably at the beginning of 2012, vacancies among prosecutors was at 12%). This is less impressive given that, funding shortages last year led the NPA to remove all unfilled posts from its structure. Now with the additional pressures, the NPA has informed the Committee that every post that falls vacant becomes, in effect, an unfunded position which it cannot fill. This is wholly undesirable as it places strain on overworked prosecutors and when experienced prosecutors leave, their expertise cannot be replaced. The Committee notes too that the NPA was quite clear that it does not have the resources to assign two prosecutors for each of the dedicated sexual offences courts when these are re-established, despite this being a national priority.

9.6.5. The Committee, however, welcomes the appointment of the CEO, as this position has been filled in an acting capacity for too long.

9.6.6. The NPA’s presentation of its strategic plan clearly indicated the changes made and was accompanied by clear reasons: Severe budget constraints have, among others, made it necessary for the NPA to scrutinise its indicators and targets, limiting the scope of high impact indicators and setting more realistic targets. However, the Committee is not pleased that targets have been lowered below present performance levels, despite the NPA’s explanation that it cannot afford to replace experienced prosecutors when they leave and this does impact negatively on performance.

9.6.7. The Committee’s attention was also drawn to the difficulties that a body, such as the NPA, faces in complying with what the Auditor-General wants when assessing performance against pre-determined objectives for auditing purposes, compared to the expectations of the public, especially when it comes to public order and safety. The AFU has traditionally set stretched targets but reduced its targets as the Auditor-General tends to regard the failure to achieve these targets as an indication of poor planning. The Committee believes that this needs addressing across the Cluster.

9.6.8. The Committee remains concerned at the large number of informal mediations used to resolve cases, albeit that informal mediation typically occurs in less serious offences. It fears that, as informal mediation is unregulated, there is potential for the process to be abused. The Committee has previously expressed its view that there may be a need for legislation to regulate alternate dispute resolution methods that include both diversion and informal mediation. The Committee also requests that the NPA provide the Committee with a written report by 19 July 2013 giving statistics of informal mediation for 2012/13, including the number of cases finalised using informal mediation, a geographical spread of these cases and an indication of the types of offences in which informal mediation was used. The Committee also requests the NPA to consider including an indicator for plea bargains.

9.6.9. The Committee has previously pointed out to the Acting NDPP that responsibility for the Witness Protection programme, in fact, should not reside with the NPA but with the Department. The matter was also raised with both the Minister and Director-General. Although the NPA has indicated that it would welcome the relocation of this responsibility to the Department, the Minister indicated to the Committee that the cost of transferring the infrastructure is prohibitive and that the NPA is better placed to continue running the witness protection programme for now. However, the Minister assured the Committee that the Director-General, as accounting officer for the NPA, also accounts for the witness protection programme.

9.6.10. The Committee has previously expressed its belief that it is undesirable that the position of National Director of Public Prosecutions remains unfilled for any length of time. It is still of this view.

Part 4 Auxiliary and Associated Services

10. Overview of the budget allocation to Auxiliary and Associated Services 2013/14


(Revised estimate)

Medium term estimates





Legal Aid South Africa

1 270.7

1 378.2

1 472.5

1 554.2

Special Investigating Unit

340 713

305 859

296 813

313 098

South African Human Rights Commission

101 530

115 999

126 136

133 199

Public Protector

183 147

199 253

217 584

230 397

Justice modernisation

565 763

852 914

986 088

1 063 048

President’s Fund





Represented Political Parties’ Fund

109 180





2 555 479

2 834 708 (11%)

3 079 586 (9%)

3 274 410


11. Legal Aid South Africa (Legal Aid SA)

11.1 Legal Aid SA was established by the Legal Aid Act, 1969, as amended, and provides independent and impartial legal aid to indigent persons at the state’s expense with a view to improving justice and public confidence in the law. It provides services in all district, regional and high courts through its extended network.

11.2 This financial year (2013/14) is the second year of the implementation of the 5-year Strategic Plan 2012-2017. Current National Treasury Guidelines do not require an annual review of the Strategic Plan. The Annual Performance Plan for 2013/14 continues implementation of the second year of the Strategic Plan.

11.3 The outcomes and strategies remain the same and no new strategies were added for the 2013/14 financial year.

11.4 With the budget cuts of the 2012/13 year and minimal additional funds for the current financial year, the focus will be on maintaining existing programmes and projects.

11.5 The entity has been allocated R1.3 billion, R1.4 billion and R1.5 billion over the medium term. Legal Aid SA also generates revenue income (currently R17.5 million). Revenue has increased from R940.5 million in 2009/10 to R1.2 billion, at an average annual growth rate of 10.6%, and is expected to increase to R1.5 billion in 2015/16, at an average annual growth rate of 6.9%. The overall increase in budget is 8% due to additional funding received for: the implementation of the Child Justice Act and Children’s Act; increased legal capacity; and improved conditions of service.

11.6 Legal Aid SA has allocated its budget for 2013/14 as follows:




1. Client, Community, Stakeholder & Shareholders

939 361 544


2. Finance & Sustainability

22 838 326


3. Business Processes (Internal)

14 486 976


4. Employee & Organizational Capacity and Innovation & Learning

328 568 315


5. Additional Programmes

113 390 470



R 1 418 645 631


11.7 Priorities for 2013/14 include the following:

· Maintaining and ensuring delivery of legal aid to clients in criminal and civil matters, including advice matters.

· Continued development of competency of legal practitioners to ensure the delivery of quality legal services.

· Ensuring good governance and financial management to maintain unqualified audits.

· Redevelopment of the legal-administration IT Application.

11.8 Committee’s response

11.8.1. Legal Aid SA’s presentation of its strategic and annual performance plan has, as ever, greatly impressed the Committee. It congratulates Legal Aid SA’s on the role it played in the process of drafting the United Nation’s principles and guidelines in providing legal aid assistance in criminal matters. Legal Aid SA’s leadership, governance and institutional arrangements and method of work are laudable and, in the Committee’s view, should be drawn upon as best practice within the Cluster. The Committee, however, would have liked to have greater insight of Legal Aid South Africa’s work by undertaking oversight ‘on the ground’ but fears that this may not be possible in the time remaining to it before the end of the Fourth Parliament.

11.8.2. The Committee is told informed that Legal Aid SA, through its mixed-delivery model, is able to cover all courts, although it experiences capacity challenges, especially relating to providing relief staff should a practitioner be ill, etc. The Committee is very pleased that Legal Aid SA’s budget has not been cut for 2013/14 as was feared, as this means that court coverage will not be affected for now.

11.8.3. The Committee has supported Legal Aid SA’s goal of expanding its civil work and impact litigation cases. Last year it suggested that the SAHRC approach Legal Aid SA to request legal assistance in high impact civil litigation cases. It is pleased that the Commission has done so and that there is agreement to draft a memorandum of understanding in this regard.

11.8.4. The Committee notes that Legal Aid SA intends bringing amendments to the Legal Aid Guide. However, it is important for the Guide to be tabled as soon as possible so that the Committee could consider it before the end of the Fourth Parliament’s term.

11.8.5. Although the Committee is pleased to learn that Legal Aid SA’s IT systems are linked to the SAPS electronic case management system, it notes that Legal Aid SA’s report that certain refinements would improve its effectiveness. Currently, the system informs Legal Aid SA that a particular person will appear in court but does not indicate in which court the appearance is to take place.

12. Special Investigating Unit (SIU)

12.1. The SIU is an independent, statutory body that investigates corruption and maladministration and can institute civil legal action to correct any wrongdoing uncovered. Investigations are mandated by Presidential proclamation.

12.2. The SIU currently has 25 active proclamations. Ten and seven proclamations relate to the national and provincial spheres of government respectively. Of the total of 25 proclamations, 15 are projected for completion during the current financial year. A total of 67% of the proclamations relate to procurement issues.

12.3. The SIU is funded by way of a transfer payment from the Vote and, also, generates its own income by charging client departments for its investigations.

12.4. Following amendments to the SIU Act, the Unit can now institute civil actions. The legislative amendments have resulted in the change of focus and civil litigation has now become the primary outcome of investigations. This has also resulted in amendments to performance indicators and targets. The Unit has established a new section to handle civil litigation. More capacity will be required for the section to function effectively.

12.5. The SIU budget for 2013/14 is as follows:

Income and expenditure











Grants Received


340 712

305 859

Project Income


153 224

226 616

Other income

1 664

3 738

Total Income


497 336

497 674

532 475

Employee Costs

203 609

233 875

245 460

Investigative Consultants

149 232

71 731

82 924

Travel and Accommodation

25 829

28 369

32 581


15 113

18 950

25 836

Finance Costs



Other Expenses

98 110

106 540

108 891

Total Expenditure

491 896

459 468

495 692


5 440

38 206

36 783

12.6. The main strategic objective of the SIU is to increase the impact of its forensic services in the public sector by completing investigations successfully.

12.7. For the SIU to be able to achieve its strategic objective, the organisation has identified the following strategic drivers, namely to:

· Achieve optimum institutional form.

· Foster excellent cooperation with law enforcement partners and stakeholders.

· Develop an effective, accountable and engaging leadership.

· Secure appropriate capacity and funding.

· Align and improve systems and processes.

· Invest in appropriate technological capacity.

· Build an engaged, diverse and competent SIU.

12.8. The SIU identifies the following challenges for 2013/14:

· Pre-proclamations work. There is a need to review the process for motivating and issuing of proclamations by the President.

· Funding Model. The current grant funding requires reviewing to relieve reliance on project funding.

· It is unable to recover all project-generated funds.

· There are limited specialist skills for forensic investigations.

12.9. Committee’s response

12.9.1. The Committee commends the SIU for its work in tackling fraud and corruption within government. It is, however, wholly dissatisfied with the quality of the SIU’s presentation, which in the Committee’s view does not provide it with sufficient information for it to evaluate the SIU’s budget.

12.9.2. In the Committee’s view, the quality of the SIU’s planning leaves much to be desired. The Committee notes that no explanation is provided for changes to indicators of performance and targets contained in the SIU’s annual performance plan for 2013/14.

12.9.3. The Committee feels that the targets set for this financial year are too low in the light of the estimated yearly value of corruption (which the Committee was previously informed exceeds R30 billion annually). The SIU informed the Committee that it has moved towards an approach in which it investigates fewer but more complex cases. The Committee believes that if the approach is one that focuses on impact, the targets (for cash recoveries) should be considerably higher in value.

12.9.4. The SIU’s past difficulties relating to its funding have been resolved. However, even before these challenges emerged, the SIU had alerted the Committee to the risk of relying too much on funding from service level agreements. It has also meant that the SIU has not been able to grow its own internal capacity in the way it would have liked. The Committee, therefore, agrees that there does need to be further debate on the appropriate funding model for an anti-corruption agency such as the SIU.

12.9.5. The Committee is especially unhappy regarding the SIU’s presentation of its operations, which was neither sufficiently detailed nor ‘up-to-date’. The Committee has made it quite clear on past occasions that it expects to be kept informed of the SIU’s operations/investigations, so it does not understand the SIU’s failure to ensure a comprehensive presentation on its work. The Committee, therefore, asks the SIU to provide it with a comprehensive written report by 19 July 2013 of the proclamations it has received and their status for the past three years. Information regarding the outcome of investigations should be included.

12.9.6. The Committee is extremely concerned that documents and interim/progress reports are being leaked from the SIU by its staff members and that, in one instance, this caused the court being misled. It notes too that the SIU has only recently begun vetting its staff for security clearances, with a focus on those involved in supply chain management. It asks that the SIU keep it updated on progress in this regard.

12.9.7. The Committee also queried inconsistencies in the interim reporting processes and asks that it provide the Committee with details of its reporting processes, including the procedure for issuing interim/progress reports in writing by 19 July 2013.

12.9.8. The Committee notes that legislation is being prepared that addresses the Auditor General’s finding that expenses incurred relating to pre-assessments is irregular expenditure The Committee feels it to be a pity that the amendments were not dealt with last year when the Committee considered legislation to address funding challenges that the SIU was experiencing. The Committee urges that the proposed amendments are expedited so that it is able to deal with them before the end of the Fourth Parliament’s term.

12.9.9. The Committee has previously expressed its belief that, given the vital role that the SIU plays in fighting corruption within the public sector, it is undesirable that the position of Head of the SIU remains unfilled for any length of time. It is still of this view particularly since the position has been vacant for 17 months.

13. South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)

13.1. The mandate of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is to support and strengthen constitutional democracy by promoting, protecting and monitoring human rights.

13.2. The pressure of a limited budget and other resource constraints led the Commission to review its strategic plan. The strategic plan encompasses the period 2012-2015, identifying the following five strategic outcome-orientated goals:

· 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.

13.3. 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.

13.4. Overview of the SAHRC’s budget for 2013/14:




% increase

R thousand




67 064 870

72 344 213



2 714 044

2 801 860



1 273 000

1 340 469



384 212

404 575



2 334 750

2 458 491


Administration & SCM

18 288167

23 069 063


Human Resources

2 626 140

2 249 928



3 215 000

5 665 065



759 150

799 384



836 767

2 724252



757 500

797 647



676 400

712 249


Internal Audit

600 000

631 800



101 530

115 999


13.5. The Commission is allocated R115.9 million for 2013/14, 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 2013/14 has grown in real terms by 8% from R101.5 million in 2012/13.

13.6. The Commission has identified an ideal budget of R148.8 million. Accordingly, due to the insufficient budget it has rationalised its services:

· Thirteen (13) posts have been frozen, amounting to R5.9 million, most of which were in Research and Human Rights Advocacy. This has impacted on the Commission’s promotion and monitoring mandates.

· The Commission is considering closing some of its offices as DPW has not renewed lease rentals.

13.7. Selected achievements for 2012/13 include:

· Nine provincial and one national hearing on water and sanitation.

· Launch of the Charter on Children’s Basic Education Rights.

· A total of 363 media engagements.

· Chair the forum for institutions Supporting Democracy.

· Implemented an electronic case management system.

· Implemented an electronic leave management system.

· Implemented an electronic procurement system.

13.8. Key activities planned for 2013/14 include:

· Participate in two International Co-ordinating Committee (ICC), two Network on African National Human Rights (NANHRI) Institutions and two African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACPHR) activities.

· 100% Implementation of Annual SAHRC Action-Plan based on outcomes of 28 international and regional activities, including the ICC and NANHRI.

· Annual International & Regional Human Rights Report completed by 30 June 2013.

· Finalise 85% of complaints.

· 100% implementation of litigation strategy.

· Host nine provincial human rights calendar day events by 31 March 2014.

· Produce promotional material on Right to Food: Fact Sheet by 30 September 2013 Complete Report on roundtable discussion on business and human rights by 31 March 2014.

· Host two national human rights events.

· Complete 2012/13 Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Report by 30 June 2013

· Complete mid-term 2013/14 Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Report by 31 December 2013

· Complete 2012/13 Section 184(3) Report by 30 June 2013.

· Complete Strategic Focus Area Report by 31 March 2014.

· Publication on Water and Sanitation by 30 September 2013.

· Complete Equality Report by 31 March 2014.

· Complete Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) Audit Report by 31 March 2014.

13.9. Committee’s response

13.9.1. The Committee is highly appreciative of the SAHRC’s valuable work in promoting and protecting human rights. It feels that this Commission has come into its own and the work it is producing is exciting. It notes, also, the SAHRC’s high-standing among human rights commissions worldwide and congratulates it on this. The Committee is pleased that the SAHRC reports that it has managed to secure funds from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), through the African Renaissance Fund, to allow the Chairperson to assume the position of Chairperson to the International Co-ordinating Committee of Human Rights Institutions.

13.9.2. The Committee acknowledges that the difference between the SAHRC’s ideal budget of R148 million and that, despite receiving an additional R24 million over the medium term as a result of the Committee’s intention in the BRRR, the SAHRC’s allocation for 2013/14 constrains it ability to deliver on its mandate. The Committee feels strongly that the SAHRC’s request should be taken further and intends approaching the parliamentary budget office in this regard.

13.9.3. The Committee queried the SAHRC’s initial decision to investigate the Marikana tragedy as the Committee believed that the SAHRC’s work would overlap with that of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Marikana Tragedy and questioned the potential for conflict as a result of shared counsel. The SAHRC subsequently revised its terms of reference. The Committee notes that the SAHRC reports that it is pleased with its contribution to the Inquiry, as it presented a wider perspective addressing the socio-economic rights of the miners.

13.9.4. While respecting the independence of the SAHRC, the Committee, however, believes that given limited resources, the SAHRC may need to be selective about what it investigates. In particular, the Committee is concerned that the decision to become involved where there are also impending judicial proceedings, specifically the SAHRC’s report on the killing of Andries Tatane, may well be duplication. Further, the Committee cautions against making findings when there are judicial processes involved, and questions the usefulness of findings that are based on a desktop study. The Committee raised its concerns regarding the report when it met with the SAHRC, which provided the Committee with an explanation as to why it belied the investigation to be important. The discussion that followed raises, in the Committee’s opinion, many important issues. The Committee anticipates that there will be greater opportunity to explore such questions with the Commission’s input when it considers the South African Human Rights Commission Bill [B5 - 2013].

13.9.5. The Committee is pleased that the SAHRC has engaged Legal Aid SA on the possibility that it might assist the SAHRC to conduct high impact litigation. It appears that this process is well underway and requests that the SAHRC keep the Committee updated.

13.9.6. The Committee is alarmed at the prospect that the SAHRC may need to close some of its provincial offices as a result of funding constraints and non-renewal of leases by DPW. The assumption was that DPW could secure better rentals terms for the SAHRC but this did not materialise. The SAHRC is asking that the funds be devolved from DPW to it. There, however, appears to be confusion about whether the SAHRC has been reimbursing the DPW for the leased accommodation. The Committee, therefore, requests further information, in writing, by 19 July 2013 from the SAHRC on this. The Committee remains supportive, in principle, of the SAHRC acquiring its own office building(s) in future.

13.9.7. The Committee supports the initiative to (re-)establish a forum for constitutional institutions, which the SAHRC chairs. Past efforts to do so were not especially successful but the need for the constitutional institutions to co-operate and collaborate for greater efficiency and effectiveness remains – even more so, given the many challenges (not only budgetary) that these institutions are faced with. The Committee is pleased that this initiative appears to be going well but requests that the SAHRC continues to provide it with quarterly progress reports on progress.

13.9.8. The Committee is concerned at the potential overlap between the SAHRC’s constitutional mandate to promote human rights and the Department’s programme to address its own constitutional development mandate. It has queried this in the past – the Department’s programme is donor-funded and run by the Foundation for Human Rights. Nonetheless, given the scarcity of resources, it seems preferable that care is taken to ensure that there is no duplication, albeit that the approach may be different. It notes, with approval, that the SAHRC has taken the initiative to meet the National Commissioner: SAPS on the need to provide human rights training for SAPS officials.

13.9.9. The Committee urges the Minister to urgently table the Determination of Remuneration of Members of Constitutional Institutions Bill which is intended to address disparities in the determination of the remuneration, allowances and other conditions of employment of members of the Chapter 9 Institutions.

14. Public Protector (PP)

14.1. The PP is mandated to support and strengthen constitutional democracy by investigating any conduct in state affairs or in the public administration in any sphere of government that is alleged or suspected to be improper or as a result of any impropriety or prejudice, to report on the alleged or suspected conduct and to propose remedial action. The PP has a number of additional legislative mandates.

14.2. The PP receives an amount of R 199.3 million in 2013/14. Most of the PP’s budget (65%) goes to its compensation of employee’s budget. The allocation to provinces is proportional to population statistics based on the 2011 Census results.

14.3. The strategic vision remains as articulated in the Public Protector Vision 2020. The strategic thrust also remains unchanged, although some sub-strategic objectives have been reviewed with a result that these are collapsed from 28 to 18. This review of the sub-strategic objectives was informed by the internal environment and the changing context of the nature of the work undertaken by the PP. The baseline study focusing on stakeholder views on the Public Protector’s week also informed the strategy.

14.4. Key achievements for 2012/13 include:

· A total of 23 350 new complaints were received (with 10 183 complaints carried over from the previous financial year). A total of 20 153 complaints were finalised and 13 085 were carried over to 2013/14.

· A total of 48.5 million people were reached.

· The thoroughness of investigations has improved.

14.5. Feedback received from Parliament has led to a review of the organisation’s footprint. The organisation intends relocating some of its regional offices (the Siyabuswa office will relocate to Emalahleni; the Vryburg office to Klerksdorp; and the Mabopane office will relocate to Germiston). It also intends to establish and launch regional offices in Thohoyandou, Port Elizabeth and Pietermaritzburg.

14.6. The organisation has amended the following strategic objectives:

· Accessible to and trusted by all persons and communities

o The organisation will put up signage on at least 50% of Public Protector’ buildings and signage on roads.

o The organisation will also produce and distribute a corporate video for corporate branding. A total amount of R800 000 is required for this.

o Furthermore, the organisation will conduct a survey on the Public Protector South Africa’s compliance with internal Customer Service Charter with a view to improve the service experience of complainants.

· Prompt justice including remedial action

o The organisation will map, re-engineer and automate all identified business process by 31 March 2014, with a special focus on improving efficiency in key processes

o Turnaround times for investigation of early resolution cases were revised as follows: 50% of the complaints resolved within 3 months; 30% of the complaints resolved within 4 months; 20% of complaints resolved within 6 months.

o The organisation will conduct training for organs of state on the Public Protector Rules

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

o The organisation will identify, investigate and resolve one ‘own-initiative’ investigation per branch.

o The organisation will also appoint mangers for international relations and parliamentary affairs.

o Through the African Ombudsman Research Centre, the organisation will conduct at least two workshops on African Union shared values with identified African states.

o The organisation will create a database of Ombudsman/Public Protector jurisprudence

· An efficient and effective organisation

o The organisation seeks to achieve 80% of its strategic objectives within a 5.1% budget variance.

· Optimal performance and service focused culture

o Build a purpose -driven organisation roll-out/team building.

14.7. The Public Protector plans to invest most of its resources in the following areas:

· Public outreach to improve accessibility in response to survey.

· Trainee investigators: the office introduced a formal training for investigators through the trainee investigator programme.

· The organisation is finalising the procurement of a case management system for more accurate reporting and regular feedback to complainants.

· Video conferencing is now up and running. This will assist with saving costs as less will be spent on travelling for meetings.

· Procurement of the integrated financial management system was finalised.

· The call centre is up and running and the Toll Free number will be staffed soon. Advice will also be given to complaints through the call centre.

14.8. The Public Protector highlighted the following of trends relating to the of complaints of maladministration reported to it:

· There is an increase in complaints related to service delivery; corruption (especially procurement, buying of jobs and bribery); protected disclosures; and the Executive Members’ Ethics Act.

· A systemic investigation shows continuing RDP housing challenges in areas of planning, procurement and allocation of houses.

· Other areas where there are large numbers of complaints include police (brutality), health, worker’s compensation and local government .

14.9. The Public Protector made the following request for additional funds:

· An amount of R77 million to fill the approved organisational structure. The total approved structure (excluding trainee investigations): 556 – 317 posts are funded posts but 239 are unfunded posts (174 Investigations posts, costing R56 million and 65 support staff costing R21 million).

· R11 million to implement the OSD to prevent ‘brain drain’ (R11 million).

· R3 million to upgrade administrative posts.

· R6 million for the implementation of Phase 2 of video conferencing (this has cost-saving benefits as it will reduce the need for travel).

· R10 million for funding for the electronic case management system (for licensing fees).

· Funding for a ‘Complaints and Witness Support Fund’. This has not been costed yet.

· The Committee’s support/assistance is requested to acquire property owned by government in response to the exorbitant rent problem; to encourage state compliance with investigation processes and implementation and remedial actions; and for the Public Protector’s good governance and integrity sector initiative.

14.10. Committee’s response

14.10.1. The Committee reiterates its support for the Public Protector and its conviction that the work that the Office does is not just important – it is vital. It is a positive that the public has so much faith in the institution. As a State Institution Supporting Constitutional Democracy, the Public Protector forms an integral part of the checks and balances of a constitutional and accountable government and is an aid and complementary to Parliament’s oversight function. There is an unfortunate perception in some quarters that the Committee is overly critical when it meets with Public Protector but this is not so. The Committee is simply doing its work. The Public Protector, as with all of the Chapter 9 institutions, is accountable to the National Assembly. This Committee is mandated to oversee the PPSA. Any interaction between the Public Protector and the Committee should be viewed in light of the Committee’s responsibility in this regard. In the present context, in which the Public Protector not only presented her Office’s budget for 2013/14 but also indicated additional funding needs, the Committee must ask the necessary questions so that it can apply itself to the request. The Committee draws attention to the Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Chapter 9 and Associated Institutions (2007), as well as an earlier report on Parliamentary Oversight and Accountability (1999), which addresses the accountability of these institutions to Parliament and contains useful suggestions in this regard.

14.10.2. The Committee understands that the Public Protector’s mandate is wide and that the discretion to decide which cases falling within her jurisdiction lies solely with her. However, in the context of limited resources, the Committee is of the opinion that the Public Protector should guard against taking on cases that fall outside of her jurisdiction, such as complaints relating to court proceedings. The Public Protector may also wish to consider making use of section 6(3) of the Public Protector Act which allows her to refuse to investigate a matter reported to him or her, if ‘the person ostensibly prejudiced in the matter is- (a) an officer or employee in the service of the State or is a person to whom the provisions of the Public Service Act, 1994 (Proclamation 103 of 1994), are applicable and has, in connection with such matter, not taken all reasonable steps to exhaust the remedies conferred upon him or her in terms of the said Public Service Act, 1994; or (b) prejudiced by conduct referred to in subsections (4) and (5) and has not taken all reasonable steps to exhaust his or her legal remedies in connection with such matter’. The Public Protector drew attention to the many new complaints that were received last year. The number of cases carried forward from last year to this year has also grown substantially. The Committee is sympathetic about the heavy case-load that investigators have and commends the Public Protector for making good use of trainee investigators to assist. However, in the end, the intention is that the Public Protector be able to provide the public with speedy relief. This is undermined when investigations become drawn out. The Committee can only emphasise that it believes that the present fiscal constraints require that resources are carefully employed to best effect.

14.10.3. The Committee is aware that accessibility is of great concern to the PPSA. It notes that an ‘ambitious’ National Footprint Framework to increase the PPSA’s presence countrywide without necessarily increasing the resources required has been developed. Although the Committee is pleased that the Public Protector has taken into account its concerns regarding the geographical spread of its offices to relocate certain of its regional offices, it notes that it is intending to open more. It is unclear whether the National Footprint Framework informs the decisions to relocate the offices and the launch of new offices. The Committee would, therefore, be interested in hearing more on this and requests that the Public Protector brief the Committee in writing by 19 July 2013 and be prepared to present the Framework at its next meeting with the Committee.

14.10.4. After the Committee queried the cost of producing a corporate video, the Public Protector informed the Committee that she would look into reviewing the project.

14.10.5. The Committee is concerned that the Public Protector’s strategy in approaching departments or entities with complaints may be causing unnecessary difficulties, even tensions. The Committee is concerned that by approaching junior officials within a department or entity rather than persons with sufficient authority to address the complaint matters are dragged on. For example, in a recent matter, Legal Aid SA expressed its unhappiness that neither the relevant Regional Office nor the National Office was informed of the complaint involving a Justice Centre until it received the provisional report. Legal Aid SA is of the view that if it has been properly approached regarding the investigation, the complaint would have been promptly dealt with. The Public Protector is asked to respond to the Committee in writing by 19 July 2013 after disagreeing with Legal Aid SA’s view of the process. The Committee heard the Director-General express similar views last year. It is, however, pleased that there is now an agreement with the Departments of Justice, Public Service and Administration and Home Affairs that all complaints from PPSA go to a focal point.

14.10.6. The Committee wishes to highlight that it would have been extremely useful if the Committee were to receive more information on substantive reports that may involve the Ministry, Department, the NPA, Legal Aid SA or any other institution or entity that the Committee oversees when the reports are made available. The Committee wants to see the difference that the Public Protector is making but is not notified of any such reports. The Committee is aware that reports are made available on the website and does consult it. The Committee, however, feels that this state of affairs is unsatisfactory and undermines the complementary role that the Chapter 9 institutions are intended to play to assist parliamentary committees in their work. The Committee asks that the Public Protector ensure that it receives such reports and, also, specifically requests that it be given more information relating to investigations involving appeal matters by 19 July 2013. In addition, the Committee is of the view that the House should consider amending the statutory requirement that the Public Protector table all reports with the Speaker so that these can be forwarded to the relevant committees. The OISD could play a facilitative role in this regard.

14.10.7. The Committee notes the Public Protector’s concerns regarding the need for greater protection of whistleblowers in terms of the Protected Disclosures Act, 2000. It too has expressed concern regarding shortcomings of this legislation in providing adequate protection for whistleblowers. The Committee notes that an amendment to the Act is part of the Department’s legislative programme for this year and urges the Minister to table it as soon as possible.

14.10.8. The Committee suggested before that the Public Protector should compile a report, before the annual report process, indicating which departments or ministries are not co-operative or have not responded to its recommendations. This will assist Parliament to monitor the process and hold the relevant bodies to account. The Committee reminds the Public Protector that it is eager to engage formally on how it can assist to ensure that government departments do co-operate and/or carry out recommendations.

14.10.9. The Committee notes that the Public Protector has experienced problems in establishing a fully functional case management system but expects to resolve its challenges in this regard soon. It notes that a new system is being procured with the Auditor-General’s full approval. The Committee supports the need for an electronic case management system for greater operational efficiency and effectiveness and enhanced reporting. The Committee requests that the Public Protector keep it updated on the progress of installing the system and rolling it out.

14.10.10. The Committee notes the PPSA’s request for additional funds for specific items such as the electronic case management system and supports the more effective functioning of the office. It notes too that in the past the PPSA has received significant increases in funding from National Treasury. The Committee supports the request in principle but requires more information in order to evaluate it.

Part 5 Summary of reporting requests and recommendation

15. The Committee requests that the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, N ational Prosecuting Authority, Special Investigating Unit, South African Human Rights Commission and Public Protector South Africa report on/brief it specifically on the following:

Reporting matter

Action required


Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

1. Details of impact that commissions of inquiry have for the Department’s baseline (paragraph 8.2.5)

Report, with details.

19 July 2013

2. Third Party Funds: resolving the legal status of the TPF (paragraph 8.4.2)

Report, with details.

19 July 2013

3. Addressing vacancies at SMS level (paragraph 8.5.1)

Report, with details of action plan and timeframes.

19 July 2013

4. Finalisation rates for grievance and misconduct matter, including financial misconduct (paragraph 8.5.2).

Progress report.

19 July 2013

5. Securing courts and justice centres (paragraph 8.5.4).

· Progress report, with details of action plan and timeframes.

· Quarterly briefing

19 July 2013

· Refer to Committee programme

6. Justice modernisation and ICT renewal projects (paragraph 8.6.1)

· Progress report, with details of action plan and timeframes.

· Quarterly briefing

· 19 July 2013

· Refer to Committee programme

7. Implementation of IJS projects (paragraph 8.6.2)

· Progress report, with details of action plan and timeframes.

· Committee to convene meeting with stakeholders

On the Criminal Justice Sector Review/Revamp, with focus on IJS

19 July 2013

· Refer to Committee programme (July – Sept 2013)

8. Progress of infrastructure projects (paragraph 8.7.2)

· Progress report, with details of action plan and timeframes.

· Quarterly briefing

· 19 July 2013

· Refer to Committee programme

9. Response to Public Service Commission’s observations and recommendations (Paragraph 8.7.30.

Report, with plan of action and progress made.

19 July 2013

10. Maintenance of court buildings (paragraph 8.7.4)


Quarterly briefing

19 July 2013

Refer to Committee’s programme

11. Project to assess the impact of the Constitutional Court and SCA’s decisions on jurisprudence (paragraph 8.8.2)

Progress report

19 July 2013

12. Progress capacitating the OCJ (paragraph 8 8.3)

Progress Report


13. Progress implementing recommendations flowing from the TRC process (paragraph 8.9.1)

Progress Report, with details of action plan and timeframes

Quarterly briefing

19 July 2013

Refer to Committee programme

14. Review of State Legal Services: Discussion document (paragraph 8.10)


Refer to Committee programme

15. Implementation of Service Delivery Charter and Service Standards (paragraph 8.11.2)

Detailed report on implementation.

19 July 2013

16. Challenges implementing the Child Justice Act (paragraph 8.11.4)

Committee to convene meeting with stakeholders

Refer to Committee programme

17. Challenges implementing the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act (paragraph 8.11.6)

Committee to convene meeting with stakeholders

Refer to Committee programme

18. Dedicated sexual offences: implementation of plan to re-establish the dedicated sexual offences courts (paragraph 8.11.7)


19 July 2013

19. Dedicated sexual offences courts: Measures to reduce the risk of trauma to officials (paragraph 8.11.8).


19 July 2013

National Prosecuting Authority

20. Detailed statistics for informal mediations for 2012/13, including geographic spread and types of offences (paragraph 9.6.8).


19 July 2013

Special Investigating Unit

21. Details of the SIU’s proclamations/investigations for the past three years (paragraph 12.9.5).


19 July 2013

22. Security clearances of staff (paragraph 12.9.6).

Progress report

Refer to Committee programme

23. Explanation of reporting processes, including interim reports (paragraph 12.9.7).


19 July 2013

South African Human Rights Commission

24. Accommodation challenges, including impact of DPW’s non-renewal of leases for the SAHRC’s baseline (paragraph 13.9.6)


19 July 2013

25. Progress in revitalising the Forum for Constitutional Institutions (paragraph 13.9.7)

Progress report

Refer to Committee programme

Public Protector South Africa

26. Presentation of implementation of National Footprint Framework (paragraph 14.10.3)

Written report

Briefing at next meeting

Refer to committee programme

27. Response to Committee addressing Legal Aid SA’s concerns regarding the process followed (paragraph 14.10.5)

Written report

19 July 2013

28. Response to specific information requested on substantive reports (paragraph 14.10.6)

Written report

19 July 2013

16. Recommendation

16.1. The Committee is extremely concerned about ‘efficiency gains’ and the effect that these have over the medium term for the administration of justice, the employment of justice officials and for infrastructure.

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

17. Appreciation

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

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

17.3. The Committee also wishes to thank the Public Protector and the Deputy Public Protector, the Chairperson and Commissioners of the South African Human Rights Commission, the Chairperson of Legal Aid South Africa and the Acting Head of the Special Investigating Unit, as well as all CEOs and respective staff members for their co-operation. This is the first time that the Deputy Public Protector, who was recently appointed, attended a meeting of the Committee in this capacity. The Committee congratulates him on the appointment and wishes him well.

17.4. The Committee thanks the Secretary-General of the Office of the Chief Justice and her staff. This was the first-time that she or officials of the OCJ have appeared before the Committee. The Committee congratulates her on the appointment and wishes her well.

Report to be considered


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