ATC141031: Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, National Prosecuting Authority, Legal Aid South Africa, Special Investigating Unit, South African Human Rights Commission and the Public Protector, dated 30 October 2014

Justice and Correctional Services

The Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, National Prosecuting Authority, Legal Aid South Africa, Special Investigating Unit, South African Human Rights Commission and the Public Protector, dated 30 October 2014

The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, having considered the performance and requests for additional allocations for the medium term period of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, National Prosecuting Authority, Legal Aid South Africa, Special Investigating Unit, South African Human Rights Commission and Public Protector, reports as follows:

1. Introduction

1.1 The Committee oversees the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and several other institutions that receive their allocation under the Justice and Constitutional Development Vote. These other institutions, which are either statutorily or constitutionally independent, include the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA); Legal Aid South Africa; Special Investigating Unit (SIU); South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and Public Protector (PP).

1.2 The Vote has five programmes:

· The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development is directly responsible for the Administration, Court Services and State Legal Services programmes. The Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) was proclaimed a department in August 2011 but, until it is fully capacitated with its own Vote, is funded under Court Services.

· The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) receives its allocation under Programme 4. (Although the Director-General: Justice and Constitutional Development remains its accounting officer, the NPA accounts separately for its performance and spending.)

· Programme 5 contains allocations to various auxiliary and associated services, including transfer payments to Legal Aid South Africa 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).

· Programme 5 also includes the Justice Modernisation sub-programme, which is responsible for the design and implementation of IT infrastructure for the integration of business processes within the criminal justice system, involving JCPS Cluster departments.

1.3 Briefly , the core functions of the Department, NPA, Legal Aid SA, SIU, SAHRC and PP are as follows:

· The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development supports the management of the criminal and civil justice systems. It is also responsible for several other activities, for example, the provision of legal services to government and the reparations policy flowing from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) process. The Department played a leading role in coordinating the implementation of actions of the JCPS Cluster towards delivery of Outcome 3 in the last administration. Going forward, for the MTSF, the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans is to chair the JCPS Cluster, with the Minister of Police as deputy chairperson.

· National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) institutes criminal proceedings on behalf of the State.

· Legal Aid South Africa (Legal Aid SA) provides independent legal representation to the poor and vulnerable at State expense. Although the main thrust of its work is to provide legal representation to criminal accused, in recent years, Legal Aid SA has incrementally expanded its services to provide advice and representation in civil matters.

· The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) recovers and prevents financial losses to the State due to acts of corruption, fraud and maladministration; and can assist departments with systemic improvements that will improve service delivery. The SIU has civil litigation powers to correct any wrongdoing it uncovers in its investigations. Investigations are authorised by Presidential proclamation.

· The Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) was proclaimed a government department in 2010 and provides support to the Chief Justice in his or her role as Head of the Judiciary and the Constitutional Court. It also provides administrative support to the South African Judicial Education Institute.

· The South African Human Rights Commission’s (SAHRC) mandate is extremely broad, encompassing almost every aspect of civil, political, social and economic rights. It must promote respect for human rights; promote the protection, development and attainment of human rights; and monitor how well human rights are observed. The Constitution also provides that each year the Commission must require relevant organs of state to provide it with information on measures taken towards the realisation of the socio-economic rights contained in the Constitution. The Commission has specific obligations in terms of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000 and the Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000.

· The Public Protector (PP) is mandated to ensure government’s accountability and to provide remedies for maladministration and abuse of authority. The Constitution empowers the Public Protector to investigate any conduct in state affairs, or in the public administration in any sphere of government, that is alleged or suspected to be improper or to result in any impropriety or prejudice; to report on that conduct; and to take appropriate remedial action.

1.4 The Money Bills Procedures and Related Matters Amendment Act 9 of 2009 sets out the process that allows Parliament to make recommendations to the Minister of Finance to amend the budget of a national department. In October of each year, portfolio committees must compile Budgetary Review and Recommendation Reports (BRRR) that assess service delivery performance given available resources; evaluate the effective and efficient use and forward allocation of resources; and may make recommendations on the future allocation of resources. These BRRRare also source documents for the Standing Committee on Appropriations when it makes recommendations to the House on the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS). The annual review and analysis of performance forms part of this process. As this is the beginning of the Fifth Parliament, it is first-time that this Committee will undertake the BRRR process.

1.5 In the new Administration, the Departments of Correctional Services and Justice and Constitutional Development remain distinct departments with their own accounting officers but are placed under a single ministry. In line with this, in the Fifth Parliament, this Committee has been mandated to oversee both departments. This has created certain challenges for the Committee. Its expanded mandate requires that it consider and report on the past and present performance, spending to date, and forward-funding needs of both Departments, and for associated institutions as well, within the limited timeframes available. Nevertheless, the Committee has ensured that it engaged with all those that report to it on their annual reports, their service delivery performance and spending to date, as well as their forward funding needs.


1.6 The Committee engaged with the Justice Department, NPA, Legal Aid SA, SIU, SAHRC and PP on their respective annual performance and spending for 2013/14. The meetings also addressed service delivery performance and spending to date, as well as any additional funding needs for the 2015 MTEF.

1.7 These briefings took place over a two-week period in October 2014, as follows:

· National Prosecuting Authority, 21 October 2014.

· Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, 16 October 2014.

· South African Human Rights Commission, 22 October 2014.

· Public Protector, 22 October 2014.

· Legal Aid South Africa, 17 October 2014.

· Special Investigating Unit, 21 October 2014.

1.8 The Committee also met with the Auditor-General on the audit outcomes for the Vote on 16October 2014.

1.9 The Committee values the contribution of the stakeholders who gave submissions as part of this BRRR process. Their participation has contributed to the Committee’sgreater understandingof critical issues in the sector, in particular the implementation of key policies and legislation that have a bearing on improved access to justice for vulnerable groups. Submissions were called for and the following stakeholders gave input on 16 October 2014:

· Shukumisa Campaign and the Community Law Centre, incorporating research from RAPCAN.

· Women’s Legal Centre.

1.10 Copies of all the presentations from role players and stakeholders are available from the committee secretary.

1.11 The Committee has expressed its view in previous reports that it is not enough to engage on performance annually, as monitoring is an ongoing process. Unfortunately, once again, the parliamentary programme and the Committee’s workload has precluded it from meeting as regularly as it had intended with the Department and other institutions on their performance against predetermined objectives, as well as related expenditure. However, both this Committee and the Committee in the Fourth Parliament have considered and reported on the respective strategic plans and budget proposals of the Justice Department, NPA, Legal Aid South Africa, OCJ, SIU, SAHRC and PP for the period under review (2013/14 and 2014/15). As part of these processes, the Committee made extensive reporting requests on specific issues that it had identified as requiring further monitoring, to which the Department responded in great detail, which form part of this report. In addition, expenditure for the Vote is monitored quarterly.

Structure of the report

1.12 This Report comprises five parts:

· Part 1 provides:

Ø An overview of the key policy focuses for 2013/14 and 2014/15.

Ø An overview of the allocation to the Justice and Constitutional Development Vote 2012/13 to 2016/17.

Ø A discussion of expenditure patterns for 2013/14 and the First Quarter 2014/15.

Ø Responses to the 2013 Budgetary Review and Recommendation Reports’ Recommendations.

Ø A summary of the audit outcome for the Department’s financial statements, as well as those of the relevant institutions, for 2013/14.

Ø An overview of the reported spending pressures for the 2015 MTEF.

· Part 2 gives:

Ø An overview of the strategic and operational environment that informs the delivery of justice services;

Ø Selected performance information, as reported to the Committee, for the programmes for which the Department is directly responsible - Programme 1: Administration; Programme 2: Court Services and Programme 3: State Legal Services.

· Part 3 has selected performance information, as reported to the Committee, for the NPA.

· Part 4 contains selected performance information for Programme 5: Legal Aid SA; SIU; SAHRC and PP.

· Part 5 sets out the Committee’s observations and contains a table summary of requests for additional information.

· Part 6 sets out the Committee’s recommendations, including those relating to requests for additional funding for the 2015 MTEF.

Part 1

2. Overview of key policy focus areas and related strategies

2.1 Crime and corruption is regarded as posing the greatest threat to the realisation of all the five priorities of Government. For several years, including 2013/14, the imperative to deliver on Government’s Outcome 3 (All people in South Africa are and feel safe) has driven a JCPS Cluster agreement, with outputs, aimed at realising the Outcome.The agreement focuses on combating serious crime and corruption; strengthening the criminal justice system; addressing cybercrime; and the integration of systems across the JCPS Cluster.

2.2 For some time now, funds have been prioritised to the Justice Vote to improve the efficiency of the criminal justice system, including modernisation programmes that also focus on alignment and integration of systems where appropriate.

2.3 An increased focus on efforts to combat waste, inefficiency and corruption includes strengthening the anti-corruption system by, among others, providing additional resources to the Anti-Corruption Task Team (of which the SIU is a part).

2.4 The establishment and strengthening of the Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) is regarded as vital to transforming the judicial system. During 2013/14 plans were made to migrate the Superior Courts to the OCJ, in line with Superior Courts Act, 2013. The intention is that the OCJ will have its own Vote (by 1 April 2015).In the meantime, the focus is on enhancing capacity to support the Chief Justice in his or her role as head of the Judiciary. On 1 October 2014, 1 486 staff were transferred from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development to the OCJ with attached administrative functions. An ad hoc budget of R1.4 billion for 2014/15 was also transferred.

2.5 A concept paper is to be developed on a separate and independent or autonomous judicial administration model. It is anticipated that research will take two or three years and there is also need to facilitate public discourse on this.

2.6 The transformation of the magistracy and lower courts is being addressed. A blueprint to guide revision of the Magistrates Court Act, 1944, is being developed. The Framework on the Rationalisation of Lower Courts, completed under the project to align magisterial districts with municipal boundaries, forms part of the blueprint.

2.7 Also, to increase access to justice, other aspects of transformation continue to be addressed and include: the realignment of magisterial boundaries, which are based on ‘old-order’ racial and geopolitical boundaries of the self-governing and independent states with municipal boundaries; the conversion of branch courts in traditional black areas and rural areas to full-service courts; and several major infrastructure projects are in progress. Notably, construction of a High Court in Polokwane, Limpopo, is nearing completion, while construction of a High Court in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, is underway.

2.8 The transformation of state legal services, which is another measure to increase access to justice, is aimed at addressing the apparent lack of co-ordination of legal services thathas created operational challenges across government. The Cabinet approved a framework for the transformation of state legal services. As a first step, amendments to the State Attorneys Act, 1957, establish the position of Solicitor-General to represent the State in all civil litigation.

2.9 In 2013/14, the re-establishment of dedicated sexual offence courts throughout the country was announced as a priority. Fifty-seven regional courts are being progressively upgraded to meet the Sexual offences Court Model against available resources in the course of the next three years: a total of 22 courts were identified for upgrading in 2013/14. The rest of identified regional courts will be progressively resourced from April 2015.

2.10 An assessment of the impact of the decisions of the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of Appeal is being undertaken. The Human Sciences Research Council, together with the University of Fort Hare, were awarded the tender for the study. The Department received a draft preliminary report in March 2014.

2.11 In 2011, the Department mandated the establishment of a National Task Team to develop a National Intervention Strategy to address so-called corrective rape and other forms of violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) persons. During 2013/14, the terms of reference for the National Task Team and Rapid Response Team; the National Intervention Strategy and an information pamphlet were all developed. Notably, a Rapid Response Team was established to attend to pending and reported cases where hate crimes have been committed against LGBTI persons.

2.12 An insolvency policy was developed in order to address issues of economic transformation of the insolvency industry, focusing on the appointment of insolvency practitioners. Although the policy was published in February 2014, with an implementation date of 31 March 2014 , implementation has been delayed pending the outcome of litigation.

3. Overview of Justice and Constitutional Development Vote: Budget allocation and expenditure

3.1. Main appropriation 2013 MTEF

3.1.1 The main appropriation increased from R15.3 billion in 2012/13 to R16.7 billion in 2013/14. This included 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 for the Vote’s five programmes is R14.1 billion.

3.1.2 Overall, in 2013/14, the allocation grew in real terms by 3.3%. The Administration, Court Services and State Legal Services programmes, which the Department administers directly, showed little real growth from 2012/13. Similarly, there was also little growth in the allocation to the National Prosecuting Authority in real terms (1.72%). The Auxiliary and Associated Services programme showed the largest growth: this programme grew in real terms by 9.73%, driven by additional allocations for the criminal justice system revamp and further capacity in the public entities and constitutional institutions.

3.1.3 Additional allocations to the Vote’s baseline for 2013/14 were 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.

3.1.4 In 2013/14, the Department made R14.4 million (2012/13), R15.1 million (2013/14) and R15.9 million (2014/15) available to Legal Aid SA from its baseline for carry through costs of the Children’s Act and Child Justice Act.

3.2. Adjusted Appropriation 2013/14

3.2.1. Notably, previous budgets provided additional allocations to the baseline for infrastructure spending: R 340 million in 2012/13; R350 million in 2013/14 and R100 million in 2014/15. Largely as a result of delays on the part of the Department of Public Works, the Department has struggled to spend this budget, reporting a ‘savings’ of R200 million in 2012/13 on its capital expenditure (CAPEX) budget. With National Treasury approval, the amount was reprioritised. A similar trend was observed in 2013/14.

3.2.2. During the adjustments process, a total of R576 million was moved between programmes: R265 million and R199 million was reallocated from Court Services and Auxiliary and Associated Services respectively. Although these virements were within acceptable limits (well below the 8% permitted in terms of Treasury Regulations), the following are notable:

· Due to delays on the part of the Department of Public Works, an amount of R198 million was shifted from buildings/capitals works in Court Services for municipal rates and taxes and building leases in Administration.

· An amount of R137 million was shifted from Justice Modernisation in Auxiliary and Associated Services as follows:

Ø R133.7 million to fund the Seriti Arms Procurement Commission and Marikana Commission.

Ø R3.3 million for the South African Human Rights Commission to pay for legal representation at the Marikana Commission.

Ø R10 million was reallocated from vacancies in the Special Investigating Unit (SIU ) to pay for Curator Fees in the National Prosecuting Authority.

3.2.3. An additional R72.2 million was allocated to the Vote in the adjustments process: R30.2 million to fund a higher wage bill and R42 million to cover increases for personnel in certain clerical posts. (The increase for clerical posts is in response to an agreement made by the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) with public sector trade unions and was not part of the annual wage negotiations).

3.3. Main Appropriation 2014 MTEF

3.3.1. The main appropriation to Justice and Constitutional Development increased from R16.7 billion in 2013/14 to R17.9 billion in 2014/15.

3.3.2. The Justice Department’s budget for 2014/15 is R9.8 billion, which shows a slight real increase of 0.87% from 2013/14.The remaining amount of R8.05 billion is allocated as follows:

· R3.25 billion to the NPA.

· R2.7 billion, which is a direct charge against the National Revenue Fund for judges and magistrates’ salaries (Although magistrate’s salaries show minimal real growth from 2013/14 the amount allocated for judges’ salaries decreases slightly in real terms.).

· R2.1 billion under Programme 5 Auxiliary and Associated Services are transfers: R1.46 billion for Legal Aid SA; R296.8 million for the SIU; R217.6 million for the PP and R128.1 million for the SAHRC.

3.3.3. Although, there is some additional funding to the Justice baseline in the amount of R618 million over the MTEF, delays in implementing a number of capital works and modernisation projects has led Cabinet to approve budget reductions of R1.4 billion over the MTEF (R508 million in 2014/15, R543 million in 2015/16 and R362 million in 2016/17).

3.3.4. Over the medium term, the additional funding from Treasury with the re-prioritised funding from the budget reductions and savings set out in the table above are to be spent on the following items:

Table 1: Items receiving re-prioritised funding over the MTEF





Upgrading of 7200 clerical posts

R100 million

R110 million

R120 million

R313 million

Salary adjustments (cost of living increases)

R22 million

R23 million

R24 million

R68 million

Cost increases for accommodation leases and municipal services (incl. rates and taxes)

R200 million

R210 million

R310 million

R720 million

Appointment of Permanent Personnel

R237 million

R250 million

R265 million

R751 million

Transfers to Legal Aid SA and SAHRC (to increase capacity and for CJS projects)

R51 million

R53 million

R57 million

R161 million


R610 million

R646 million

R776 million

R2.01 billion

4. 2013 Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report recommendations for the 2014 MTEF

4.1. During the 2013 BRRR process, the Committee supported the Justice Department’s request for assistance with budgetary shortfalls in the following areas:

· Security of infrastructure, operations and personnel . The average annual spending of R428 million is against an available budget of R300 million. There were efforts to introduce savings in this area but the cost of providing security services at courts and other justice service points remains an unresolved funding challenge for the Department.

· Newly commissioned and completed infrastructure projects . Start-up costs for the infrastructure that will be finished in the MTEF period required R255 million. Concurrently capacity needs to be expanded in the NPA and Legal Aid SA.

· Upgrading of clerks (levels 3 and 4 to 5; and levels 5 and 6 to 7).

· Establishment and capacitation of the OCJ . An additional amount of R191 million over the MTEF period is needed.

· Transformation of State Legal Services . An estimated amount of R100 million is required over the MTEF.

· The costs of the Marikana and Seriti Commissions of Inquiry.

4.2. In contrast to previous years, National Treasury , did not provide a specific response to the Committees funding recommendations but noted in general that: 'A number of committees recommended that additional budget allocations be made available for certain programmes, sub-programmes or other budget items. Where these recommendations are supported by the relevant departments when weighed against other priorities, they will be taken into account in future budget discussions .'

4.3. While re-prioritised funding from goods and services and capital works (of R508 million in 2014/15, R543 million in 2015/16 and R362 million in 2016/17) will assist the Department in funding some areas of budget shortfalls, additional funding to fund other priorities such as the transformation of state legal services or the OCJwas not made available for 2014/15.

5. Spending 2013/14 and First Quarter 2014/15

5.1. Overall, in 2013/14, the Department spent 4.3% less than the approved budget (in contrast to 2012/13, when 99.8% of the approved budget was spent). This is attributed mainly to delays in the implementation of the IJS/CJS Revamp projects, which impacted on spending under goods and services; delays in the implementation of capital works projects by the Department of Public Works, which impacted on payments for capital assets; and vacancies. The trend continues in the First Quarter of 2014/15.

5.2. At programme level, the following is observed:

· There was under-spending in the Administration; Court Services; and Auxiliary and Associated Services (Justice Modernisation) programmes.

· In Court Services, there was over-spending on most sub-programmes (Constitutional Court, SCA, High Court; Lower Courts and Specialised Courts, as well as Administration of Courts). Exceptions were the Magistrates Commission, Family Advocate, Facilities Management and Government Motor Transport sub programmes. Still, overall, challenges experienced under the Facilities Management subprogramme relating to the implementation of projects to build new courts led to underspending overall for the programme.

· In State Legal Services, there was significant under spending for the Constitutional Development subprogramme at 82% of the approved budget.

· The NPA over-spent its budget at 100.8%. This was attributed to spending on the Asset Forfeiture Unit and Support Services subprogrammes (at 152% and 108% of their respective approved budgets).

· Under Auxiliary and Associated Services, there was considerable underspending for Justice Modernisation at 84%. This was attributed to delays in the implementation of IJS and CJS Revamp projects. The funds allocated for the IJS/CJS Revamp projects are earmarked and of the R313 million allocated, a total of R192.5 million or 61.5% of the approved budget was spent.

· There was under-spending for the Direct Charge for judges and magistrates salaries related to delays in filling vacant regional court magistrates’ posts.

· Although there is improvement in the overall vacancy rate, high vacancy rates continue to occur in critical occupations.

5.3. Spending in terms of economic classification was as follows:

· The compensation of employees’ budget is the Justice Department’s main cost driver (74% of the budget goes to pay salaries). Cost of living increases that are above the inflation rates remain a challenge. The Department reported that the costs of upgrading clerical posts 3 and 4 to 5 and 5 to 6 and 7 over the 2014 MTEF is R1.3 billion. Despite these factors, the Department spent 95.6% of its approved Compensation of Employees budget.

· Under-spending on capital works continued. At the end of 2013/14, spending on ‘buildings and other fixed structures’ stood at 49.7%. The approved budget for this item was initially R1.05 billion but R198 million was shifted to Administration after the Adjustments process. As a result, Cabinet approved reductions of R507.7 million in 2014/15, R543 million in 2015/16 and R362 million in 2016/17 flowing from delays in the implementation of capital works projects. These are to be reprioritised over the MTEF for the appointment of additional personal in the Department, public entities and constitutional institutions and for implementation of legislation and criminal justice sector revamp projects in Legal Aid SA.

· Once again, funds were shifted from capital works projects to address a shortfall in the allocation for that payment of municipal rates, taxes and leased accommodation. The funds for lease of buildings and municipal accounts including charges for electricity, water sanitation and rates and taxes-these accounts escalate annually on average between 8% and 6% while the baseline increases between 4% and 6%. As the Department expands its footprint this problem will continue to escalate.

5.4. Overview of First Quarter spending 2014/15

5.4.1. Overall, spending in the first quarter of 2014/15 was less than projected by 4.7%. This is attributed to the following :

· Delays in the implementation of the IJS/CJS Revamp projects. There are earmarked funds for the CJS Revamp/IJS. Notably, no funds were spent by other IJS Departments within the JCPS Cluster: as National Treasury has stipulated that no transfers may be made to departments that have recorded significant underspending on their overall budgets in previous years.

· Delays in the submission of invoices on leases by DPW. (Notably, none of the earmarked funds devolved from DPW for leases were spent).

· Delays in the implementation of capital works projects by the DPW. Spending under the Court Services: Facilities subprogramme was 5% of that projected.

6. Audit outcomes

Table 2: Summary of audit opinion 2008/09 – 2013/14

Audit opinion







Department of Justice






with findings

(Compliance and PDOs)

Unqualified with findings





Unqualified with findings

Unqualified with findings



Legal Aid SA




Unqualified with findings




Unqualified with findings


Unqualified with findings

Unqualified with findings

Unqualified with findings

(PDOs and compliance)

Unqualified with findings


Public Protector


Unqualified with findings

Unqualified with findings

Unqualified with findings

Unqualified with findings

Unqualified with findings



Unqualified with findings

Unqualified with findings

Unqualified with findings

Unqualified with findings

Qualified with findings

(Payables; property, plant and equipment)


Part 2

7. Overview of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development’s strategic and operational environment

7.1. At the beginning of 2013/14, a fifth high-level goal was added to the four high-level goals of previous years, all of which are outlined below:

· 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 and community-based organisations is improved through public participatory fora; and constitutional development is promoted.)

7.2. Two new strategic objectives (Enhanced litigation services and Administration of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), 2000) and new indicators for 2013/14 include:

· The number of re-established sexual offences courts.

· The number of magisterial districts aligned to municipal boundaries.

· The number of Service Delivery Implementation Plan (SDIP) progress reports and annual surveys on the implementation of PAIA by public bodies concluded.

7.3. In 2013/14, the three MTSF projects prioritised since 2011/12 continue:

· Good governance and clean administration .The Department aimed to achieve a ‘no audit qualification’ in 2012/13 and sustain this in subsequent years. (The Department did achieve an unqualified audit for 2012/13.)

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

· Service turnaround in the Masters Branch. The focus has been on improving service delivery. The Paperless Estate Administration System is being used at the Nelspruit office and will be rolled out to additional offices.

7.4. Specifically, in 2013/14, there was a strong focus on maintaining and improving the Department’s administration to obtain an unqualified audit opinion on the Vote account. Initiatives to do so specifically addressed the Third Party Funds (TPF).

7.5. In addition, the Department identified the following major challenges in 2013/14:

· Despite under spending of more than R475 million, the Department experienced a shortfall in operational expenses. The underspending is attributed to delays in infrastructure spending by the Department of Public Works; as well as procurement delays for IJS on the part of SITA in the delivery of the disaster recovery site and a network upgrade.

· The challenges relating to the implementation of the OSD for legal practitioners continue. This has created labour relations issues and has impacted on service delivery.

· The funding of commissions of inquiry places strain on the Department’s budget.

· Budget cuts for 2015/16 and 2016/17 (amounting to R268 and R385 million respectively) will adversely affect service delivery improvements, planned interventions to improve access to justice, and the implementation legislation, including maintenance of security infrastructure; transformation of state legal services; introduction of paralegals as registrars in regional and district courts; the introduction of mediators in Magistrates Courts; governance systems relating to the Legal Practice Act, 2014; the small claims court re-engineering programme; addressing violence against women and children; capacitation of new courts; technical capacity within the Department to fast-track projects implemented by DPW; the roll-out of the LGBTI strategy and framework; and the rollout of Protection of Personal Information Act.

8. Programme performance 2013/14

The Department administers three programmes: Administration; Court Services, which is the Department’s core programme and consumes the majority of the Department’s budget; and State Legal Services. Under Auxiliary and Associated Services, the Justice Modernisation sub-programme funds the JCPS Cluster projects relating to the Criminal Justice System Review/Revamp and Integrated Justice System.

Overall, the Department achieved or exceeded 80% of its 57 key performance indicators and targets. This is a significant improvement on it performance in 2012/13, where only 44% of targets were met.

8.1. Programme 1 - Administration

8.1.1. The Administration programme is responsible for the Department’s management and development of policies and strategies for the efficient adminstration of justice.

8.1.2. The seven strategic objectives under this programme include increased compliance with prescripts to achieve and sustain an unqualified audit; and improved management of fraud and corruption cases. A strategic objective relating to the improved co-ordination of the JCPS Cluster towards the delivery of Outcome 3 is also found under this programme. There has been considerable focus on attaining an unqualified audit opinion – this was achieved in 2012/13 – and, going forward, on maintaining and improving on the audit outcome.

8.1.3. P rogramme performance. Met or exceeded targets in 17 of 21 (90%) of the performance indicators, compared to 61% in 2012/13 and 37% in 2011/12.

Table 3: Administration- Selected targets and actual performance


Selected indicators



(Targets: 7/19 (37%) achieved/exceeded)


(Targets: 14/23 (61%) achieved/ exceeded)


(Targets 17/21 (90%) achieved/exceeded)

Percentage of the Audit Action Plan completed by Internal Audit


The Department exceeded its target, completing 82% of the Plan against the target of 80%.


The Department exceeded its target, completing 86% of the Plan against the target of 81%.


85% of the plan completed against a target of 75%.

Percentage new forensic investigations finalised


77% against a target of 60%


91% against a target of 50%

Percentage older forensic investigations finalised


100% against a target of 70%


100% against a target of 55%

Percentage completion of integrity competency of senior management (vetting)


Achieved 50% against the target of 65%.


Vetted 101 senior managers against a target of 169 (Achieved 60% against the target of 68 %.)


Vetted 145 senior managers against a target of 115.

Reduce vacancy rate


The vacancy rate stood at 11.14%, excluding judges and magistrates and 10.52% including judges and magistrates against a target of 7%. The overall performance in the reduction of vacancies was impacted on by an unexpected increase in terminations, transfers and promotions to other departments.


The vacancy rate stood at 10% against a target of 10%.


The vacancy rate stood at 9.98% against a target of 11%.

% grievance cases finalised


Exceeded its target of 50% by 15%, achieving 65%.


Achieved 57% against a target of 60%, as OSD matters cannot be completed because of discussions with DPSA.


Finalised 85% against a target of 40%.

% misconduct cases finalised


Achieved its 65% target in misconduct cases against a target of 65%.


Achieved 63% against a target of 70% as complex matters.


Achieved 65% against a target of 50%

Number of regulations for providing assistance to TRC victims gazetted


80% of two draft regulations against a target of completion of two regulations (health and education)


12.5% completion of an additional set of draft regulations against target of 100% completion of regulations on community rehabilitation and housing .


2/3 – Regulations on basic and higher education were approved by the Minister and submitted to the Presidency for consideration. The Regulations of medical benefits are not yet approved.

Number of IJS quarterly reports


4 of 4 reports


4 of 4 reports


12 of 12 reports

8.1.4. Key achievements in 2013/14 included:

· Maintained and improved on the unqualified audit opinion on the Vote account. The Guardian’s Fund and President’s Fund also received unqualified audit opinions for 2013/14.

· Significantly improved overall performance: 80% of performance targets were achieved in 2013/14, compared to 44% in 2012/13 and 28% in 2011/12.

· Resolved 85% (against a target of 80%) of Presidential Hotline related cases within 30 days of receipt. Maintenance, appeals, estates and trial-related cases form the majority of these matters. The Department remains a leading department in this regard.

· Key top management posts were filled (DDG: Corporate Service: Chief Financial Officer; and DDG: Legislative Development). Overall, 1239 posts were filled during the year, to keep the vacancy rate at 9.98%.

· The management of grievance and misconduct cases has improved with 85% and 65% of these cases respectively being finalised ahead of the annual target.

· The Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation’s (DPME) MPAT tool reports the Department as one of two best performing departments on Service Delivery Improvement Programmes.

· Progress has been made on the IJS with integration between the SAPS: CAS and NPA and ICMS being established.

8.1.5. Challenges arising during 2013/14 included:

· The Auditor-General issued a disclaimer on the TPF. The current accounting system is inadequate. The Department is waiting for SITA to approve the appointment of a service provider to develop a new system.

· Problems relating to the Occupational Skills Dispensation (OSD) for legally qualified persons remain unsolved. This has led to labour relations issues which impacts on service delivery. The Department continues to engage with the DPSA towards a solution.

· Problems with ICT systems and infrastructure resulted in delays in maintenance payments to some beneficiaries. This is being addressed: a team is currently fixing the JDAS and EFT systems, and a rapid response team is addressing the underlying ICT infrastructure problems.

· There are spending pressures relating to the operational costs and resulting from the Seriti Arms Procurement Commission of Inquiry and the Marikana Commission of Inquiry. The expectation was that the Commissions would have completed their work by now, but this is not the case.

· A high staff turnover rate and capacity constraints in Integrity Management and Enterprise Risk Management negativelyimpact on efforts to vet officials, especially at senior management level and in supply chain management.

· Security challenges within the Department are a concern, as there has been a general increase in reported crime incidents at service points. Going forward, funding may need to be increased to address this challengealthough, for now, the Department has managed to increase the security budget from its allocation. A joint JCPS Cluster effort to address security concerns is being discussed.

8.2. Programme 2- Court Services

8.2.1. The Court Services programme facilitates the resolution of criminal, civil and family law disputes by providing accessible, efficient and quality administrative support to the courts and managing court facilities.

8.2.2. The programme has five strategic objectives: Improved finalisation of activities in support of Outcome 3 (backlog courts); increased protection of the rights of vulnerable groups; increased protection of children and promotion of family cohesion through mediation; increased access to justice by under-serviced communities (facilities and infrastructure); and improved delivery of services at the courts.

8.2.3. Programme performance: Met or exceeded 11 of 12 (92%) performance indicators, compared with 2012/13 where the Department met or exceeded targets in 4 of 13 (30.7%) performance indicators.

Table 4: Court services - Selected targets and actual performance

Court Services


Selected indicators


(Targets: 6/20 (28.5%) achieved/exceeded)


(Targets: 4/13 (30.7%) achieved/exceeded)


(Targets: 11/12 (92%) achieved/exceeded)

Number of cases on backlog roll




% implementation of Maintenance Turnaround Project


65% of target of 100% of the year one plan


65% oftarget of 100% of second year plan – limited space capacity at certain court buildings.


100% of target of 100%.

No. of re-established sexual offences courts completed




19 courts completed against a target of 9.

% of convictions recorded on the NSRO



88% (2320/2622) of target of 72%.


100% of target 74% (15 452 convictions recorded).

% non-litigation family law cases mediated per year



19% against a target of 100%.


28% achieved against a target of 15%.

Number of branch courts converted to full-service courts


18 of target of 24 converted


18 of target of 24 converted (6 were designated in April 2013).


5 of target of 5.

No. of small claims courts established


16 of 24 small claims courts established (total of 278/387) – dependent of availability of practitioners and retired commissioners. (Target was to establish a small claims court in every district)


30 small claims courts established against target of 20.

% default judgments performed by Clerk of Court within 14 days (Lower Courts)



56% of target of 65% - data collections problems (target was 30 days).


83% against a target of 50% (283 888/341 784 requests received).

% unopposed taxations processed within 14 days of set down



69% of target of 65%

(Target was 30 days).


90% against a target of 65% (20 710/22 888 were processed).

8.2.4. Court services recorded the following key achievements in 2013/14:

· Only 4 768 (2%) of beneficiaries received payments in cash to the value of R3.2 million in March 2014. This is a major service turnaround achievement for the Department.

· The number of convictions recorder on the National Register of Sexual Offenders (NSRO) increased from 88% (2 320/2622) in 2012/13 to 100% (15 452) in 2013/14.

· More than 43 million cases have been digitised in the nine biggest courts as part on an ongoing initiative to ensure safekeeping of records and to create much needed space in the courts.

· Seven new offices of the Family Advocate were established during 2013/14 servicing the children’s and domestic violence courts, and also intervening in regional courts and high courts where matters affecting children are heard (divorce, etc.).

· The audio-visual remand system was rolled out to 47 magistrates courts linked to 21 correctional centres. In 2013/14, 9068 criminal cases were remanded using the audio-visual remand system.

· Case flow management forums were established.

· The Gelvandale Court was completed during 2013/14 and was opened in April 2014. The Limpopo High Court is progressing following the appointment of new contractors. The Mpumalanga High Court site was handed over to contractors to begin construction.

8.2.5. Key challenges arising in 2013/14:

· The blueprint for the transformation of the magistracy and lower courts was delayed.

· Planning issues relating to case management adversely impacted on court hours (in the first five months of 2013/14, courts averaged 3h32) despite an ENE indicator of 4h20 minutes increasing to 4h30 in 2014/15.

· Building of new courts remains a major challenge. There was underspending amounting to R347 million as a result of these delays.The Department cannot reach targets due to delays and, in addition, there is a risk of inflationary cost escalations as a result.

8.3. Programme 3 - State Legal Services

8.3.1. This programme provides legal and legislative services to government, supervises the administration of deceased and insolvent estates, registers trusts and manages the Guardian’s Fund, and prepares and promotes legislation and undertakes research in support of this.

8.3.2. The Programme has six strategic objectives: Increased efficiency in the provision of services to beneficiaries of the Guardian’s Fund, trusts, insolvent and deceased estates; enhanced litigation services; provision of legal advisory services; strengthened constitutional advocacy and participatory democracy to ensure respect for human rights; improved provision of legal services to the State organs; and the preparation of sound, efficient and effective legislation; and the adminsitration of the the implementation of PAIA, 2000.

8.3.3. Programme performance: Met or exceeded target in 15 of 23 (65%) performance indicators (In 2012/13, targets met or exceeded in 7 of 21 (33.3%) performance indicators).

Table 5: State Legal Services - Selected targets and actual performance

State Legal Services


Selected indicators


(Targets: 9/31 (29%) achieved/exceeded).


(Targets: 7/21 (33%) achieved/exceeded)


(Targets: 15 of 23 (65%) achieved/exceeded)

Letters of appointment issues in deceased estates within 15 days of receiving all required documents



93% against a target of 90%.


94% against a target of 90%.

% of L&D accounts in large estates (>R125 000) examined within 15 days of receiving all required documents



85% against a target of 90% - capacity constraints.


90% against a target of 85%.

Percentage of beneficiaries in receipt of services within 40 days (Guardian’s Fund)


82.4% against the target of 90%.


86% against a target of 90% -

Slow response from fingerprint verification.


77% against a target of 90% -

Slow Guardians Fund system and ABSA EFT system at some Masters Offices.

Percentage of L&D accounts examined in bankruptcy cases within 15 days of receiving all required documents



60% against a target 0f 90% - capacity constraints.


94% against a target of 80%.

% Letters of authority issued in trusts within 14 days of receiving all required documents



94% against a target of 90%.


85% against a target of 91% -

Teething problems with new ICMS: PEAST.

% of Guardian’s Fund money paid through EFT



83% against a target of 90%.


96% against a target of 94%.

Level of compliance with PAIA by the Department


18% against the target of 100% compliance (141 requests were granted from a total of 792 received).


61% against a target of 100%.


55% against a target of 100%.

% of briefs distributed to PDIs



79% of target of 75% - Client departments prefer to brief specific counsel.


75% against a target of 75%.

% of successfully concluded cases by state attorney



30% of 1987 cases against target of 50% - Resource constraints.


61% against a target of 50%.

8.3.4. Selected achievements for 2013/14 include:

· Master’s Office Service points were established at Barberton, Ntsikazi, Bushbuckridge Magistrates’ office.

· The Paperless Estate Administration System was rolled out in a staggered manner to 15 service points.

· A total of R641.9 million was allocated to counsel in state litigation matters: Of this, R482.4 million went to PDI counsel (75% of value).

· Of the 1086 cases taken to trial, 667 (61%)of cases were successfully concluded.

8.3.5. Key challenges that arose during 2013/14include:

· There were teething problems during the implementation of paperless processing, which included network related issues.

· A high number of cases are settled and the cost of litigation is high.

· The Department complied with 55% of PAIA requests. Due to the nature of theirrequests, compliance within the legislated timeframes is difficult: Many requests relate to criminal cases and require transcriptions and in some cases the records are incomplete .

· Challenges related to quality of services provided by the State Attorneys’ Office were raised by the courts.

Part 3

9. National Prosecuting Authority: Programme performance 2013/14

9.1. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) provides a co-ordinated prosecuting service to ensure that justice is delivered to the victims of crime through general and specialised prosecutions, protects certain witnesses and removes the profit from crime. Although the Director-General: Justice Constitutional Development is the accounting officer, the NPA reports separately on its performance.

9.2. Delivery is effected by means of the following subprogrammes: Public Prosecutions; Specialised Prosecutions Services; Office for Witness Protection; Asset Forteiture Unit (AFU); and Support Services.

9.3. The NPA contributes to achieving the following outputs of the JCPS Cluster agreements:

· Output 1: Reduced overall levels of serious crime, in particular contact and trio crimes.

· Output 2: A more effective criminal justice system.

· Output 3: Reduced corruption.

· Output 4: Managed and improved perceptions of crime.

· Output 7: Secured cyberspace.

9.4. To give effect to its mandate, the NPA has the following strategic objectives:

· Increased successful prosecution of serious crime.

· Improved successful prosecution of cases that require specialised prosecution.

· Ensure that profit is removed from crime.

· Ensure that threatened witnesses are successfully protected.

9.5. Programme performance:

Table 6: NPA Achievement of selected targets and indicators


Actual 2011/12



Actual 2012/13

Target 2013/14




Number of criminal court cases finalised excluding ADRM

316 098

344 419

323 390

351 308

329 153


Number of criminal court case finalised through ADRM

132 695

137 219

143 410

142 357

176 189


Conviction rate: High Courts

84.6% (963)










Conviction rate: Regional Courts


(28 665)


(28 491)


(28 198)


(29 823)


(27 246)


Conviction rate: District Courts

90.8% (251 030)


(276 068)


(261 591)


(281 589)


(273 641)


Success rate AFU












Number of new completed forfeiture cases







Number of new freezing orders







Value of completed forfeiture cases per year

R163.6 million

R167 million

R118.5 million

R170 million

R296 million


Value of new freezing orders

R553.4 million

R600 million

R518 million

R710 millon

R701.5 million


Value of freezing orders relating to corruption where amount >R5 million (NEW)



R346 million

R300 million

(R1.3 bn for 5 yr MTSF)

R451.6 million

(R.46 bn for 5 yr MTSF period)


Number of TCCs







Number of witnesses threatened or harmed







No. of persons convicted of corruption where amount >R5 million





9.6. Key achievements for 2013/14 include:

· The NPA received a clean audit for the second year in a row.

· Overall, the NPA achieved 68% of its targets, compared with 42.5% in 2012/13. The NPA achieved or exceeded 69.3% of its ENE targets. There was significant overall improvement in courts compared to 2012/13: 71% of performance indicators (20/27) and 93% of ENE targets (23/13) showed improvement.

· A positive clearance ratio (at 3.3%) was maintained: a total of 931 799 cases were enrolled, while 962 632 were disposed of (30 833 more cases than in 2012/13).

· The number of cases finalised using Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms (ADRM) increased by 23.8% from 142 410 in 2012/13 to 176 189 in 2013/14. The focus on alternative measures to reduce trial cases led to an 8.3% improvement in the number of cases finalised including ADRM (from 466 800 in 2012/13 to 505 342 in 2013/14).

· Verdict cases increased from 323 390 against a target of 344 419 to 329 153 against a target of 351 308. As in 2012/13, the failure to reach the target is attributed to reduced court utilisation, the absence of key role-players, and challenges related to case-flow management.

· Conviction rates improved at all courts as follows: High Courts – from 87.5% in 202/13 to 88.8%; 75.1% in 2012/13 to 76% in 2013/14; and District Courts –91.9% in 2012/13 to 93.6%.

· There has been focused attention on the clearance ratio of decision dockets, which remained at 99.5% with 676 564 cleared in 2012/13 compared to 650 677 decision dockets cleared in 2011/12.

· Specialised services to victims of sexual offences were delivered in 38 fully operational Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs). The number of fully operational TCCs increased from 35 to 38.

· No witnesses were harmed or threatened while on the witness protection programme.

· The conviction rate for sexual offences cases increased from 65.8% (4 669/7 092 finalised cases) in 2012/13 to 67.1% (5484/8 174 finalised cases) in 2013/14.

· The AFU performed very well, meeting or exceeding 6 of 8 targets (75%) of its targets. On average, the AFU performance was 32.8% above target, 61.6% better than in 2012/13 and 24.2% better than in 2011/12.

· A special focus has been on cybercrime prosecution: In 2013/14, the prosecution of cybercrimes increased 138 in 2012/13 to 211, with a conviction rate of 94.8% (200/211 finalised cases).

· A total of 67 aspirant prosecutors were recruited in 2013/14, compared to none in 2012/13.

9.7. Key challenges identified during 2013/14:

· Case flow management remains a challenge and impacts negatively on court performance. Fewer cases per day wereplaced on the court roll with an inadequate number of ‘back-up’ cases.

· Postponement of cases due to the unavailability of magistrates and legal aid practitioners.

· Ineffective implementation of screening protocols in some regions.

Part 4

Programme 5 Auxiliary and Associated Services: Performance 2013/14

This programme includes Legal Aid South Africa, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and Public Protector (PP).

10. Legal Aid South Africa

10.1. Legal Aid South Africa provides quality, professional legal services, ensuring effective access to justice for the poor and vulnerable. In 2013/14, Legal Aid South Africa handled a total of 776 301 legal matters, including legal advice and impact matters.

10.2. Budget reductions have meant that there is little scope for increased capacity. In 2013/14, of 2 705 budgeted posts, 2 664 posts were filled, compared to 2 576 filled posts in 2012/13. The staff recruitment rate was at 95.6%. Legal staff, including paralegals, account for 79% of all staff. This has remained unchanged from 2012/13.

10.3. A total of 447 301 clients were assisted were assisted in new legal matters with a finalisation rate of 98%; while a further 338 979 clients were assisted with legal advice. The Legal Aid Advice Line, which provides legal advice via a toll-free number in five official languages, assisted with 17% of the 338 979 legal advice matters.

10.4. Legal Aid SA has increased its coverage of the District Courts, which is where 84% of all new matters are received, to 88.7%. At present, 99.2% of all Regional Courts are covered. The High Courts are covered for all matters that require legal aid assistance. Coverage in civil cases is based on capacity.

10.5. Criminal matters predominate by far, accounting for 87% of all matters dealt with. Still, the percentage of civil matters has grown to 13% in 2013/14. The majority of these cases entail assistance to women.

10.6. The Impact Litigation Unit dealt with 40 impact matters during the year, including matters carried over from previous years. In 2013/14, a total of 45 matters were considered, of which 21 new impact matters were approved. The success rate for the eight impact matters finalised in 2013/14 was 100%.

10.7. A total of 16 858 children were assisted in 2013/14 compared to 26 105 in 2012/13. Notably, the number of children assisted overall has declined by more than half compared with the 59 266 children assisted in 2009/10. The number of children assisted in criminal matters has decreased significantly since 2009/10 from 54 781 to11 689 children in 2013/14. This is attributed to the Child Justice Act, which aims to divert children out of the criminal justice system. However, the number of children assisted in civil matters has grown from 4 485 in 2009/10 to 5 169 in 2012/13. This is as a result of Legal Aid SA’s partnership with the Master’s Office, providing assistance in estate matters where children are beneficiaries.

10.8. Legal aid assistance was provided in 328 979 advice matters – a 10% increase from 2012/13. Justice Centres and satellite offices provided advice in 243 548 matters and also provided advice to 29 808 remand detainees in correctional facilities. The Call Centre provided advice in 55 623 matters (in 2012/13, the advice line gave general advice in 44 427 matters), of which 12% related to criminal matters.

10.9. Selected achievements, as reported, include:

· Successfully completing the second year of its 2012-2017 Strategic Plan period, achieving overall performance against targets.

· Increasing civil legal aid matters handled from 10% in 2011/12 of all new matters handled to 13% in 2012/13.

· A total of 99% of the budget was spent as planned with no under-expenditure, as has been the trend for the past nine years.

· Strong financial management and governance were reflected in the thirteenth unqualified audit and ninth year with no matters of emphasis.

10.10. Key challenges arising during 2013/14 include:

· Budget constraints resulted in inadequate coverage of courts impacting on caseloads and relief capacity. Lack of relief capacity impacts on court rolls and also on the quality of services provided.

· A small number of practitioners are not meeting their quality assurance targets. Measures have been put in place to address poor performance in these instances.

· There were 183 784 pending legal matters at year end, of which 18% are backlog matters. Backlogs are tracked by local and regional management to ensure their speedy resolution.

· Efficiency measures continue to impact on the budget. National Treasury hasadvised of budget reductions of R62 million for 2015/16 and R95 million for 2016/17.

· The instability of the Ad Infinitum (AI) system affects the effectiveness and stability of the IT platform. The AI system has served the organisation for more than a decade but is experiencing technical and capacity challenges. An AI Redevelopment Project has been approved to address these challenges and the project was to commence in 2013/14 but has not yet.

· Insufficient civil capacity to meet increasing demand for civil legal aid services.

· Unfunded mandates related to the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, amounting to R17 million, impact on the operational budget.

10.11. Legal Aid SA achieved an unqualified audit opinion with no findings.

10.12. Legal Aid SA’s additional funding requirements for the 2014 MTEF and specific funding challenges that have arisen are as follows:

Programme requiring additional funds



Amount per annum

Increased relief capacity in criminal courts

Courts unable to function when legal aid practitioners are ill or on training

To provide for relief capacity

R65 million

Provision for new magistrates posts

New courts opened – once new magistrates are appointed will need legal aid practitioners to function

74 new magistrates posts

R34 million

NT is considering R18 million which will buy 42 posts

Increased civil capacity

Not meeting the needs of communities for civil legal aid

18 PAs and 13 SPAs

R16 million

Staff salaries performance progression increase

PPI funds not included in salaries allocation for the MTEF budget

1.5% of the salaries bill

R17 million




R132 million

11. Special Investigating Unit (SIU)

11.1. The SIU’s ‘core’ strategic objective is to increase the impact of the SIU forensic service in the public sector by completing investigations successfully. The Unit has indicated its focus on procurement matters. This means investigating fewer but more complex cases. The Unit also reports on seven strategic drivers/enablers:

· Achieve optimal institutional form.

· Foster excellent cooperation with its law enforcement partners and stakeholders.

· Develop 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 organisation.

11.2. In addition, the SIU participates in various multi agency interventions, including:

· The Anti-Corruption Task Team (ACTT), which was created to deal with highlevel corruption.

· The Multi-Agency Working Group (MAWG) in the Finance Cluster, which deals with irregularities in the government procurement system, focusing on closing systems gaps as well as detecting and investigating irregularities.

· The Special Anti-Corruption Unit (with the Department of Public Service and Administration), which focuses on the investigation and prosecution of disciplinary cases against senior public servants involved in corruption .

11.3. Performance against targets for 2013/14: Met or exceeded 67% of its targets. (In 2014/15, three underperforming targets are removed).

Table 7 : SIU Achievement of selected targets and indicators







Not achieved/




Evidence prepared for civil litigation

(From 2014/15, this indicator now No. of civil matters instituted in special tribunals/courts)





Target exceeded





Evidence prepared for criminal action (Note from 2013/14 this indictor has been revised to ‘Number of referrals made to the prosecuting authority’)





Target exceeded





Evidence prepared for disciplinary action (Note from 2013/14 this indicator was revised to ‘Number of recommendations made for disciplinary processes’)





Target exceeded










R30 million

R35 million

R65 million

Target not met


R15 million

R57 million

R16.7 million

Prevention of future loss


R200 million

R210 million

Target exceeded


R169 million

R378.2 million

Actual cash recovered

(Note from 2013/14 this indicator has been split: ‘Value of potential cash recoverable and Actual value of cash recovered’)




R32 million

Target exceeded


R38 million

R75.8 million

Value of potential cash recoverable


R30 million

R35 million

R100 million



R224 million

R171 million

R261 million

Value of procurement matters where irregularities were found (Note from 2013/14 this indicator revised to ‘Value of expenditure in procurement matters where financial misconduct has been identified’.)


R20 billion

R1 billion

R1 billion

Target exceeded


R5.06 billion

R2.6 billion

R1.3 billion

Value of contracts set aside




R400 million





R27.5 million

Value of contractual obligations enforced




R30.5 million






11.4. In addition to certain revisions of targets, two new indicators are included from 2013/14, namely: The value of contracts set aside (target for 2013/14 is R400 million) and the value of contractual obligations enforced (target for 2013/14 is R30 million).

11.5. The SIU reports that, in 2013/14, a total of seven new proclamations were issued, while 30 presidential reports were submitted. The outcome of certain key investigations included systemic recommendations; recommendations relating to disciplinary action against officials; recommendations relating to prosecutions; identification of the value of irregularities and corrupt payments, as well as value of projects where there was no delivery or partial delivery.

11.6. The SIU’s funding model provides for its baseline grant from National Treasury. In addition to the grants from National Treasury, the service-level agreements that SIU entered into with state institutions that required investigation made provision for SIU to charge for the services rendered, thus raising additional revenue (in 2013/14, project income amounted to R203 million). A legal opinion was obtained in 2011 to the effect that the SIU Act did not specifically empower such a model and that the SIU as a creature of statute could not continue with that model. The Unit was able to invoice on a limited basis between September 2011 and June 2012. This legal challenge has since been overcome by legislative amendments, which are now enacted. In 2013/14, the SIU reported project income of R203.7 million. The intention is that the SIU, overtime, will generate sufficient income to fund its activities. The SIU reported a cash surplus of R121.9 million at the end of 2013/14, of which R675.3 million was rolled over to 2014/15.

11.7. The SIU has a staff complement of 564 as at 1 April 2014: 445 operational and 119 non-operational staff. A total of 29 members of staff left the SIU and 10 new appointments were made.

11.8. The SIU received an unqualified audit opinion for 2013/14 with findings relating to the strategic plan not being submitted to the Minister timeously andrestatement of prior years’ errors. It has developed an action plan to address the audit findings raised. There was irregular expenditure of R14.3 million, of which R4.7 million related to the ACTT; R7.2 million was on account of the use of a service provider without a tender process being followed; and R1.2 million was for a lease that had expired and continued on a month to month basis.

11.9. The following operational challenges were identified in 2013/14:

· There have been difficulties collecting monies owed to it by state institutions where investigations are conducted. This matter is being addressed with National Treasury and the Auditor-General.

· There is a perception that SIU investigations take too long. This could be because some proclamations have a broad scope – for example, the SASSA investigation. Newer proclamations are now more specific and targeted which should result in matters being completed more speedily. Also, SIU investigations are not only aimed at producing reports but also to produce dockets that bring finality to matters through criminal, disciplinary and civil litigation.

· Greater capacity is needed in the form of more: In-house specialist skills, such as forensic accountants; and specialised expertise on procurement investigations, such as quantity surveyors, engineers, corporate governance experts and business analysts. SIU investigations pursue specific legal outcomes and, therefore, key specialist resources such as senior lawyers with relevant expertise are urgently required. At present, the SIU is trying to determine precise capacity needs but is experiencing challenges recruiting relevant skills/expertise.

12. South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)

12.1. The SAHRC’s mandate is extremely broad, encompassing the promotion, protection and monitoring of human rights in South Africa. The key human rights focus area for 2013/14 was the right to food security.

12.2. At present, the SAHRC has five full-time and two part-time commissioners. The South African Human Rights Act, 2013, which recently came into operation, provides for a further full-time commisioner going forward.

12.3. The SAHRC has the following strategic objectives:

· Promote compliance with international obligations.

· Position the Commission as a focal point for human rights.

· Strengthen advocacy and human rights awareness raising.

· Advance the realisation of human rights.

· Advance the right to equality and access to information.

· Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Commission.

12.4. The SAHRC’s performance has improved over the past four years from meeting 52% of its targets in 2009/10 to 87% in 2013/14 (45 of 52 targets).

12.5. Key achievements for each strategic objective, as reported by the SAHRC for 2013/14 include:

12.5.1. Promote compliance with international obligations:

· The Commission achieved 100% of all 5 targets.

· Commissioners participated in about 20 international and regional activities, including those of the International Co-ordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (ICC) and the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions. (Notably, the SAHRC assumed the chair of the ICC ).

· The SAHRC Annual International Human Rights Report was completed during 2-13/14, documenting the Commission’s concerns regarding implementation of international human rights obligations.

12.5.2. P o sition the Commission as a focal point for human rights.

· The Commission achieved 90% (9/10) of its targets.

· The Water and sanitation report was launched in March 2014.

· Finalised 8 550/9 217 complaints-related cases received in 2013/14 (93%). The top five complaints relate to arrested, detained and accused persons (13%; just administrative action (12%); equality (11%); labour relations (10%) and health care, food, water and social security (7%).

· Participated in 98 stakeholder engagements.

· Established and hosted 15 Section 5 Committee meetings made up of expertsacross a range of fields.

12.5.3. Strengthen advocacy and human rights awareness raising .

· The Commission achieved 100% (5/5) of the targets.

· The Commission hosted a National Conference on the Right to Food on 20 March 2014.

· Hosted Roundtable on Business and Human Rights in preparation for the response to the strategic thematic focus for 2014/15.

· Hosted 19 provincial and two national human rights events to raise human rights awareness and to extend the reach of advocacy programmes .

12.5.4. Advance the realisation of human rights

· The Commission achieved 100% of all seven targets.

· Completed the Economic and Social Rights Report (ESR) 2012/13.

· Developed a matrix of indicators to improve monitoring and reporting of economic and social rights.

· Madesubmissions on various draft legislstion.

12.5.5. Advance the right to equality and access to information.

· Achieved 88% (7/8) of targets.

· The 2012/13 Equality Report was completed indicating compliance with PEPUDA.

· Hosting and training Information Officers countrywide promoted awareness of the right of access to information.

· Conducted 25 PAIA community law clinics to raise awareness, record and attend to community complaints.

· Hosteda Business Transparency Conference in June 2013.

· Compliance with PAIA was monitored and a separate annual report was tabled.

12.5.6. Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Commission.

· The Commission achieved 71% (12/17) of targets.

· Achieved an unqualified audit opinion.

· Complied with all financial and non-financial performance reporting requirements.

· Achieved annual target of compliance with all legislative, regulatory and policy requirements.

· Full implementation of internal audit action plan.

· Implemented staff capacity development plan to alleviate capacity constraints and enhance skills.

12.6. The Commission observed that despite having a relatively strong human rights framework, the implementation of this has far to go if the rights enshrined in the Constitution are to become the lived reality of all South Africans.Incidents of discrimination persist, particularly at schools and institutions of learning; Children who were born into democracy are subject to forms of religious and racial discrimination in additions to the violations that continue to occur as a result of being poor. These incidents highlight the fissures that continue to exist as a legacy of our apartheid past; and much more work needs to be done to embed constitutional values.

12.7. Performance for the first quarter of 2014/15 indicates that 75% of the annual plan is work in progress, while 12% has already been achieved; The remaining 13% of targets are due later in the year. Some achievements include: A total of 78% of 3 711 of complaints to date already finalised; completed an annual complaints trends analysis report; two High Court rulings favoured the SAHRC (A ruling on the unconstitutional detention of immigrants at the Lindela Repatriaton Centre and a ruling on the delivery of school learning materials/textbooks); hosted conference on ending corporal punishment in schools; and convened two national hearings – one on ‘Transformation and allegations of racism in South Africa’s universities’ and ‘The issues and challenges relating to unregulated artisanal and small scale underground and above ground mining activities in South Africa’. The 2013/14 ESR Report has also been completed.

12.8. The SAHRC’s forward funding needs remain as indicated in the 2013 BRRR: R37.5 million for 2013/14; R21.2 million for 2014/15 and R21.4 million for 2015/16.

13. Public Protector

13.1. The Public Protector’s activities continued to be anchored in the constitutional mandate. The Public Protector also has additional statutory mandates, including those derived from the Promotion of Access to Information Act; the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act; the Protected Disclosures Act; and the Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act.

13.2. The financial year 2013/14 was the fourth year of implementing the Public Protector’s vision 2020, of which the following strategic objectives are central:

· Accessible to and trusted by all persons and communities.

· Prompt justice, including remedial action.

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

· The PP plays a vital role in executive ethics investigations.

· An efficient and effective organisation.

· An optimal perfomance and service focused culture.

13.3. Key achievements as reported by the Public Protector for 2013/14 include:

· A total of 39817 cases were dealt with in 2013/14, compared to 37 770 in 2012/13: A total of 26 195 complaints were received or initiated (compared to 25 860 in 2012/13) and 24 642 cases were finalised compared with 22 400 in 2012/13; 9 594 cases were carried over to 2014/15,compared to 13 995 cases carried over to 2013/14; and 3 072 cases were referred to other institutions with advice,compared to 2 085 cases in 2012/13 (3040 cases were out of jurisdiction compared to 1 709 complaints in 2012/13).

· A total of 59% of early resolution cases were resolved within three months (compared to 37% in 2012/13), while only 35% of other investigations were resolved after 12 months (compared to 12% in 2013/14).

· The PP’s goal of reaching 10 million people was exceeded, as 37 million were reached.

· No systemic investigations were completed in 2013/14, compared to a total of three systemic investigations finalised in 2012/13.

· No own-initiative investigations were identified, compared to a total of ten identified in 2012/13 of which three were finalised.

· A total of 24 formal reports were issued (41 reports were published in 2011/12).

13.4. The Public Protector reports a staff vacancy rate of 3.7% with 11 of 295 funded posts vacant.

13.5. The Public Protector received an unqualified opinion with emphasis of matter relating to restatement of corresponding figures(as in 2011/12 and 2012/13) and relating to the Public Protector as a going concern. The Public Protector reported a total deficit of R20.4 million, as current liabilities exceeded current assets by R38.9 million on 31 March 2013. This created material uncertainty regarding the Public protector’s ability to meet its operational liabilities. Additional matters included findings on:

· Predetermined objectives.

· Non-compliance with National Treasury regulations, which could have been prevented if monitored.

· Creditors were not paid within 30 days.

13.6. The Public Protector reported the following key challenges:

· Structure approved in 2009 for more than 500 officials has not been funded.

· Investigative capacity remains the main challenge. The lack of sufficient investigators impacts on attempts to balance rigor with promptness in the conduct of investigations or implementation of alternative dispute resolution.

· The need to upgrade personnel in order to retain them within the organisation.

· Implementation of the Occupational Specific Dispensation (OSD) for the Public Protector to be able to retain legally qualified staff.

· The need to expand the Public Protector’s footprint, and the related challenge of acquiring adequate office space. The Thohoyandou Office could not be opened as it was not possible to find suitable accommodation, and staff members appointed for this office are now working at the Polokwane Office. New regional offices in Port Elizabeth and Pietermaritzburg are planned but it remains difficult to acquire office space.

· Sudden resistance to findings and rectifying maladministration remedies.

13.7. The Public Protector’s reported additional funding requirements for the 2015 MTEF amount to R24.3 million for 2014/15 during the adjustments process and R61.1 million for 2015/16. At present, the budget deficit impacts on operations going forward – to the extent that the Public Protector is considering limiting operations for the remainder of 2014/15.

Part 5

14. Committee’s observations

The Committee makes a number of observations relating to the performance of the Department, the NPA, Legal Aid South Africa, SIU, PP and SAHRC.

14.1. BRRR process generally

14.1.1. As in the Fourth Parliament, the Committee found the time allocated for the BRRR process to be hugely challenging despite having systems in place to monitor performance and spending throughout the year. Specifically, the conflation of the formal process of evaluating annual performance, which is a necessary component of establishing whether there has been service delivery performance, with consideration of requests for additional funding is problematic. The short space of time between the date for the formal submission of annual reports and the BRRR hearings leaves little time for prior critical engagement with the reports and discussion of key focus areas.

15. Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

15.1 Technical issues

Despite improvements to the technical quality of the Department’s Annual Reports, and to its reporting generally, the Committee notes that the Department’s 2013/14 Annual Report does not contain court statistics: These statistics are useful too for evaluating court performance. While certain court-related statistics are found in the NPA’s annual report, these relate specifically to criminal cases. In the past, court statistics have been provided for the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court of Appeal, Labour Court, Land Claims Court, High Court (Civil), Child Justice Courts, Regional Courts (Civil), Equality Courts; Family Courts: District Courts (Civil); Small Claims Courts, as well as for domestic violence and maintenance matters. The Committee is of the view that without access to these statistics, its ability to gain a comprehensive understanding of court performance – and not just for criminal matters –is undermined. Also, in the Fourth Parliament, the Committee, in particular, requested the Department to include statistics relating to maintenance, domestic violence and equality cases.The absence of these statistics, adversely impacts on its ability to oversee service deliveryperformance in these areas, in which there are challenges.

Further, the information reported is largely quantitative. This is understandable as the Department’s focus has been driven by compliance requirements, which generally requires quantitative data. However, a broader perspective on service delivery of justice services – not only court performance – would be useful in order toreflect on client/user experiences of the system and, in this way, begin to assess impact. The Committee would be interested in the results of client/user satisfaction surveys, for example. These would provide extremely important feedback on the impact that a specific intervention is making towards achieving policy priorities.

15.1 Budget reductions

15.1.1 The Committee notes that the Department did not request the Committee’s assistance this year to obtain additional funds going forward, despite indicating that proposed budget reductions will negatively affect the Department’s efforts to improve service delivery, in particular where additional commitments need accomodating; and delay implementation of key legislation and other policy priorities requiring additional capacity and resources.The Committee is sensitive to the broader fiscal context that shapes the funds that are available for spending and appreciates the Department’s acceptance of the constaints within which it must operate. It notes that budget reductions for 2015/16 and 2016/17 are in the amounts of R268 million and R385 million respectively. This also includes budget reductions to the baseline of the SIU and Legal Aid SA. The Department informed the Committee that it intends to implement these cuts by filling fewer posts, which will also reduce the goods and services budget, as there will not be a need to resource new employees. (In any event, Government has announced that posts that have been vacant for some time are to be cut as part of measures to cut spending.) The Committee was also informed that the Department intends to minimise the impact on service delivery by working ‘smarter, optimising its ICT systems and focusing on training.

15.1.2 Still, the Committee is concerned that these budget reductions, which are largely felt in the Department’s already stretched operational budget, gives insufficient weight to the circumstances in which justice services are rendered and their pivotal role in contributing towards government priorities. Specifically, the main cost driver for the Vote is personnel, which it was observed leaves little room for trimmings. The budget cuts may actually undermine the efficient delivery of services in the short-term and undermine effectiveness over time in achieving policy priorities.The Committee will continue to monitor this carefully.

15.2 Capital works expenditure

15.2.1 It is a great concern that the Department so clearly struggles to spend its capital expenditure budget, largely because of delays on the part of the Department of Public Works (DPW). The Committee notes that underspending of the capital works budget is a recurring problem: The Department declared ‘savings’ in 2012/13 of R200 million from unspent funds relating to its capital expenditure budget, which it was permitted to reprioritise. Even then, however, the Department managed to spend only approximately 75% of this reduced amount by the end of the 2012/13 financial year. Again, i n 2013/14, R347.6 million went unspent for capital works as a result of non-performance by contractors; late handover of a site to the contractor; late completion of documents for projects, as well as the late completion of tender documents .

15.2.2 The Committee understands that the Department met and formally corresponded with DPW and that these matters have been escalated to ministerial level. The Committee supports this, as it agrees that the matter requires urgent attention at the highest level. It cannot be that these funds remains unused when there is such need for new courts. Nor can these funds be easily reprioritised to operations, as only limited amounts may be shifted.

15.2.3 In the Fourth Parliament it was recommended that, in the light of the high expenditure needed to maintain existing courts, the Minister should give serious consideration to placing a moratorium on the building of new courts while the current pressures on the current budget exists. It also expressed the view that it is of no use to create more courts if the existing courts cannot administer justice effectively, through the lack of working infrastructure. The Committee, however, acknowledges the difficulty with this approach as there is a great need for new courts: these form part of a strategy to transform judicial services by making justice accessible in areas that were under-serviced in the past. The establishment of the new High courts at Polokwane in Limpopo and Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, in particular, are vital in this regard.

The Committee is sympathetic but remains of the view that if the Department intends to continue with these capital works projects, it must look towards developing a strategy to manage/drive projects of this nature to ensure that projects are delivered on time, within budget, and are of quality.

The Committee requests that the Department provide it with a comprehensive written report, by 30 January 2015, on progress made with its capital works projects with targets and timeframes, details of challenges experienced, and actual expenditure compared to projected expenditure.

The Department should continue to brief the Committee quarterly on this item. The Committee is also interested in the impact of newly established courts for the communities they are intended to serve and access to justice as a whole. It requests that the Department look in future at conducting an assessment of the impact that new courts have had.

15.3 Maintenance of court facilities

15.3.1 In the fourth Parliament, it was observed that existing court buildings are typically old: unless maintained routinely, the state of these building quickly deteriorates to the extent that major work is needed to restore them. In July 2013, the Department reported that it has 650 projects registered for planned maintenance, the majority of which are at planning or design phase. The Committee has learnt, however, that the DPW’s own budget and capacity constraints has impacted on these planned projects. The Department has taken over planned maintenance in cases of additonal accommodation and has included them under the funded capital works programme to address the backlog. Still, the Department only has responsibility for day-to-day maintenance and not for preventative maintenance, which makes it difficult for it to prevent further deterioration to infrastructure.

The Committee requests that the Department provide it with a comprehensive written report of the schedule of, and progress made relating to, planned maintenance of court buildings by 30 January 2015 and be prepared to report on this matter on a quarterly basis.

15.4 Unfunded mandates

15.4.1 The Committee has misgivings regarding the length of time that it is taking to finalise the work of the two Commissions of Inquiry that the Department presently hosts and the escalating costs.These commissions do not form part of the Department’s planned activities for the yearbut are funded from its baseline, although it seems that as for 2013/14, there will be an adjustment of R101.8 million to cover the two Commissions that the Department hosts. The resources required are substantial – the Commission of Inquiry into the tragic incident at or near the areas commonly known as the Marikana mine in Rustenburg, North West province costs the Department approximately R49 million per annum; and the Commission into the strategic defence procurement package has cost R102 million per annum.

15.5 Audit outcome

15.5.1 The Committee welcomes the Department’s unqualified audit outcome for two consecutive years, acknowledging the considerable effort that has been expended in achieving this. The Department has not only achieved its goal of maintaining an unqualified audit outcome but has also reduced the number of findings. Still, certain weakensses remain largely relating to compliance.For this reasons, the Committee supports the Auditor-General’s recommendation that in-year controls are strengthened and that financial statements are prepared monthly (or at a minimum quarterly) with full disclosure notes.

15.5.2 The Committee is pleased that there were no findings related to predetermined objectives. Further, as a result of a more rigorous monthly tracking of performance, the Department’s overall performance has significantly improved: in 2013/14, the Department met 80% of its tragets compared to 44% in 2012/13. The Committee welcomes this but notes that for 2013/14, in certain instances, targets were reduced.

15.5.3 The Committee specifically requests that, by 30 January 2015:

· The Director-General provide the Committee with details of the formal commitments made to address the audit findings.

· The Department provide written details of all its audit action plans and, in addition, reports quarterly (in writing) on progress made.

· Furthermore, Department is asked to provide the Committee with quarterly key dashboard reports with particular focus on compliance with laws and regulations and supply chain management.

· The Department brief the Committee quarterly on progress made.

15.6 Management of Third Party Funds (TPF)

15.6.1 Also, the Committee notes the disclaimer of audit opinion for the Third Party Funds (TPF) for both 2012/13 and 2013/14 despite there being considerable progress made. The disclaimer is largely as a result of the inadequacy of the existing reporting system (JDAS), which is an administrative rather than financial system. The Auditor-General has also pointed to challenges relating to inadequate daily and monthly reconciliations to ensure that the figures reported in the financial statements are reliable. The Auditor-General reports too that the Department may be liable to make good shortages of R74.5 million. The development of a new system to replace the Justice Deposit Accounting System (JDAS) is key to the Department’s strategy to ensure a long term solution to the management of these Funds. Unfortunately, this is a multi-year project, which is likely to take between 18-24 months from development to implementation. However, the Committee is informed that there have been delays in awarding the tender, but the matter has been escalated to SITA’s Supply Chain Management Unit and Executive management.

15.6.2 In the meantime, the Committee notes and supports the Auditor-General suggestions to improve the management of TPF in the short-term, advocating discipline in undertaking daily and monthly reconciliations accompanied by in-year recordkeeping to ensure the accuracy of closing balances .

15.6.3 The Committee observes that the legal status of the TPF has still to be resolved. It notes too that National Treasury has ruled that State Attorney monies and all categories of fines are government monies and, therefore, should be included in the Department’s Vote account and not seperately as is presently the case. The Department has been given a reporting exemption until 2015/16. The accounting framework for TPF was finalised with the Office of the Accountant General and the Department has tacit approval to submit TPF annual financial statements separately from the main vote account. The Department has prepared a Bill that addresses the legal status of TPF and the Bill has been submitted to the Minister of Finance for comment. However, until the status of the TPF is finally resolved, it remains a problem that the Department’s audit outcome would be adversely affected should it be required in future to report on TPF as part of the main Vote account.

15.6.4 The Committee requests that the Department report by 30 January 2015, and quarterly thereafter, on progress made in addressing the challenges relating to the management of TPF, including the award of the tender for a new system to replace JDAS; interventions to ensure daily and monthly reconciliations take place at court level; and measures to resolve the legal status of these Funds.

15.7 Addressing fraud and corruption.

15.7.1 Fraudulent activities have a bearing on delivery of services, misuse of public resources, and negatively impact on the reputation of departments as well as the confidence of citizens as recipients of services. Addressing corruption, including corruption involving officials, is a policy priority. The Department’s strategy to manage internal fraud and corruption has focused on raising staff awareness, especially those in high risk areas such as supply chain management and court services; the improved finalisation of forensic cases and the vetting of key staff members. The Department reports that it has finalised all forensic cases that predated 1 April 2013. Of the 261 cases that were received in 2013/14, 240 cases (91%) were finalised (compared to 71% in 2012/13). The Committee is pleased that the Department exceeded its targets in this regard. The Committee believes that the timely finalisation of fraud and corruption matters together with commesurate sanctions when a guilty finding is made should contribute greatly to the deterring fraud and corruption within the Department. It notes also a recent media report in which a magistrate was convicted and sentenced to five years for fraud and theft of monies amounting to R60 000. The view was expressed that controls at the relevant court were lax and the report notes the loss of R30 million at the Gauteng Courts alone. The Committee expresses no opinion on the report but understands that a number of court empoyees are under investigation. It requests that it be kept regularly informed of developments in this regard.

The Committee is concerned that the Department was unable to meet its targets relating to the vetting of senior staff as a result of capacity issues in the forensic investigation units and high staff turnover rates. However, the Committee welcomes the additional mechanisms that the Department now employs to reduce the risk of corruption, which include requiring senior staff to submit financial disclosure forms.

The Committee requests that the Department brief it by 30 January 2015 on progress made in vetting senior offficials and on preventing and combating fraud and corruption within the Department, including the number of officials referred for prosecution, and be prepared to brief the Committee quarterly on this item.

15.8 Vacancies

15.8.1 The Department has taken great strides to address its overall vacancy rate, which is now approximately 10.3%. Although the Committee would prefer the vacancy rate to be even lower, it is cogniscent that the rate is in line with Government’s target of 10% vacancies by 2014. There has also been improvement at senior management level with certain key senior positions filled. The Committee notes, in particular, the recent appointment of a CFO, DDG: Legislative Development and DDG: Corporate Services for the Department. Still, vacancies remain in critical occupations. The trend in the past has been to redirect unspent funds arising from unfilled posts to operations. Although this is understandable, without personnel, the efficient and effective delivery of justice services is likely to be compromised. The impact of a lack of capacity on performance is evident: the Office of the State Attorney provides a good example of this. Of course, the Department also requires sufficient funds to ensure that additional staff are adequately accommodated and resourced.

The Committee is unclear as to how the 2014 MTSF directive to cut posts that have been unfilled for some time will affect the Department. The Committee remains of the view that, as far as possible, given budget constraints, the filling of senior management and critical posts should continue to be prioritised as these positions are vital to organisational efficiency and effectiveness with important implications for service delivery. The Committee has observed previously that, in addition, from a control perspective managers are vital to ensuring an environment that is not conducive to corruption. While the Committee appreciates the challenges that recruitment processes entail, the Committee urges the Department to make priority appointments urgently.

The Committee requests that the Department report to it, in writing, by 30 January 2015, on progress in filling vacancies at senior management level and in critical areas. Further, the Department should be prepared to continue to report quarterly, in writing, on this.

15.8.2 The Committee notes that there is underspending on magistrates and judges salaries (This is attributed to unfilled magisterial posts). The Committee, however, has not been briefed on any obstacles that prevent these positions being filled. Interestingly, the Magistrates Commission, which is reponsible for recommending the appointment of magistrates to the Minister, tends also to underspend on its allocated budget. Again the precise reasons for this are not known to the Committee, nor can it be assumed that there is any relationship between this and the slow pace of filling magisterial posts. The Committee merely notes these observations for future but requests the Department to provide it with a report regarding delays in appointingmagistrates by 30 January 2015.

15.9 Security at court

15.9.1 The Committee appreciates that the Department’s budget to secure courts and justice service points is stretched, despite the allocation of additional funds from 2012/13 over the medium term. Secur ity at courts has become a high priority as a result of increased criminal incidents relating to the Department’s property and personnel. The Committee shares the Deaprtment’s concern in this regard. The Committee is supportive of the Department’s bid for additional funds but is alarmed at exponential growth in the cost of securing courts: T he Department informed the Committee previously that it calculated that it needs approximately R1.2 billion over the medium term to address its security needs. Once more, over the medium-to-long term, the Committee questions whether it is feasible to spend these amounts on security alone. The Committee is aware that the Department has engaged with other departments, including SAPS and the Department of Defence, to see if they can assist.

The Committee requests that the Department provide a written report by 30 January 2015 on progress made in rolling out of the National Security Infrastructure project, as well as its plans to secure the remaining courts at identified sites where the project is not being implemented because of lack of funds. The Committee also asks that the Department be prepared to brief it specifically on its plans to address the provision of security at courts and justice service points in the longer term in light of the ever increasing costs.

15.10 Integration of IT systems (IJS)

15.10.1 The need for improved co-ordination and integration of the JCPS Cluster departments’ ICT systems has long been identified as key to the effective implementation of the Criminal Justice System’s Seven-Point Plan and is a recommendation of the National Development Plan. As noted before, key priorities for the programme address the establishment of a single person identifier across the criminal justice system; the establishment of an integrated criminal justice system performance information dashboard with 28 key performance indicators; integration of the departmental case related systems; development and rollout of the Person Identification Verification Application (PIVA); and establishment of a single data store for the JCPS Cluster for statistical purposes.

15.10.2 The Committee notes the progress made: After the successful rollout of case integration between SAPS and the Department in 99 police stations and 20 courts,an additional 360 courts linked to 509 police stations. Data Quality challenges have delayed the deployment of the first nine (9) of 28 KPI dashboards scheduled for rolllout in 2013/14. The SITA team that was to support SAPS in the rollout of the solution was severely undercapacitated and the rollout of the solution is now scheduled for 2014/15. The IJS Data Warehouse has been successfully developed and tested and will be used for the rollout of the first nine of the 28 KPIs in the KPI Dashboard. PIVA was tested at two pilot sites and second pilots were scheduled. These were successful and PIVA will be rolled out to SAPS sites in 2014/15. The system is ready for deployment to other departments. Also, the IJS Management Office was established in the Department to stregthen the project management capability.

The Committee is pleased that, at long last, there appears to be some progress,given the length of time that the project has been running and the considerable amount of money that has been spent. It notes the Department’s request to brief it seperately on the IJS/ CJS Revamp modernisation programme and will schedule a dedicated meeting as soon as its programme permits. Although the precise nature of the challenges that the Department presently experiences in its dealings with SITA are unclear, the Committee is concerned about the impact that these have on this and other IT-related projects. It, also intends to address this at the proposed meeting.

In addition, it requests that the Department continue to provide a written report on progress made relating to the IJS, clearly indicating any revised targets and timeframes and the reasons for this, by 30 January 2015. In addition, the Department is requested to address the Committee quarterly on progress made.

15.11 Case backlogs and court performance

15.11.1 The criminal case backlog project saw the number of backlog cases in the regional and district courts reducing to less than 28 000 cases per month. The project, however,was intended as an interim measure. The Department has previously indicated its intention to explore the possibility of progressively creating permanent capacity to sustain the progress that has been made. This would require additional resources, including funding for court support. Given budget constraints, the Committee is unclear as to whether the conversion of these courts to permanent courts will take place.

15.11.2 The Committee is concerned at reports from stakeholders that various case management related issues, such as reduced number of courts hours available for trials, as well as postponements on the account of the unavailability of presiding officers and legal aid practioners, adversely impact on court performance, creating delays in the finalisation of matters. The Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Act and Superior Courts Act provide the legislative framework that will enable the judiciary to take responsibility for the administration of judicial functions of all courts. The Chief Justice is responsible for the development and monitoring of norms and standards for the performance of all courts and has for some time now begun to address judicial case flow management. The ongoing capacitation of the Office of the Chief Justice, which should have its own Vote account from 2015/16, should also greatly assist the Chief Justice in addressing this priority. The Committee is interested in the progress of the project and looks forward to engaging with the Chief Justice and his Office before the end of the year on this.

15.12 Multi-lingual courts

15.12.1 The Committee is of the view that the issue of the use of indigenous languages in our courts needs to be prioritised. In 2009, a pilot project on the use of indigenous languages in courts was initiated at one site in each province. The Department reported in 2010that the project was now being implemented at 27 District Courts country-wide and the lessons learntwould inform a policy framework for language use in the courts. The intention was to complete this by the end of 2010.

At present, the status quo remains – only English and Afrikaans are recognised as official court languages. More recently, it came to the Committee’s attention that the Judiciary, at the behest of the Chief Justice, is looking into this matter. The Committee feels strongly that all official languages should be recognised for use in courts: Language use is a vital component of transformation of our judicial system, thereby promoting access to justice.

Further, the Committee is of the view that it cannot be that institutions of higher learning continue to produce lawyers, who are unable to speak directly with their clients, nor do they understand the society that they serve. The Committee urges that consideration be given to making knowledge of at least one indigenous language a requirement of legal education.

The Committee requests that it be provided with a report in writing on the status and outcome of the Department pilot project on the use of indigenous langauges in courts, as well as of any further related developments, by 30 January 2015.

15.13 Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) process

15.13.1 The Committee is not pleased at the extremely slow pace at which the relevant regulations are being finalised. The delays are attributed to consultative processes but the Committee remains of the view that the promulgation of regulations is taking far too long. The Committee was told to expect that regulations relating to educational assistance and medical benefits, in particular, would be promulgated before the end of the 2012/13 financial year but this did not occur. It is told that the those on basic and higher education were approved by the Minister and have been submitted to the Presidency. Certain difficulties have emerged in connection with the regulations for medical assistance and an amendment to the National Health Act, 2003, is required. The Housing Assistance regulations are delayed to determine the needs of victims.

15.13.2 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 in Gauteng (Mamelodi and Alexandra) KwaZulu Natal (Bhambayi and Mphohomeni). The Committee notes these developments and requests that the Department continues to brief it quarterly on progress made.

15.13.3 The Committee requests that the Department continue to keep it informed, in writing, by 30 January 2015, of the progress made in identifying and making payments to outstanding beneficiaries, as well as the progress relating to the finalisation of the regulations. The Department should also indicate any difficulties it may be experiencing in obtaining the necessary co-operation from other roleplayers. Further, the Department should be prepared to comprehensively brief the Committee quarterly on progress made tracing the remaining beneficiaries and payments and the finalisation of the regulations.

15.14 Reporting on spending for vulnerable groups

15.14.1 Increased access to justice of women, children and persons with disabilities continues to be a priority of government and of the Department. The Committee has expressed its interest in the details of spending on vulnerable groups many times in the past. During the 2013/14 Budget process, the Department suggested that a restructuring of its Court Services programme as a result of the migration of certain sub-programmes under to the Office of Chief Justice, might make it possible for it to consider including a programme for vulnerable groups. The Committee remains supportive of this, as not only will it assist greatly to make spending under vulnerable groups more transparent but also will facilitate oversight. In the meantime, the Committee requests that the Department report quarterly on its spending for vulnerable groups. This includes details of what was spent on the implementation of legislation such as the Child Justice Act, the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act and the Children’s Act.

15.15 National Register for Sexual Offenders (NSRO)

15.15.1 The Committee is pleased with the progress made in capturing the particulars of those convicted of sexual crimes. The improvements are as a result of improved/closer working relations with the SAPS and the Department of Social Development, as well as increased capacity of data capturers. The Department told the Committee that discussions are underway with the Department of Social Development to combine the National Register with the register provided for in terms of the Children’s Act. The combined register would be located in the Department of Social Development. The Committee welcomes this, as it should prevent any duplication and waste of resources.

The Department is requested to provide the Committee with a written report on progress made in recording convictions, challenges identified, as well as developments relating to the merging of the registers by 30 January 2015.

15.16 Maintenance matters

15.16.1 The Committee welcomes the continued focus on maintenance matters to improve delivery of maintenance services. The maintenance turnaround project is a flagship project and the impact of this work affects the most vulnerable members of society. The project has had considerable success in the implementation of EFT payments made to beneficiaries with 98% of payments now made by EFT. Not only does this reduce the amount of cash handled at service points with all the attendant risks, it also reduces travel costs for beneficiaries and has reduced queues at justice service points. Since March 2011, the number of beneficiaries paid by means of EFT at court level has increased from 15 893 in March 2011/12 to 214 443 in March 2014). The value of these decentralised payments has increased from R9 million to R164.8 million in the same period. (Similarly, for the Guardian’s Fund, all service points use EFT, and 96% of payments are made by means of EFT in March 2014)

The Committee notes that various policies and training interventions have been developed to improve service delivery overall: A national defaulters strategy was produced to guide courts on how to uniformly deal with defaulters and is being implemented; and a maintenance complaints management training module is intended to equip maintenance complaints managers with the appropriate skills. In addition, IT solutions have been identified as critical to the effective management of daily maintenance and other TPF operations.

Despite these improvements, the submission to the Committee highlighted matters raised by the public relating to service delivery. Many of those who seek maintenance orders, or, who are in need of assistance to enforce the orders, are not informed of the services that are available. The Committee is of the view that thereneeds to be a concerted effort to ensure that maintenance courts officials (clerks) inform members of the public of the services that are provided. There also appears that there is need to train maintenance officers and not just investigators. From members’ accounts, it would appear that this is not always the case. The Committee also expressed support for more stringent enforcement mechanisms for defaulters, including investigation of the possibility of imposing travel restricitons on defaulters.

15.17 Sexual offences and designated sexual offences courts

15.17.1 Th e Committee has been appalled for some time at the relatively low conviction rate for sexual offences (67% in 2013/14), despite the many policy and legislative interventions that aim to address sexual violence in our society. The Committee, however, believes that key indicators of performance – convictions rates in sexual offences matters; the rollout of Thuthuzela Care Centres; and the number of dedicated Sexual Offences Courtsestablished –do not assist in achieving a comprehensive understanding of the difficulties that accompany prosecutions. These indicators do not explain why only so many of the approximately 60 000 to 70 000 sexual offences cases reported to SAPS each year are never prosecuted. Looking at the (sometimes differing) statistics that are available from the Department and the NPA, the NPA received approximately 10 000 new sexual offences matters in 2013/14and reports 5 484 convictions overall for sexual offences (the Department reports 4 401 convictions). Too many reported cases never reach prosecution: Only between 7% and 9% of reported cases result in a conviction. Further, 1 784 cases were struck off the roll while 5 478 were withdrawn. The Committee is of the view that there is a need for more comprehensive statistics, including qualitative information that looks at victim satisfaction surveys, in order to begin to understand and address the obstacles that are contributing to the attrition of sexual offence matters.

15.17.2 It remains firmly of the view that sexual offence matters require specialist skills and, for this reason, it supports the rollout of dedicated sexual offence courts as a priority. It is a concern that there do not appear to be dedicated funds for the rollout of these courts – the Committee is informed that the courts established so far were already operating as sexual offences courts. In 2013/14, 19 courts were upgraded to meet the standard. During the submissions, the Committee was alerted to the need for these courts to be adequately resourced – this requires long term investment in both infrastructure and human capacity. The Committee is informed that regulations for these courts have been drafted and have been sent to government stakeholders. The Committee urges the Department to ensure that there is an opportunity for the public to comment on the regulations before they are promulgated.

The Committee requests that the Department provide it with a written report on progress and challenges relating to the rollout of the designated sexual offences courts and the status of draft regulations by 30 January 2015 and be prepared to brief it quarterly.

The Committee requested previously that any sexual offences matters that are also backlog cases be identified and prioritised for finalisation. The Department is requested to report on progress in this regard, in writing, by 30 January 2015.

15.18 Transformation of State Legal Services and challenges in the State Attorney’s Office

15.18.1 The discussion document on the Review of State Legal Serviceswas released in May 2012. It details plans to consolidate structures providing legal services to the State to enhance performance. In the Fourth Parliament, certain aspects relating to state litigation were queried, including the fragmented approach to the management of state litigation in an increasingly litigious society, as well as briefing patterns to previously disadvantaged legal practitioners and there was lengthy engagement with the Department during these BRRR proceedings on the many challenges identified relating to the conduct of state litigation. Towards the end of the Fourth Parliament, legislative amendments were passed to provide for a ‘chief’ State Attorney – the Solicitor-General. In recent years, a number of court judgements have highlighted ongoing challenges in this State Attorney’s office (particularly the Pretoria Office) pointing to instances of neglect and general decline in standards; a disquiet regarding failures to observe both law and practice and, most recently, a chaotic state of dysfunctionality, a failure to render a professional service, unacceptable excuses and the unprofessional manner in which pleadings and affidavits are prepared. In addition, the Auditor-General reports on an internal investigation into possible irregularities that resulted in fruitless and wasteful expenditure in the State Attorney in Pretoria. This was also flagged in 2012/13.

The Committee welcomes the Department’s acknowledgement that there are difficulties within the State Attorney’s Office that are receiving urgent attention. It understands that some of the challenges are as a result of capacity – the implementation of OSD has perversely made it very difficult for the Department to attract legal skills at supervisory level. The Department had asked the Committee in the Fourth Parliament for a separate briefing on the discussion document ‘Review of State Legal Services’. The Committee will schedule the necessary meeting as soon as its programme permits.

15.19 Assessment of the impact of the decisions of the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of Appeal

15.19.1 The Committee notes that despite delays (the project emanated from a Cabinet statement made in November 2011, followed by the release by the Department of a discussion paper ‘The transformation of the judicial system and the role of the judiciary in the developmental state’ in February 2012) a service provider – the Human Sciences Research Council in partnership with the University of Fort Hare - has now been appointed to conduct the assessment. The Committee received a briefing very recently on this project, which intends to understand how South Africa’s highest courts, through their judgements, have interpreted and given meaning to the laws and policies of the land; how jurisprudence has contributed or contributed to law reform; and how the policies and programmes of government heed the decisions of the courts. The Committee notes that an interim report was due in September/October 2014, while the final report is due by 31 March 2015. It is extremely interested in the outcomes of the study and looks forward to engaging with the report once it is finalised.

16 National Prosecuting Authority

16.1 The Committee congratulates the NPA for the excellent effort in maintaining its clean audit opinion.

16.2 The Committee also notes that the position of the NDPP was filled in October 2013, after a long period in which the position was vacant.

16.3 In contrast to previous years where there was considerable concern that budget shortfalls would negatively impact on prosecutions, undermining service delivery in the criminal justice as a whole, the NPA assured the Committee that it believes it will be able to meet its strategic objectives within the resources allocated to it for the MTSF period.

16.4 In the Fourth Parliament, there was concern that vacancies and the high number of acting positions within the NPA might have a negative effect on the NPA’s performance.In 2012/13, in line with National Treasury directives, the NPA ‘solved’ the problem of overall high vacancy rates by no longer counting posts for which there were no funds, reducing the overall vacancy rate from 15% for 2011/12 to 0.3% in 2012/13. Again, the Committee expressed concern as this situation was, in its view, unsustainable. The AFU, for example, listed the loss of experienced lawyers and financial investigators as a reason for not being able to meet its targets for 2012/13. The Committee notes that in 2013/14, the vacancy rate has increased. . The NPA informed the Committee that it has received funds for additional capacity and is actively recruiting to fill vacant positions. It is interesting to the Committee that, in 2013/14, the AFU performed exceptionally well, meeting 75% of its targets. This is attributed to it having received the additional financial and investigative capacity it needed.

16.5 The Committee has commented in paragraph 15.18 above on the challenges that accompany the prosecution of sexual offences. It, however, notes that the Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs), the model for which is regarded world-wide as best practice, are now funded by government and, therefore, are no longer dependent on donor-funding as was the case for many years. The Committee also welcomes the expansion of the TCCs despite not meeting the target: there are now 38 such centres.

16.6 The Committee engaged keenly with the NPA on its views regarding corruption, the combating of which is a NDP priority. In its view, statements regarding the extent of corruption in South Africa are far too easily/loosely made. The Committee believes that rather rely on assumptions and perceptions, there is urgent need to draw on the experiential knowledge of bodies, such as the NPA, to build a more comprehensive picture of corruption in SA. Action that is supported by hard evidence will assist in informing where action should be directed.

16.7 The Committee also queried the statistics relating to the extremely small number of corrupt JCPS officials referred for prosecution. The NPA acknowledged that there are challenges as few cases are referred. There had been a meeting with the JCPS Cluster departments and it would seem that there are capacity challenges. The ACTT is attempting to address these challenges and also to facilitate more referrals.

16.8 The Committee notes that the AFU is one of the few state institutions that recovers money for the state. The Committee congratulates the AFU on its considerable achievements for 2013/14: In 2013/14, the AFU returned R296 million through completed forfeiturecases against its total budget of R112 million for the year. It is anticipated that the AFU will recover significant amounts going forward flowing from its focus on corruption cases. The Committee believes that the AFU’s work is vital to addressing corruption.

16.9 Concerns were raised relating to the NPA’s accounting status and governance arrangements. At present, although the NPA’s prosecutorial independence is constitutionally guaranteed; empowering legislation provides that its accounting officer is the DG: Justice and Constitutional Development. In addition, the NPA requires an exemption annually for it to prepare separate annual financial statements. The Committee is informed that amendments to the National Prosecuting Authority are being prepared to resolve these problems, further strengthening both the NPA’s independence and its accountability. A draft Bill is with the NPA for comment. The NPA expects to be able to make representations to the Minister on its contents before the end of the year.

16.10 The Committee has already indicated its concerns relating to court performance and unnecessary delays in court processes. It once more believes that the conduct of all justice officials, prosecutors and public defenders needs to be strictly monitored and, if they are responsible for the causing unnecessary/unjustifiable delays, they should be sanctioned.

17 Legal Aid South Africa

17.1 The Committee congratulates Legal Aid South Africa on receiving an unqualified audit for the past 13 years, with no matters of emphasis for the past nine years. Yet again, Legal Aid SA impressed the Committee greatly with its strategic vision and planning, management of resources and considerable achievements.

17.2 The Committee agrees that,although a key stakeholder in the criminal justice system, Legal Aid South Africa’s budget is considerably smaller than that of the NPA and it feels budget cuts disproportionately. Further, the majority of Legal Aid SA’s allocation is committed to salaries, which leaves very little room to cut costs without reducing posts. A reduction of posts has potential negative consequences for court coverage and may eventually impact adversely on court performance. So far,Legal Aid SA has been able to absorb budget cuts to some extent without it having significant impact on court coverage,although its relief capacity is stretched. The current coverage of courts is already inadequate and the reductions will exacerbate this. The Committee is extremely concerned about the impact of the reductions on the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system as a whole. The Committee supports the need for more legal aid practitioners to increase coverage in all courts and to provide for relief capacity. It strongly feels that insufficient capacity has a considerable adverse effect on case-flow, contributing to backlogs and, generally, to delays in the criminal justice system. The Committee notesalso in this regard the NPA’s complaint that its performance is sometimes compromised/affected by postponements related to the unavailability of role players. Legal Aid SA has indicated that it requires about R65 million to address its challenges relating to relief capacity at courts.

17.3 Further, the Committee is alarmed that Legal Aid South Africa will be unable to provide additional capacity where required. The Committee was told in the Fourth Parliament of plans to convert backlog courts to permanent courts and the need for funding for additional court support.The Committee, therefore, supports Legal Aid South Africa in its request that, in future, any court expansion programmes factor in a budget allocation for legal aid capacity to service those courts if they are to be functional. Legal Aid SA requires R34 million to appoint legal aid practitioners at new magistrates courts: National Treasury is considering providing R18 million to create capacity at new courts.

17.4 The Committee is informed that National Treasury has proposed budget cuts for 2015/16 and 2016/17 of R62 and R95 million respectively. The expectation is that Legal Aid SA will use its reserves to absorb the reductions. However, the Committee is informed that these reserves are to meet contingent liabilities, which among others are for payment of Judicare matters. Should these reserves be depleted, Legal Aid SA’s may find itself technically insolvent, which would be untenable. Legal Aid has written to National Treasury putting its position across and to rectify any misunderstanding of what these funds are for. Although the Committee understands that baselines are being cut across the board, the proposed reductions are, in the Committee’s view undesirable and should be kept to minimum, especially in light of Legal Aid SA’s continued outstanding performance and exemplary management.

17.5 The Committee continues to support Legal Aid South Africa ’s goal of expanding its civil work and impact litigation, despite the financial constraints that it faces in this regard. Legal Aid SA has indicated that it requires an additional R 16 million to meet the civil demand. The Committee attention was also drawn recently to the gendered nature of the spilt between criminal and civil work: The bulk of the work done by Legal Aid SA relates to criminal work and this naturally consumes the greatest portion of its budget. Civil work accounts for 13% of Legal SA’s work and is made up largely of family matters, children matters, land matters, civil claims and labour maters. The majority of civil matters (56%) entailed assistance to women. The Committee therefore shares the concern that the additional budgetary constraints that are envisaged will further constrain the delivery of civil legal aid and advice to the detriment of the most vulnerable.

17.6 The Committee notes that the Marikana Commission of Inquiry continues to place strain on Legal Aid SA’s resources. In addition, there is concern that the recent Supreme Court of Appeal ruling has set a precedent. The Committee believes that it may be necessary to amend the Commissions Act, 1947, to provide for the costing and funding of future commissions and to clarify Legal Aid SA’s obligations in this regard.

17.7 The Committee notes that the number of cases involving children in criminal matters has decreased significantly from 22 376 in 2011/12 to 11 869 in 2013/14. The Committee isnot satisfied for the explanation for the sharp decrease. It may well be the result of the increased number of children being diverted, which would be a positive outcome. But until the necessary research is done any comments are merely speculative and, therefore, not especially useful. It, once more, urges the Inter-sectoral Committee, of which Legal Aid SA forms part, to look into this phenomenon in monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the Child Justice Act, which is not only to protect children from exposure to the adult criminal system and provide for their needs but also as an opportunity to positively intervene in a child’s life to break/prevent the cycle of crime.

17.8 The Committee suggests that Legal Aid SA look carefully at its marketing campaign in order to address lingering perceptions that it provides services of an inferior quality. This is clearly not the case: Legal Aid SA performs extremely well and over the years has aggressively tackled quality-related issues through supervision and internal and external quality assurance mechanisms. The Committee suggests that language may also have a role to play and suggests that Legal Aid SA translates its vision and mandate into all of South Africa’s official languages as part of its strategy to promote its services and raise public awareness.

18 Special Investigating Unit

18.1 Last year, only two weeks into the position, Adv. Soni maintained that the SIU would need to radically transform for it to be able to take up fully its role in tackling corruption, maladministration and abuse of power. The SIU intended to focus on its powers to initiate civil proceedings to recover ill-gotten gains in the courts or a Tribunal established under the SIU Act, 1996, as amended. There would be a move away from the many smaller beneficiary-type matters to systemic investigations of issues of supply chain management and procurement. A significant number of the Unit’s achievements still relate to the SASSA investigations but these are coming to a close. The Committee notes that the SIU is in the process of instituting civil action in respect of seven matters. It would be interested in the outcome of these proceedings and requests that it is kept informed

18.2 The SIU once more attained an unqualified audit with findings. There is some concern as this is the third year that there are findings – although there are notable improvements. While acknowledging the progress,the Committee is of the view that it is wholly undesirable for a body that addresses corruption, maladministration and abuse of power to obtain anything other than a clean audit. Still, the Committee accepts the SIU’s explanation for the findings and welcomes its commitments to improve on these. The Committee requests, however, that the SIU provide the Committee with written details of the formal commitments made to address the audit findings and its audit action plans in this regard by 30 January 2015, and report on progress quarterly.

18.3 The Committee notes that the SIU achieved 67% of its targets. Although these are reduced in some cases reduced, for the first time in two years the Auditor-General made no findings regarding the performance.

18.4 The SIU reports, among others, that between 2009 and 2014 it has referred 13 298 matters to the NPA and 10 591 recommendations were made for disciplinary processes to various departments and state entities. However, there is no indication of how many of these referrals led to successful prosecutions and convictions and how many resulted in successful disciplinary actions. The Committee is interested in the impact of measures to tackle corruption and asks that the SIU and NPA provide it with details of the outcome of these cases. In future, it would be helpful if there were an indication in the reports of the outcomes of the SIU’s activities.

18.5 The Committee is interested in the impact that the SIU is having. In this regard, the Annual Report provides little information other than to list proclamations and note that investigations are ongoing. The Committee asks that, going forward, the Annual Report provide greater detail on its investigations, giving if possible a summary of the investigation, the date the proclamation was received and the date the investigation was concluded (the SIU would need to define what is meant by ‘conclusion’), as well as information relating to outcomes (referrals, prosecutions, convictions, number of disciplinary actions and acknowledgement of debt, etc.).

18.6 The Committee notes too that the perception that investigations take too long is a challenge for the SIU. Clearly, it is not easy to predict how long an investigation will take from start to outcome but it would be interestingto be able to trace the duration of matters – especially now that the SIU is no longer focussing on the high volume cases This would provide useful information, among others, on any capacity-related or other obstacles that may need to be addressed; as well as the efficiency and effectiveness of the SIU’s activities.

19 South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)

19.1 The Committee welcomes the improvement in the SAHRC’s audit opinion: last year, the SAHRC received a qualified audit opinion, which was all the more dismaying when considered in light of the Commission having received an unqualified audit opinion with no emphasis of matter since 2009/10. At the time, the Committee noted the Accounting Officer’s willingness to take responsibility for the regression, and was provided with a credible explanation for how the qualification came about. The Committee was also presented with the SAHRC’s audit action plan to rectify in 2014/15 the matters that were identified. It is, therefore, pleasing to see that the SAHRC’s efforts have led to it receiving an unqualified audit opinion, albeit with findings. The Committee notes that the Auditor-General remains concerned regarding the sustainability of the audit opinion, which is worrying.

19.2 The Committee welcomes the overall trend relating to improved performance continues: The Commission achieved just 52% of targets in 2008/09 when compared to achieving 85% of targets in 2012/13 and 87% in 2013/14.

19.3 The Committee requested that the SAHRC report separately on its Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) mandate, which the Commission has done now for several years. The Committee was briefed separately on the report relating to compliance with international human rights obligations but has not had an opportunity to engage with the SAHRC specifically on its PAIA mandate and on the challenges relating to the implementation of PAIA. It understands from the Commission that there are plans to establish the Information Regulator in due course but that it has been advised that it will still need to make provision for PAIA activities in its operational budget for 2015/16.

19.4 The Committee has still to engage formally with the Office on Institutions Supporting Democracy (OISD) in the DeputySpeaker’s Office to clarify its role in supporting these institutions. It notes, however, the attendance of officials from the OISD at relevant committee meetings, which it has found useful. Still, going forward, the Committee believes that further engagement with the OISD would be useful.

19.5 The SAHRC told the Committee previously that it has a number of cases that require resolution through formal processes but has been constrained by a lack of funds. The Committee suggested that the Commission seek assistance from Legal Aid South Africa, which has increasingly capacity to engage in civil litigation, including high impact litigation. The Committee was pleased that the Commission has contacted Legal Aid South Africa and that a memorandum of agreement was concluded. The Committee is unclear whether the agreement was signed but requests that it is kept informed of developments in this regard.

19.6 The Committee engaged with the SAHRC on litigation against the State, querying how these adversarial engagements impact on its relationships with the Executive. The Commission clarified the circumstances in which litigation is resorted to, agreeing that litigation can create difficulties.

19.7 The SAHRC is participating at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry. In the Fourth Parliament, the Committee – at the outset - had certain reservations relating to the potential for conflict regarding the SAHRC’s intended role. A frank discussion took place at that time after which the SAHRC took the Committee’s concerns on board and revised its plans to ensure that there would be no conflict. Its role has been to bring to the Commission’s attention relevant socio-economic factors. The Committee is informed that SAHRC has since played an invaluable role at the proceedings and its contribution has been publicly acknowledged as such by the Commission itself.The Committee asks the Commission to provide it with a written progress report by 30 January 2015.

19.8 The Committee supports the SAHRC role in promoting a human rights culture and believes that well positioned to drive educational programmes regarding human rights. The Committee once more urges the SAHRC to give greater attention to its awareness programmes to promote constitutional literacy and encourage national dialogue to promote social cohesion and nation building.

20 Public Protector

20.1 The Public Protector received an unqualified audit opinion with findings. In a similar vein to its remarks with regard to the SIU’s audit finding, the Committee believes that is an integrity institution should strive for and achieve a clean audit. ThePublic Protector informed the Committee that there are processes in place to address the Auditor-General’s concerns. The Committee asks, however, that it be kept informed of progress on a quarterly basis.

20.2 A specific concern relates to the Public Protector’s challenges as a going concern: as its liabilities exceed its assets, the Office is technically insolvent. The Committee notes that this finding did not cause the Auditor-General to alter his opinion. The Committee, however, isunclear as to what measures are being put in place to address the issue.

20.3 The Committee notes the Public Protector’s difficulties relating to accessibility. It should be noted that in the past the PPSA has sought additional funds to expand its footprint. The Committee, in the Fourth Parliament, did not generally support the expansion of the Public Protector’s footprint as it repeatedly queried the distribution of offices for best use of resources and did not feel able to engage further on the opening of more offices until it has been briefed fully on the Public Protector’s strategy in this regard.

20.4 Still, the Public Protector reported that it had reached more than 37 million people in 2013/14.In 2012/13, the Public Protector reached more than 50 million people through different media, although it appears that some of these are repeated interactions. The Public Protector conceded at the time that it was likely that the number of people reached was closer to 20 million. If this was the case, then the Public Protector has improved considerably in this regard, despite resource constraints, and the Committee congratulates the Public Protector on her initiative to raise public awareness.

20.5 In the past, the Auditor-General suggested that the targets were set too high and not suitably developed during the strategic planning process. The Public Protector explained that she preferred to set the targets high and fail to meet them while trying hard to do so rather than to set targets too low from the outset The situation appears not to have improved greatly in 2013/14, as targets relating to finalisation and turnaround time for resolution of complaints were not met. With regard to case finalisation, 61.2 % of cases were finalised. The Office indicated that it could not achieve its targets due to resource constraints. The Committee has previously expressed the view that the Public Protector should consider being more strategic in taking on investigations, making use of systemic investigations in particular, to maximize the use of scarce resources.

20.6 The Committee is pleased to note the increase in cases finalized but at the same time notes that the cases carried over have increased. In addition, the Public Protector has been unable to meet turnaround targets, which is attributed to a lack of investigative capacity. An investigator can have approximately 500 cases per year. The Committee notes the heavy case-load but is of the view that the failure to reconcile overlapping mandates creates room for duplication and contributes to the strain on resources. The national Fiscus has limited funds available to meet competing priorities. For this reason, the Committee urges that steps are taken to ensure that resources are used effectively and efficiently and to avoid duplication among the various institutions.

20.7 The Annual Report highlights lack o f trust, low employee morale and absence of organization culture common to all in the institution as some of the challenges facing institution. The Committee is concerned that there is low morale among staff, which the Public Protector attributes to the pressure of the investigative load and a lack of support. A further concern is the resignation of the CEO and CFO, although the Public Protector explained that both had resigned for other positions. While the Committee acknowledges that the investigative load is high, the Committee is unclear as to what factors(s) have contributed to the challenges being experienced but notes too that the Office has experienced organisational problems in the past. The Public Protector does not indicate what measures are in place to address these.

20.8 The Committee notes the Public Protector’s request for additional funds to fill the staff establishment.The Committee requests that the Public Protector provide it with a comprehensive report on its case load, including the number and type of cases being investigated and when these were received and finalized. As per the invitation of the Public Protector, the Committee intends to visit the Office as soon as its programme permits.

21 Summary of reporting requests for the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

Reporting matters

Action required


Building of new courts (paragraph 15.3):

Progress report on capital works projects with targets and time frames; challenges experienced; and spending (compared to projected spending )

Written progress report


30 January 2015

Refer to Committee programme

Maintenance of court buildings and justice service points (paragraph 15.4):

Schedule of and progress report on planned maintenance of court buildings and justice service points, challenges experienced and spending (actual compared to projected).

Written progress report


30 January 2015

Refer to Committee programme

Addressing the audit outcome (paragraph 15.6):

Report providing details of the formal commitments made to address the audit findings and audit action plans.

Quarterly progress reports on:

· Progress made on the Audit action plans and the compilation of monthly financial statements with full disclosure notes

· Key dashboard reports with particular focus on compliance with laws and regulations and supply chain management

Written report

Written quarterly progress reports

30 January 2015

As available for the quarter.

Management of Third Party Funds (paragraph 15.7):

Progress Report

Written report

30 January 2015

Preventing fraud and corruption in Department and vetting of senior management staff (paragraph 15.8):

Written progress report with quarterly briefings

Written report


30 January 2015

Refer to Committee programme

Vacancies at senior management level and in critical areas (paragraph 15.19):

Written progress report on vacancies especially at senior management level and in critical occupations.

Written report


30 January 2015

Refer to Committee programme

Vacancies – Magistrates (paragraph 15.9.2):

Written progress report on vacancies

Written report


30 January 2015

Refer to Committee programme

Security at courts and justice service points (paragraph 15.10):

Progress report on National Security Infrastructure Project

Briefing on provision of security at courts and justice service points

Written report


30 January 2015

Refer to Committee programme

Integrated Justice System (IJS) projects (paragraph 15. 11):

Progress report with targets and time frames; challenges experienced; and spending (compared to projected spending).

Written report


30 January 2015

Refer to Committee programme

Multi-lingual courts (paragraph 15.13)

Written report

Written report

30 January 2015

Truth and Reconcilation Commission process (paragrpah 15.14):

Progress report

Written report


30 January 2015

Refer to Committee programme

National Register of Sexual Offenders (NRSO) (paragraph 15.16):

Progress report on capturing of data, as well as challenges experienced. Developments relating to the combining of the related registers.

Written report

30 January 2015

Dedicated sexual offence courts (paragraph 15.18):

Report on progress establishing the courts

Written report


30 January 2015

Refer to Committee programme

Transformation of state legal services (paragraph 15.19):



Refer to Committee programme

Part 6

22 Summary of recommendations, including requests for additional funding for the MTEF

22.1 The Committee once again highlights the need for greater and more regular engagement between Parliament and the Chapter 9 and associated institutions. This has long been identified as a challenge that requires attention. The Committee also recommends that greater use be made of the Forum for Institutions Supporting Democracy as a way to reconcile the duplication of mandates. The Committee urges the Forum to meet at least quarterly and encourages it keep Parliament informed of the key issues emanating from these meetings.

22.2 The South African Human Rights Commission should spearhead dialogue that will promote and instil a deep understanding among all South Africans of constitutional values, the rule of law and human rights to advance nation building and social cohesion.

22.3 The Committee recommends that institutions who spearhead the fight against crime and corruption report in a manner that provides factual insights regarding the state of fraud and corruption in the country.

22.4 The Committee recommends that the Legal Aid SA be provided with the following additional funds for the MTEF period: The Committee supports that the Legal Aid SA be provided with additional funding for additional capacity and to support the expansion its civil work.

23 Appreciation

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

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

23.3 The Committee also wishes to thank the Public Protector and Deputy Public Protector; the Chairperson and Commissioners of the South African Human Rights Commission; the Chairperson and Board of Legal Aid South Africa; and the newly appointed Head of the Special Investigating Unit, as well as all respective staff members that appeared before the Committee for their co-operation.

23.4 The Committee finally wishes to thank the Auditor-General and his representatives for their assistance in this process.

Report to be considered


No related documents