ATC150515: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on Budget Vote 21: Justice and Constitutional Development, dated 13 May 2015

Justice and Correctional Services

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on Budget Vote 21: Justice and Constitutional Development, dated 13 May 2015

The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, having considered Budget Vote 21: Justice and Constitutional Development, reports as follows:


1.             Introduction


1.1.        The Budget Vote 21: Justice and Constitutional Development comprises five programmes, as well as a direct charge for magistrates salaries:


·           The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development is directly responsible for the Administration, Court Services and State Legal Services programmes, as well as the Justice Modernisation subprogramme under Programme 5: Auxiliary and Associated Services.


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


·         Programme 5 contains allocations to various auxiliary 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).


1.2.        Since 2014/15, there has been a significant change to the structure of the Vote. The administration of the Superior Courts, Judicial Services Commission (JSC) and South African Judicial Education Institute (SAJEI) has been transferred to the Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ), which from 1 April 2015 has its own Vote – Vote 22: Office of the Chief Justice and Judicial Administration. The funds for judges’ salaries has also been transferred to the new Vote. The establishment and strengthening of the Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) is key to improving overall court performance and addressing backlogs.



2.             Method


2.1.        The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services presented an overview of the priorities that inform the policies and strategies for the Departments of Justice and Constitutional Development, and Correctional Services.


2.2.        The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, the National Prosecuting Authority, Legal Aid South Africa, the Special Investigating Unit, the South African Human Rights Commission and the Public Protector each presented their revised strategic plans 2015 - 2020, annual performance plans for 2015/16 and budgets for the 2015 MTEF.


2.3.        The briefings took place as follows:

·         Department of Justice and Constitutional Development – 22 and 23 April 2015.

·         National Prosecuting Authority – 24 April 2015.

·         Special Investigating Unit - 28 April 2015.

·         Legal Aid South Africa – 5 May 2015.

·         South African Human Rights Commission – 29 April 2015 and 6 May 2015.

·         Public Protector - 29 April 2015.


2.4.        This report is divided in six parts:


·         Part 1 gives an overview of the overall allocation to Vote 21: Justice and Constitutional Development.

·         Part 2 sets out key aspects relating to policy priorities, as well as the Minister’s political overview for 2015/16.

·         Part 3 contains a summary of the Department’s presentation to the Committee on its strategic plan, the key planned activities for 2015/16 and its budget.

·         Part 4 summarises the NPA’s presentation to the Committee on its strategic and annual plans and on its budget.

·         Part 5 contains a summary of the presentations of Legal Aid South Africa, the Special Investigating Unit, the SAHRC and the PP.

·         Part 6 provides the Committee’s observations and recommendations relating to the Vote.


2.5.        All presentations referred to in Parts 3 - 5 can be obtained from the Committee Secretary.



Part 1


3.             Overview of Vote 21: Justice and Constitutional Development for the 2015 MTEF


3.1.        Fiscal environment


3.1.1.    In many parts of the world, including South Africa, economic growth remains sluggish. Fiscal constraint remains the key message from National Treasury for 2015/16 and, over the medium term, revised spending plans across government are intended to bring about greater efficiency, reduced waste and a consolidation of government personnel numbers.


3.1.2.    To confront still unacceptably high levels of crime, government spending on public order and safety and on defence continues to increase, from R163 billion in 2015/16 to R193 billion in 2017/18. Of this, approximately 9.5% goes to Justice and Constitutional Development and 0.5% to the OCJ.


Table 1: Spending on Public Order and Defence 2015/16

Public Order and Defence


% of Public Order and Defence Spending

Justice and Constitutional Development


Office of the Chief Justice


Correctional Services




Independent Police Investigative Directorate


Defence and Military Veterans


Total Public Order and Defence Spending


Total National Budget



3.2.        The overall allocation to the Justice and Constitutional Development Vote (Vote 21) for 2015/16 is R16.9 billion (including Magistrates’ salaries), which grows over the MTEF to R19.1 billion in 2017/18.


Table 2: Vote 21 - Justice and Constitutional Development for the 2015 MTEF per programme


(R ‘000)


2015 MTEF






1 900.0

1 850.0

2 000.0

2 100.00

Court Services

5 300.0

5 520.00

6 000.0

6 300.0

State Legal Services


1 030.0

1 100.0

1 200.0

National Prosecuting Authority

3 300.0

3 300.0

3 600.0

3 800.0

Auxiliary and Associated Services

3 100.0

3 200.0

3 300.0

3 600.0


14 600.0

15 000.0

16 000.0

17 000.0

Magistrates’ Salaries

1 900.0

1 900.0

2 000.0

2 100.0


16 500.0

16 900.0

18 000.0

19 100.0


3.3.        Of the R16.9 billion allocated in 2015/16:

·         An amount of R9.4 billion is allocated to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development for Programme 1: Administration; Programme 2: Court Services; and Programme 3: State Legal Services, as well as for the Justice Modernisation subprogramme under Programme 5: Auxiliary and Associated Services.

·         The NPA receives R3.4 billion.

·         Auxiliary and Associated Services receives R2.2 billion for transfers to Legal Aid SA and the Special Investigating Unit, as well as to the South African Human Rights Commission and the Public Protector.

·         An amount of R1.8 billion is allocated for magistrates’ salaries.


  1. There are budget cuts over the medium term in the amount of R1 billion (R287 million in 2015/16, R406 million in 2016/17 and R330 million in 2017/18). While there was some additional funding to the Justice baseline in the 2014 Budget, specifically R103 million for 2015/16, there are no additional funds in the 2015 Budget. However, funds have been shifted from areas of underspending, mainly from the infrastructure budget and magistrates salaries.


  1. For 2015/16, a total of R226.3 million from reprioritised funds is allocated as follows:

·         R34 million for the transformation of court services (for the appointment of the Solicitor General and state attorneys).

·         R74 million to capacitate courts in rural areas (to employ 67 court administrators).

·         R39 million to Legal Aid South Africa (to employ additional public defenders to complement the increase in magisterial capacity in order to reduce case backlogs).

·         R16 million to capacitate the Office of the Family Advocate.

·         R16 million to capacitate the Office of the Chief Justice.

·         R25 million to the NPA to increase numbers of prosecutors.

·         R7 million to the South African Human Rights Commission (to employ an additional (eighth) Commissioner and legal staff).

·         R15 million to the Public Protector (to employ more investigators and permanently retain 70 investigators previously employed on contract).


3.4.        Spending trends 2013/14 and 2014/15 (First - Third Quarter)


3.4.1.    In 2013/14, the Department underspent its allocation by R475 million (4.3%). The underspending is explained largely by slow spending of the Department’s infrastructure budget as a result of delays on the part of the Department of Public Works, as well as because of delays in procurement processes in the area of the Integrated Justice System (IJS).


3.4.2.    The same pattern is observed in the first three quarters of 2014/15. Further, R278 million was shifted from the capital works budget due to delays in infrastructure projects during the 2014 AENE to fund other priorities (R30 million for a shortfall in municipal rates, taxes and office accommodation in the Administration programme; R101.8 million to the Marikana and Arms Procurement Commissions; R40 million for a shortfall in security services; R21 million to fund a new Commissioner for the SAHRC and the implementation of a criminal case backlog project at Legal Aid South Africa; and R73 million for equipment for new and existing courts).


3.4.3.    Even after R278 million was shifted during the Adjusted Estimates of National Expenditure (AENE) 2014/15 to fund other priorities, underspending of the capital works budget can be observed. Additional areas of under-expenditure include magistrate’s salaries due to delays in filling vacant magistrate’s posts.


3.5.        Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR) recommendations


3.5.1.    In the October 2014 BRRR, the Committee expressed its concerns regarding:

·         The potential impact of budget cuts on the delivery of justice services.

·         The Committee did not, however, recommend that additional funding be allocated to the Department going forward.

·         The Committee, however, recommended that additional funding be allocated to Legal Aid South Africa for increased human resource capacity and to increase its civil work.


3.5.2.    National Treasury provided the following response to the Committee’s recommendations:

·         Additional funding in the amount of R60 million is allocated to increase human resource capacity associated with the appointment of additional magistrates (R18 million in 2015/16; R20 million in 2016/17; and R22 million in 2017/18).

·         An amount of R66.8 million is allocated over the 2015 MTEF for increased human resource capacity to deal with the criminal case backlog.



Part 2

4.     Policy developments


4.1.        In 2014/15, until Government’s new Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2014-2019 was approved, Departments were instructed to continue to base their operational plans on their existing plans. From 2015/16, however, strategic and operational planning is expected to reflect government priorities found in the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 and the MTSF 2014-2019. The MTSF covers the first five years of the NDP and, largely, focuses on its operationalization.


4.2.        For the Peace and Security Cluster, crime and corruption are still regarded as posing a significant threat to the realisation of Government priorities. Unacceptably high levels of crime impact on the well-being of people in South Africa and negatively affect the economy by discouraging investment. For 2009/10 – 2013/14, achieving Government’s Outcome 3 (All people in South Africa are and feel safe) provided impetus to a Justice Crime Prevent and Security (JCPS) Cluster delivery agreement to achieve the Outcome and accompanying targets. This continues under the MTSF 2014 – 2019. As the MTSF notes, although there has been some progress to date, public perceptions relating to the levels of crime and personal safety remain predominantly negative.


4.3.        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. A key project – identified in terms of the NDP - is the Criminal Justice System (CJS) Revamp, which includes the Integrated Justice System (IJS). This project involves the JCPS Cluster departments, as well as the Department of Social Development. Challenges that the intervention is intended to address include case backlogs, undue length of remand detention, inadequate use of diversion programmes, overcrowding in correctional centres, limited rehabilitation and welfare programmes for first and young offenders, and recidivism.


4.4.        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 Public Protector and the Anti-Corruption Task Team (ACTT) (of which the SIU is a part), etc. Legislation is to be introduced that amends the Protected Disclosures Act, 2000, to strengthen the protection of whistle-blowers.


4.5.        Strengthening judicial governance and the rule of law is considered vital to further the transformative promise of our Constitution. Challenges, such as court administration inefficiencies undermine the right of access to justice. The establishment and strengthening of the Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) is key to addressing governance concerns relating both to judicial independence and accountability, which encompasses the selection and appointment, ethics, leadership and management and the administration of courts. The focus remains on strengthening the Office to enhance its capacity to support the Chief Justice in his or her role as head of the Judiciary and to provide a platform for the implementation of judicial reforms that will improve service delivery and address administrative challenges in a context that also respects judicial independence. The underperformance of courts, which is attributed to, among others, continuing case backlogs, a culture of postponement of cases, the lack of adherence to trial dates and reserved judgements, all of which contribute to undermining access to justice, is cause for considerable concern. The establishment of judicial norms and standards addresses some of these challenges, as the rollout of the judicial case-flow management system. Various institutional reforms are intended to further strengthen both judicial accountability and independence. These take the form of legislation, strengthened judicial governance and regulatory arrangements, and measures to improve judicial training, etc.


4.6.        Other aspects of transformation address access to justice through 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, as well as transforming branch courts in historically under-resourced areas to full-service courts.


4.7.        The review of the civil justice system is a further initiative to increase access to justice. Establishing small claims courts in all 384 magisterial districts; reviewing the Rules of Court for simplified processes; and the institutionalisation of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are all important projects in this regard.


4.8.        The transformation of State Legal Services is intended to address issues of quality of work and to better manage state litigation, as well as the counter the slow pace of transformation within the legal profession by developing legal skills in the private sector through the equitable outsourcing of legal work to redress the imbalance of past discriminatory practices in the legal profession and in the State. Expenditure on legal services by national departments is significant. Cabinet has approved a policy to transform State Legal Services. As a first step, legislation now provides for the appointment of a Solicitor-General, who will oversee state litigation and put in place measures to effectively manage state litigation. The Minister, after consultation with the Solicitor-General, may make binding policy on the co-ordination of civil litigation in the Department and the State and on the appointment of attorneys and advocates, who were previously disadvantaged, to undertake work on behalf of the State.


4.9.        In addition to institutional or structural reforms, transformation of our legal system also requires that there is recognition that the dominant legal culture elevates Roman Dutch and English Common Law, while the value of indigenous African law is depreciated. The Constitutional Justice Project assesses the impact that the decisions of the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of Appeal and is intended to guide discussion on possible legal and constitutional reforms.



5.     Minister’s political overview 2015/16


On 15 April 2015, the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Mr M Masutha, highlighted the following:

·                The Department is not outside of national policies, such as the provision of opportunities for youth in the form of learnerships, and must respond to the challenges that our country faces, including violent crime.

·                The Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Act, 2013, affirms the Chief Justice as head of the judiciary responsible for oversight of all courts, while the Superior Courts Act, 2013, provides the legislative framework for judicial governance. From 1 October 2014, administration of the Superior Courts, the JSC and SAJEI was transferred from the Justice Department to the OCJ, with funds and staff. The OCJ has its own Vote account as from 1 April 2015. The Ministry is planning a colloquium for the end of 2015 to, among others, address issues of accountability in the context of a judiciary-led court administration. The judiciary has presented its position. A discussion document will be developed for the colloquium.

·                Transformation of the legal profession will influence the success of other transformation initiatives. Programmes should ensure that young people who want to enter the legal profession are adequately supported to do so. Issues of racial and gender-representativity need also to be elevated within the legal profession: Briefing patterns tend still to follow historical patterns obstructing aspiring African and women legal practitioners from making a go of it in the profession. This, in turn, narrows the pool for selection of new judges.

·                The Department has prioritised the transformation of State Legal Services, both as a means of addressing the quality of the services provided and to empower previously disadvantaged individuals through its briefing patterns.

·                The NPA is a programme within the Vote but reports separately to Parliament on its spending and performance. In order to ensure regulatory compliance, these accounting arrangements may need to be reviewed to ensure the most appropriate institutional and administrative arrangements.

·                Access to justice entails bringing court services closer to the people. To address the situation of people having to travel long distances for justice services as a consequence of apartheid boundaries, the Department has embarked on a process of realigning magisterial with municipal boundaries for enhanced access to justice. Further the new High Court in Limpopo is almost done and completion of a new High Court in Mpumalanga will follow soon.

·                Countrywide, the intention over the MTSF period is that all 387 municipalities will have at least one small claims court, as they provide a key point of access to justice services.

·                The issue of dilapidated infrastructure remains a challenge. This is being addressed at a very high level.

·                Despite the many improvements to the legal system generally over the past 20 years, there is need for a comprehensive review of the entire justice system (both criminal and civil) to restore confidence in the system.



Part 3


6.     Department of Justice and Constitutional Development: Strategic priorities


6.1.        The Director General presented the Department’s Strategic Plan 2015 - 2020 and 2015/16 Annual Performance Plan.


6.2.        In its strategic and operational plans, the Justice Department has aligned its priorities with the NDP to address, in particular, chapters 12 (Building safer communities) and 14 (Promoting accountability and fighting corruption). The Department also has a role to play in implementing chapters 11 (Social protection), 13 (Building a capable state) and 15 (Transforming society and uniting the country).


6.3.        The Department has the following strategic outcome-orientated goals:

·         An efficient, effective and development-orientated administration (aligned to Outcome 12: An efficient, effective and development-orientated Public Service).

·         Improved administrative support to the justice system enabling efficient resolution of cases (criminal, civil and family law) (aligned to Outcome 3: All people in South Africa are and feel safe and Outcome 13: An Inclusive and responsive social protection system).

·          Provision of quality legal services that strengthens the capacity of the State (aligned to Outcome 12: An efficient, effective and development-orientated Public Service).

·         Promote constitutionalism and social justice to contribute to social cohesion (Outcome 14: Nation-building and social cohesion).


6.4.        Notably the Department’s internal priorities have shifted. Although the focus on good governance and service turnaround in Maintenance Services remains, service turnaround in the Master’s Office falls away as a priority area. Instead, the Department has prioritised service turnaround in the State Attorney’s Office and the creation of youth employment opportunities.



7.     Department of Justice and Constitutional Development: Budget analysis


Table 3: Department of Justice and Constitutional Development 2015 MTEF per programme




Real Increase /




Real % change





1 940.0

1 850.0

- 168.5

- 8.68

Court Services

5 330.0

5 520.0

- 60.5

- 1.13

State Legal Services:


1 030.0



Justice Modernisation



- 0.4

- 1.11


9 180.0

9 390.0

- 219.9

- 2.38


7.1.        The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development’s budget increased from R9.18 billion in 2014/15 to R9.39 billion in 2015/16. In addition, there is a direct charge against the National Revenue Fund of R1.8 billion (compared to 2014/15 of R2.7 billion for both judges and magistrates’ salaries).


7.2.        As a result of the current economic climate the Department’s increase is below inflation (in real terms its budget has decreased by -2.38% compared to 2014/15). The Department has attempted as far as possible to accommodate budget cuts under its Administration programme.


7.3.        The bulk of spending remains directed towards Court Services, which is the Department’s main service delivery programme.


7.4.        Budget constraints create spending pressures in the following areas:

·         Implementation of legislation, for example, the establishment of an Information Regulator in terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act.

·         The introduction of paralegals in regional and district courts.

·         The maintenance of security infrastructure at service points and offices.

·         Implementation of the Small Claims Court Re-engineering programme.

·         Creating technical capacity in the Department to fast-track infrastructure projects to be implemented by the Department of Public Works.

·         The introduction of mediators according to the Draft Rules on Mediation.



8.     Department of Justice and Constitutional Development: Programmes


8.1.        Programme 1: Administration


8.1.1.    The Administration programme is allocated R1.85 billion in 2015/16 compared to R1.94 billion in 2014/15 (for the Ministry, Management, Corporate Services and Office Accommodation subprogrammes). The programme shows a real percentage decrease of -8.65% from 2014/15.


8.1.2.    The purpose of this programme is to manage the Department, develop policies and strategies for efficient administration of justice and provide centralised support services.


8.1.3.    Strategic objectives for this programme are as follows:

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

·         Implementation of programmes aimed at creating employment opportunities for the youth.

·         Reduction of fraud and corruption cases in the Department.

·         Increased number of public bodies complying with Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (PAIA).


8.1.4.    Reported funding pressures:

·         Lack of office accommodation in some areas impacting on ability to take on additional staff.

·         Substantial increases in municipal services rates.

·         Escalating security costs. 


8.2.           Programme 2: Court Services


8.2.1.    The Court Services programme is allocated R5.5 billion in 2015/16 compared to R5.3 billion in 2014/15 (for the Lower Courts, Family Advocate, Magistrates Commission, Government Motor Transport, Facilities Management and Administration of Lower Courts sub-programmes.) This programme shows a real decrease of -1.13% from 2014/15.


8.2.2.    The purpose of this programme is to facilitate the resolution of criminal, civil and family law disputes by providing accessible, efficient and quality administrative support to the courts and to manage court facilities.


8.2.3.    Strategic objectives for this programme are as follows:

·         Improved finalisation of criminal cases in support of Outcome 3.

·         Provide improved court-based services to achieve clients’ satisfaction within vulnerable groups.

·         Increased protection of best interests of children and promotion of family cohesion through mediation.

·         Increased access to justice services to historically marginalised communities (previously underserviced communities).

·         Improved level of compliance with quasi-judicial standards of services.


8.2.4.    Reported funding pressures:

·         Financial constraints in implementing key legislation, for example, the Child Justice Act, 2008.

·         Insufficient capacity at court contributes to service delivery challenges.

·         Insufficient budget and cash flow to implement capital projects.


8.3.           Programme 3: State Legal Services


8.3.1.    The State Legal Services programme is allocated R1.03 billion In 2015/16 compared to R964.3 million in 2014/15 (for the State Law Advisers, Litigation and Legal Services, Legislative Development and Law Reform, Master of the High Court and Constitutional Development subprogrammes). The programme shows an increase in real terms of 2.13% from 2014/15.


8.3.2.    The programme provides legal and legislative services to organs of State; supervises the administration of deceased and insolvent estates and the liquidation of juristic persons, registration of trusts; and management of the Guardian’s Fund.


8.3.3.    Strategic objectives for this programme are as follows:

·         Increased efficiency in providing Master’s services to all beneficiaries thereof (the Guardian’s Fund, trusts and insolvent and deceased estates).

·         Improved management of litigation on behalf of the State to reduce litigation costs and transform the legal profession.

·         Enhanced re-integration of petty offenders into the socio-economic environment.

·         Provision of quality legal advisory services which pass constitutional muster.

·         Fulfilment of international obligations.

·         Development of legislative instruments that withstand constitutional challenge.

·         Promotion of broad-based knowledge about and support for values of equality, human dignity and fundamental human rights.

·         Implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommendations, as approved by Parliament


8.3.4.    Reported funding pressures are:

·         Insufficient capacity to meet the legal service requirements of the State.

·         Increasing litigation costs.

·         Shortfall for participatory democracy programmes funded by the European Union (EU).


8.4.           Programme 5: Auxiliary and Associated Services


8.4.1.    The programme provides a variety of auxiliary services associated with the Department’s aim, and funds transfer payment to the South Africa Human Rights Commission, the Public Protector, Legal Aid South Africa, the Special Investigation Unit and the President’s Fund.


8.4.2.    Included under the Justice Modernisation sub-programme is funding for the Integrated Justice System (IJS) on behalf of the Justice Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster departments and entities. The allocation to this subprogramme increases from R942 million in 2014/15 to R976.3 million in 2015/16, decreasing in real terms by -1%.


8.4.3.    The related strategic objective for the Justice Modernisation sub-programme is as follows: establishment of an integrated electronic criminal justice system to modernise the management of the criminal justice information.


8.4.4.    The key integration priorities for the Justice Modernisation sub-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).

·         Establishment of a single data store for the JCPS Cluster for statistical purposes.



Part 4


9.     National Prosecuting Authority


9.1.        The NPA is a sub-programme in the Justice and Constitutional Development Vote. At present, the NPA prepares separate financial statements, although the Director-General: Justice and Constitutional Development remains it’s Accounting Officer.


9.2.        The National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Mr M Nxasana, presented the NPA’s Strategic Plan 2015 - 2020 and Annual Performance Plan 2015/16.


9.3.        The NPA provides a co-ordinated prosecuting service that: ensures that justice is delivered to the victims of crime through general and specialized prosecutions; removes the profit from crime; and protects certain witnesses.


9.4.        The NPA remains committed to the strategic direction it embarked on some years ago. This is informed by the NDP, the MTSF and the refined JCPS delivery agreement. The NPA’s strategic outcome-orientated goal is an improved prosecution service by rendering a prosecution service that is effective.


9.5.        The NPA has four strategic objectives, each specifically linked to a sub-programme: National Prosecutions Service (NPS), National Specialised Prosecutions Services (NSPS), Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU); the Office for Witness Protection (OWP) and Support Services (SS).


9.6.        The strategic objectives are as follows:

·         Increased successful prosecutions (NPS): To increase the number of criminal court cases finalized, including ADRM to 504 489 by 2019/20.

·         Improved successful prosecution of cases that require specialised prosecution (NSPS): To increase the conviction rate of complex commercial crime cases to 93% (966) by 2019/20 and expand the number of Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs) to 75 by 2019/20.

·         Ensure that profit is removed from crime (AFU): To increase the number of completed forfeiture cases to 450 by 2019/20 and increase the value of freezing orders to R1.3 billion by 2019/20.

·         Ensure that threatened witnesses are successfully protected (OWP): To ensure that no witnesses or related persons are harmed, threatened or killed whilst on the witness protection programme.


Table 4: NPA - Selected Indicators and targets 2015 MTEF

Audited/Actual Performance


Estimated Performance

Medium Term Targets






NPA Strategic Objective 1: Increased successful prosecution - NPS

Indicator: Number of criminal court cases finalised in the lower courts including ADRM

504 316

472 469

478 686

484 995

491 397

NPA Strategic Objective 2: Improved prosecution of cases that require specialised prosecution – NSPS

Indicator: Conviction rates in complex commercial crime


(1 033)









Indicator: Number of operational TCCs






NPA Strategic Objective 3: Ensure that profit is removed from crime

Indicator: Number of completed forfeiture cases – AFU






Indicator: Value of freezing orders






NPA Strategic Objective 4: Ensure that threatened witnesses are successfully protected – OWP

Indicator: Number of witnesses harmed or threatened or killed whilst on the witness protection programme







9.7.        The NPA has amended certain of its performance indicators:

·         The performance indicator that deals with the ‘number of backlogs cases’ is removed from the Annual Performance Plan as this indicator is the responsibility of the Court Services programme of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

·         The performance indicator for the conviction rate in the prosecution of sexual offences reported at TCCs is removed from the NPA’s Annual Performance Plan as it was a duplication.

·         The indicator for the value of compensation of freezing orders obtained has been reviewed because it did not comply with SMART principles as it does not measure the service for victims of crime and has been reviewed.

·         The percentage of cases reported at TCCs referred to court for prosecution is included as it reflects the value of the Sexual Offences and Community Affairs (SOCA) Unit.


9.8.        For 2015/16 the NPA is allocated an amount of R3.37 billion, which is projected to increase in the medium term to R3.77 billion in 2017/18. The bulk of the NPA’s budget goes to the National Prosecutions Service sub-programme, which receives R2.3 billion in 2015/16, compared to 2.2 billion in 2014/15. The majority of funding is for compensation of employees (83% of the NPA’s budget).


Table 5: National Prosecuting Authority 2015 MTEF per subprogramme








National Prosecutions Services

2 162.6

2 294.1

2 429.1

2 580.8


National Specialised Prosecutions Services






Asset Forfeiture Unit






Office for Witness Prosecution






Support Services







3 254.1

3 374.0

3 557.5

3 771.2



9.9.        The NPA identified the following as its top five risks:

·            Emerging crime trends.

·            Resource capacity.

·            Stakeholder management.

·            Information and knowledge management.

·            Public perception and reputation.



Part 5


10.   Legal Aid South Africa


10.1.      Legal Aid South Africa is an autonomous statutory body established in terms of the Legal Aid South Africa Act 39 of 2014. The main object of Legal Aid SA is to render or make available 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, more recently Legal Aid SA has expanded its services to provide advice and representation in civil matters.


10.2.      Legal Aid SA’s Strategic Plan 2015 – 2020 sets out the outcomes and strategies that it will pursue for that period. Legal Aid SA’s strategic outcomes for 2015-2020 are to provide quality justice for, especially, the poor and vulnerable, and to be a respected, high performance, sustainable and accessible public entity that will have a positive impact on society, the economy and the environment.


10.3.      The overall strategic shift in the 2015 - 2020 period focuses on increased organisational maturity, and sustainable high performance and excellence in all segments of the organisation over the next decade, positively touching the lives of many more South Africans to ensure the outcome of quality justice for all.


10.4.      Legal Aid SA’s strategic objectives are as follows:

·         Empowered clients and communities making informed choices about their legal rights and responsibilities.

·         All poor and vulnerable persons able to access quality public funded legal services to protect or defend their rights.

·         An accessible, effective, fair, independent and efficient justice system serving all in South Africa, contributing to building safer communities.

·         Delivering on the constitutional and statutory shareholder mandate in an independent, accountable and sustainable manner.

·         An organisation embedding sustainable practices in every segment of the organisation, to positively impact on society, the economy and the environment.

·         Embedding good governance, high ethical standards and integrity, high performance and accountability.

·         Revised Legal Aid Act and its subsidiary legislation enacted and implemented.

·         An effective and efficient, economic and environmentally responsive supply chain management system supporting client services delivery and internal business processes.

·         An appropriately resourced national footprint reaching the poor and vulnerable persons requiring legal assistance.

·         An expanded and capacitated/resourced national footprint reaching the poor and vulnerable persons requiring legal assistance.

·         Competent, dedicated, motivated and empowered employees capacitated to deliver the constitutional mandate and organisational strategies.

·         A modern and appropriate, integrated, secure and cost-effective IT Platform supporting the provision of client services and linkages and enabling internal business needs.


10.5.      In carrying out its mandate, Legal Aid SA continues to identify the following priority groups: Children; every detained person, including sentenced prisoners; every accused person who wishes to appeal or review a court decision in a higher court; women, particularly in divorces, maintenance and domestic violence cases; and the landless, especially eviction cases.


10.6.      Legal Aid SA: Selected indicators and targets 2015 MTEF:


Table 6: Legal Aid SA - Selected indicators and targets 2015 MTEF







Legal Aid Services and Special projects

No. new matters approved for legal aid per year

449 538

451 785

454 044

456 314

Criminal matters

392 029

394 029

395 999

397 959

Civil Matters

57 469

57 756

58 045

58 335

No. legal matters finalised per year

431 702

437 878

440 068

442 268

Criminal Matters


385 203


387 129


389 065


391 010


Civil matters

50 496


50 749


51 002


51 257


Ratio of practitioners per district court per year





Ratio of practitioners per regional court per year






10.7.      Legal Aid SA receives its funding as a transfer from the Justice and Constitutional Development Vote: Auxiliary and Associated Services programme. The entity is allocated R1.58 billion in 2015/16 compared with R1.57 billion in 2014/15. More than 70% of Legal Aid SA’s budget is allocated to the delivery of legal services, which is its core business. The rest of the budget is allocated towards programmes that support the delivery of services.


Table 7: Legal Aid SA 2015 MTEF per subprogramme







Legal Aid Services

1 152.5

1 215.6

1 275.2

1 364.9






Special projects






1 522.2

1 587.0

1 672.0

1 782.0


10.8.      National Treasury implemented budget reductions as per Cabinet resolutions for entities with high cash balances. Legal Aid SA’s grant allocation is reduced by R61.8 million in 2015/16 and R92.7 million in the 2016/17 fiscal years. The reductions are to be funded from its cash reserves and service delivery will not be negatively affected.


10.9.      The increase in the number of permanently employed legal practitioners over the medium term is made possible by a Cabinet approved reprioritisation of funds of R39.1 million in 2015/16, R42.3 million in 2016/17 and R45.4 million in 2017/18 from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. These additional funds will contribute to reducing the backlog of criminal cases from 26 363 in 2014/15 to 22 652 in 2017/18. The number of legal practitioners in the organisation is set to increase from 2 132 in 2014/15 to 2 299 in 2017/18, and is intended to provide human resource capacity to the Department’s court expansion programme, which aims to promote access to justice.


10.10.   The increase in legal capacity will also enable Legal Aid South Africa to increase the number of civil matters finalised from 50 496 in 2014/15 to 51 257 in 2017/18, and criminal matters finalised from 385 203 in 2014/15 to 391 010 in 2017/18.



11.   Special Investigating Unit


11.1.      The legislative mandate of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is derived from the Special Investigating Unit and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996 (as amended). Matters are referred to the SIU through a Presidential proclamation, which sets out the scope of an investigation.


11.2.     Its principal function is to investigate serious malpractices, maladministration and corruption in connection with the administration of state institutions, state assets and public money, as well as any conduct which may seriously harm the interests of the public. The SIU also:

·         Institutes and conducts civil proceedings in any court of law or special tribunal, in its own name or on behalf of state institutions.

·         Brings potential disciplinary matters to the attention of state institutions.

·         Provides for the secondment of SIU officials to improve departmental systems.


11.3.     The SIU can refer matters to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (‘the Hawks’) in the South African Police Service (SAPS) (if criminal conduct is uncovered), as well as to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the South African Revenue Service (SARS). It also works closely with the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) and the Anti-Corruption Task team (ACTT).


11.4.     The SIU has a mixed funding model that derives income from a National Treasury grant, as well as work done for State departments. The SIU’s budget allocation in 2015/16 is R445.9 million (compared with R412.6 million in 2014/15), growing to R512 million by 2017/18. The baseline grant increases from R296.8 million in 2014/15 to R304.4 million in 2015/16. Although the baseline grant shows a real decrease of -2.12 %, overall the allocation grows in real terms by 3.12% compared with 2014/15.


11.5.     For 2015/16, therefore, the SIU receives 68.2% of its funding from the baseline grant, while projected revenue funding from fees charged for its forensic investigation and civil litigation services will account for the rest.


11.6.     The SIU retains its programme structure. There are two Programmes, namely: Operations (Forensic Investigations and Civil Litigation); and Non-operations (Administration).


11.7.     The SIU’s strategic outcome is to uncover corruption, malpractice and maladministration and to win the war against these practices. This is aligned with two Government Outcomes, i.e. Outcome 3 (South Africans are and feel safe) and Outcome 12 (Efficient, effective and development oriented state). The Unit’s focus is on contributing significantly to the reduction of corruption and the perception of corruption. These outcomes are linked to the vision set out in the National Development Plan (NDP) which highlights the importance of building a resilient anti-corruption system.


11.8.     As in 2014/15, the Annual Performance Plan is driven by two strategic objectives:

·         Quality forensic investigations, conducting civil litigation and assisting with other processes.

·         Developing and maintaining strategic partner relations.


Table 8: SIU - Selected indicators and targets 2015 MTEF

Strategic objective

Performance Indicator





Quality forensic investigations and civil litigation

No. of proclamations issued





% proclamations finalized





Potential value of cash and/or assets recoverable





Actual value of cash and/or assets recovered





No. of civil matters instituted in court/ Special Tribunal





Strategic partner relations developed and maintained

No. of referrals made to the NPA





No. of referrals made to the AFU





No. of instances where potential disciplinary matters were brought to the attention of relevant state institution






11.9.     The SIU reports the following key organisational challenges:

·         Instability due to constant change in leadership. The Unit is currently led by an acting head. The former head, Adv. Soni, resigned in February 2015 after having been appointed in October 2013.

·         Inconsistent interpretation of the SIU’s enabling legislation by the NPA regarding referrals.

·         The process to set up the Special Tribunal is still to be dealt with.

·         Experienced lawyers are not readily available and the SIU experiences difficulties in recruiting these skills.

·         The implementation of the envisaged case management solution.

·         A culture of non-payment by State institutions under investigation.



12.   Public Protector


12.1.      The Public Protector is an independent constitutional institution whose mandate, broadly, is to support and strengthen constitutional democracy by investigating and redressing maladministration or improper conduct in state affairs.


12.2.      In 2015/16, the Public Protector receives R245.4 million (a real increase of 7.65%) compared to the R217.6 million in 2014/15. In the 2015 Budget speech, the Minister of Finance announced that the Public Protector would receive additional allocations of R15 million in 2015/16, R20 million in 2016/17 and R25 million in 2017/18 from reprioritised funds from the Justice Modernisation subprogramme. The additional funds support government’s focus on fighting corruption and are to fund increased capacity. In 2014/15, the Public Protector, however, requested a budget of more than R300 million and, once more, this year indicates that the Public Protector requires R200 million in addition to its baseline to fund its organisational structure.


Table 9: Public Protector 2015 MTEF per programme




Real % change































12.3.      The bulk of the budget goes towards funding: Investigation activities (R170.8 million); Service points (1 Head Office, 9 provincial offices and 10 regional offices at R14.5 million); and Stakeholder engagement programmes.


12.4.      The Public Protector’s Strategic Vision 2020 remains the same as that approved in 2010 and provides the roadmap for its work, in partnership with Parliament and other organs of State, in preventing and combating maladministration.


12.5.      The Strategic Plan has been slightly adjusted to ensure that its oversight work complements the implementation of the National Development Plan, Vision 2030 and the State of the Nation Address.


12.6.      The strategic objectives of the Public Protector are aligned to its three programmes Administration, Investigations, and Outreach:

·         Be accessible to and trusted by all persons and communities (Outreach).

·         Provide prompt justice including remedial action (Investigations).

·         Promote good governance in the conduct of all state affairs (Investigations).

·         Become an efficient and effective organisation (Administration).

·         achieve optimal performance and a service-focused culture (Administration).


12.7.      Selected indicators and targets include:

Table 10: Public Protector - Selected indicators and targets

Performance Indicator





Develop a funding model

Develop funding model by 31 March 2016

Implement model over two years

Donor funding

Approach 2 institutions

By 31 March 2016

Approach 2 institutions

By 31 March 2017


Develop a quality assurance model

Develop a quality assurance model

By 31 March 2016

Implement a quality assurance model over 2 years

Appoint a panel of legal experts

Appoint a panel of legal experts by 30 September 2015

Monitor performance of panel and submit report to CEO by 31 March 2016

Develop a case management system

Develop a case management system

Training and change management processes completed by 30 November 2016

Develop a caseload model

Develop a caseload model by 31 March 2016

Training and change management processes completed by 30 November 2016

No. of cases older than a year resolved

All cases > 1 year by 31 December 2015

All cases > 1 year by 31 December 2016

No. of systemic investigations concluded

10 by 31 March 2016

10 by 31 March 2017

No. of state institutions consulted re. establishment of a complaints handling mechanism

4 by 31 March 2016

4 10 by 31 March 2017


Develop and implement a comprehensive outreach and stakeholder programme by 31 March 2016

Develop and implement a comprehensive outreach and stakeholder programme by 31 March 2016

Implement a comprehensive outreach and stakeholder programme over 2 years

No. quarterly reports on impact of outreach activities



No. of mobile offices per province per annum

48 per province (1920) by 31 March 2016

48 per province (1920) by 31 March 2017


12.8.      The Public Protector identifies the following as emerging risks:

·         Financial constraints impacting on operations and on its ability to fully discharge mandate, as baseline funding has not increased.

·         Poor systems and processes have impacted negatively on the Public protector’s ability to execute mandates effectively.

·         The inability to finalise investigations speedily.

·         Decisions are increasingly taken on review with associated costs.

·         Limited physical access to the Public Protector impacts on rural communities, especially. Capacity constraints also impact on accessibility.



13.   South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)


13.1.      The SAHRC’s mandate is extremely broad, encompassing almost every aspect of civil, political 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 also has specific obligations in terms of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, 2000 (PEPUDA). The commencement of the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013, will impact on the SAHRC’s obligations relating to the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (PAIA). These functions, excluding the Commission’s protection mandate, are to be transferred to an Information Regulator when it is established.


13.2.      The South African Human Rights Commission Act 40 of 2013, which provides for the composition, powers and functions of the Commission, came into operation on 5 September 2014. The Act repealed the Human Rights Commission Act of 1994, bringing the Commission’s enabling legislation in line with the Constitution and subsequent legislation.


13.3.      The Commission’s past strategic focus was directed at organisational restructuring to allow for improved performance management; and enhancing its protection mandate by improving its electronic complaints handling system and boosting its legal capacity.


13.4.      The Commission’s Strategic Plan 2015 – 2020 has retained its strategic outcomes in terms of which the Commission commits to:

·         Use and project a broader Constitutional and legislative mandate.

·         Engage with processes of enacting legislation that promotes Constitutional human rights obligations.

·         Enhance understanding of international and regional issues through engagement with stakeholders.

·         Enforce protection of rights through alternative dispute resolution and other means, such as equality courts and litigation.

·         Intensify advocacy as well as public and community outreach.

·         Structure Commissioners’ strategic focus areas to enhance effectiveness.

·         Strengthen key stakeholder relationships.

·         Develop the institution as a learning organisation.

·         Strengthen capacity that supports delivery on the mandate.


13.5.      The Commission has identified the following five strategic objectives:

·         Promote compliance with international and regional obligations.

·         Advance the realisation of human rights.

·         Enhance and deepen the understanding of human rights and promote a human rights culture.

·         Use and project a broader constitutional and legislative mandate.

·         Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Commission to support delivery on the mandate.


Table 11: South African Human Rights Commission -Selected indicators and targets

Performance Indicators

Performance Targets





Strategic Objective 1: Promote compliance with international and regional obligations

Participation in: ICC Chairpersons activities; international SAHRC activities; NANHI activities; and ACHPR activities etc.

No. of international and regional activities participated




No. monitoring reports completed on implementation of Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Monitoring framework

Monitoring Report

Strategic Objective 2:Advance the realisation of human rights


Develop a repository of SAHRC recommendations

Report recommendations

Develop depository


Monitor implementation of High Court judgement Lindela

Monitoring mechanism established

Monitoring Report

Completion of section 184(3) reports

No. of state of human rights reports



Completion of special focus area report

No. of annual thematic reports


Business and human rights


No. national hearings conducted




No. of Charter of Children’s’ Basic Education Rights Baseline surveys completed



Strategic Objective 3: Enhance and deepen understanding of human rights and promote a culture of human rights


Launch of access to justice campaign



Strategic Objective 4: Use and project a broader constitutional and legislative mandate


No. of PAIA handover frameworks completed




No. of section 10 manuals reviewed and translated



Strategic Objective 5: Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Commission to support delivery on the mandate.


Review of governance structures


Revised framework and practices


% implementation of gender mainstreaming plan




% implementation of organisational renewal plan




13.6.      The Commission has identified the following as key risks to its achieving its goals: funding constraints; information technology risks; poor human rights awareness; education and advocacy, as well as inadequate mechanisms to monitor and assess the Commission’s impact.


13.7.      The Commission identifies a theme or strategic focus area annually. The Commission has reported that it develops these annual themes taking into consideration: the nature of complaints being received (using trends analysis reports); topical issues of national concern and provincial demographics, such as language.


13.8.      The Business and Human Rights theme adopted in 2014/15 is extended to 2015/16. The main focus in 2015/16 will be on processes that address the following topics:

·         The impact of micro-lending on poor communities and individuals.

·         Precarious employment.

·         Employment of people with disabilities and their rights.

·         Implications of business and human rights on foreign nationals.

·         Business and the right to food, considering food and seed prices, linking this to food as a social determinant of health.

·         Consideration of 2014/15 Business and Human Rights Report findings.


13.9.      The Commission is funded by way of a direct transfer from the Justice and Constitutional Development Vote. In 2015/16 the allocation increases slightly from R130.2 million in 2014/15 to R144.3 million in 2015/16. An additional amount of R7 million increases the baseline for the appointment of an 8th commissioner and support staff (R2 million) and to fund critical posts (R5 million).


13.10.   The Commission’s budget is spread across its three main programmes: Administration; Promotion and Protection of Human Rights; and Research, Monitoring and Evaluation. An amount of R93.1 million or 64% of the Budget is for personnel costs; and R39.4 million or 28% is for committed costs relating to corporate services, including Auditor-General fees; office rental and municipal charges; and IT and HR related costs. Notably, only R11.4 million or 8% of the budget is allocated to core operational units.


Table 12: South African Human Rights Commission 2015 MTEF per programme




Real % change








Promotion and protection of human rights




Research and monitoring and evaluation.










Part 6


Committee’s observations


14.   Department of Justice and Constitutional Development


14.1.      The Committee reiterates its view that transformation of the legal system to meet constitutional imperatives should not only address structural and/or institutional change but also the need for substantive reform. To date, we have largely been busy with the formal aspects of transformation and the progress in this regard is steady. Unfortunately, there has been a lesser focus on transforming the substantive law for a progressive jurisprudence that contributes to the State’s efforts to redress the legacy of apartheid, of inequality, exclusion and poverty. At present, our courts apply law that has its roots in the (English) Common Law and Roman-Dutch Law, when adjudicating on criminal, civil and family matters. The Committee has reflected before that this denies African Indigenous Law equal status. The underlying ethos of African Indigenous Law is inquisitorial and consensual and does not require legal representation, making justice more readily accessible to the poor. The Committee notes that the Department is undertaking work in this regard: the work of the Constitutional Jurisprudence Project, which assesses the jurisprudence flowing from decisions of the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of Appeal, is close to completion and a report is imminent. The findings are intended to prompt public discourse on the need for legal reforms in order that a clear programme of action can be developed. The Committee was briefed last year on the Project. The Committee asks that the Department keep it informed regularly of the progress made, and looks forward to engaging with the report at the appropriate time.


14.2.      The Committee is of the view that to enhance access to justice we should make better use of what is already in place. In this regard, traditional courts can considerably ease the burden on the judicial system but need the necessary legislative framework to ensure that constitutional concerns are properly addressed and that these courts are appropriately resourced. Legislation on the traditional courts has a very long history: it was first introduced in the Third Parliament where it lapsed; was revived, withdrawn and then reintroduced in the Fourth Parliament where once more it lapsed. The Committee is also aware that, in the past, the relevant legislation attracted considerable controversy. It is informed that the Department is developing a discussion document on the traditional justice system from which a policy framework will be developed. The discussion document does not concern itself with whether traditional courts should form part of the South African legal system or not, as it is acknowledged that these are the bedrock of the indigenous legal system. Rather, the question sought to be answered by the discussion document is how is the indigenous legal system must be transformed to be consistent with the Constitution. The Committee is told that the Department intends to introduce legislation early in 2016. Given the urgency of the need to transform our legal system to address past legacies, the Committee is unclear on the need for a Discussion Document, as a Bill had already been drafted and tabled in previous Parliaments. In the Committee’s view, the Department should have addressed the challenges raised during parliamentary debates in order that a Bill could be tabled as soon as possible. The Committee restates its belief that for as long as this state of affairs prevails, African Indigenous Law will continue to be regarded as secondary to that of other laws in this country, a situation which should not be supported.


14.3.      The Committee is of the view that greater consideration should be given to using the structures that are already in place to bring justice closer to communities. The Committee has previously urged the Department to consider reviving community justice systems/courts and notes that the Department is exploring the reintroduction of community courts. The envisaged policy framework on the Traditional Courts that is to emerge from the Discussion Document, will also inform the Community Court dispensation, as both import a structured Alternative Dispute Resolution system into our law: The envisaged policy will address some of the challenges that emerged when the Community Court concept was first piloted in 2008.


14.4.      The Committee notes that the Department is in the process of addressing the situation of paralegals. The Justice of Peace Act, 1963, provides a dispensation for the involvement of Justices of Peace in judicial processes. A concept framework and Regulations are being prepared in terms of section 10 of this Act to give recognition of paralegals as an interim measure pending the enactment of legislation that deals specifically with paralegals as contemplated by the Legal Practice Act. The Department is consulting with paralegal movement to canvass principles that should inform the conceptual framework and Regulations and it is envisaged that the applicable framework and Regulations will be finalised for publication towards the end of 2015.


14.5.      The Committee supports the Department’s initiatives to promote multilingualism in courts, as this is vital to ensuring access to justice, despite logistical and resource-related challenges. The Committee feels that, in future, it should be mandatory for law graduates to be able to speak an African language as a pre-requisite to practicing law. The Committee is informed that there are discussions with the Deans of Law at our universities as the LLB curriculum is being reviewed. The Committee urges that the issue of knowledge of an indigenous language for the practice of law in South Africa, as well as the knowledge of African indigenous law, be elevated in such discussions.


14.6.      The Committee is pleased that a draft policy on the use of official languages will soon be published as required by the Use of Official Languages Act, 2012. The policy chooses minimum languages for use in the service points in each province. The Committee believes that this policy will increase access to justice by the majority of our people.


14.7.      The Committee is extremely concerned about the spread of xenophobia and racism. The Committee urges the Department to finalize the National Action Plan Against Racism, Xenophobia and Related Intolerances (NAP), which is at an advanced stage. The Committee also notes the absence of a comprehensive Hate Crimes policy, although it is told that the Department has a comprehensive draft policy. Given the urgency of the Hate Crimes Policy, the Department informed the Committee that it has recommended that a collaboration with the relevant Chapter 9 institutions (the SAJRC, the Commission for Gender Equality and the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities) would be most appropriate, to assist the Department on the public dialogue process. This matter is receiving the attention of the Ministry.


The Committee is told that the Department has recently established a Branch: Constitutional Development. Under this Branch resides the Chief Directorate: Social Justice and Participatory Democracy. This Chief Directorate is mandated with the development of the NAP (Directorate Social Justice) as well as a participatory democracy programme (Directorate: Participatory Democracy). The NAP is not intended to replace existing laws and policies but rather to complement existing Government legislation, policies and programmes which address equality, equity and discrimination. The NAP, as well as the Hate Crimes Policy, is to be used to programmes against all forms of intolerance including xenophobia.


The Committee requests that the Department provide a written report on its progress in finalising the NAP and the Hate Crimes policy by 30 July 2015. The Committee also asks that the same report address any steps taken to implement the SAHRC’s recommendations contained in its Report on the SAHRC Investigation into Issues of Rule of Law, Justice and Impunity arising out of the 2008 Public Violence against Non-Nationals (2010).


14.8.      The Committee notes that the SAHRC is unable to set any timeframes for the transfer of its Promotion of Access to Information (PAIA) mandate to the Information Regulator. The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) provides for the establishment of an Information Regulator, which will have data protection and access to information functions. The Regulator has not been established and, given the Department’s funding constraints, it seems that implementation of POPIA is likely to be delayed although the Department did indicate that there are some funds available. The Committee is concerned as the SAHRC’s PAIA function has never been adequately funded, although it has continued to do the best that it can and has, recently, begun the practice of compiling and tabling section 32 reports that are separate to the annual report. The Committee notes that the Department has activities planned to promote PAIA compliance. The Committee will monitor the Department’s progress in implementing POPIA and asks that the Department provide it with a comprehensive report on this by 30 July 2015.


14.9.      The Department has indicated that it intends to achieve an unqualified audit opinion for the Third Party Funds by 2017/18. Developing a new system to replace the Justice Deposit Accounting System (JDAS), which is an administrattive rather than financial system, is key to the Department’s strategy to ensure a long-term solution to the management of these funds. This is a multi-year project, which is likely to take between 18-24 months from development to implementation. However, there have been delays in awarding the tender for its development but the Department has reported that the matter has been escalated to SITA’s Supply Chain Management Unit and to Executive Management.


For now, the Department has tacit approval from National Treasury to submit separate financial statements for the TPF in accordance with an agreed accounting framework. The Department has prepared annual reports and financial statements for the period 2010/11 – 2013/14. These were audited and have been tabled. The Auditor-General, however, issued a disclaimer on the TPF, largely as a result of the inadequacy of the existing reporting system (JDAS). Further, the legal status of the TPF has yet to be finally resolved (the Department reported previously that it has prepared a Bill which is with the Minister of Finance for comment). While this is the case, the Department risks not being permitted to continue to prepare separate accounts for TPF with adverse consequences for the Department’s unqualified audit outcome.


The Committee requests that the Department provide it with a comprehensive progress report on the TPF by 30 July 2015, and be prepared to address the Committee quarterly on this matter.


14.10.   The Committee remains extremely concerned at the pattern of delays in the completion of capital projects. There is a great need for these new courts: they 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.


Although the Department is dependent on the Department of Public Works for implementation of funded capital projects, the constant delays frustrate access to justice services. They are also wasteful of scarce funds, leading to escalating project costs. In addition, funds allocated to capital works are consistently not spent, which does not assist the Department when it approaches Treasury for additional funding. The response so far has been the Department to reprioritise funds without significant increases to the baseline. Given the strain on the Department’s funds in other priority areas, the Committee notes these developments with dismay while appreciating that the challenges cannot be addressed by the Justice Department alone. The Committee is sympathetic but remains of the view that if the Department 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 is concerned that an area in which the Department reports funding pressures is the development of technical expertise within the Department to better manage these projects. In the Committee’s view there is need for a bilateral agreement between the Department of Public Works and the Departments of Justice and Constitutional Development and Correctional Services going forward. It also notes that the Minister intends to meet with the Minister of Public Works, once officials of both Departments identify the relevant issues to be addressed.


The Committee requests that the Department provide it with a comprehensive progress report on its infrastructure projects by 30 July 2015, and be prepared to address the Committee quarterly of this matter.


14.11.   Parliament approved assistance measures for victims identified in terms of the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) process. The Committee has previously clearly indicated its frustration at ongoing delays in giving effect to the assistance measures that the Department was tasked with implementing and exerted considerable pressure on the Department in this regard. Almost all outstanding beneficiaries indentified in terms of TRC process have now been traced and the reparations paid. The Committee notes that even after many meetings with certain victims’ support organisations, the Department has been unable to resolve the concerns raised, especially regarding the re-opening of the reparations process, and has escalated them.


The Committee remains concerned at the slow progress in promulgating the relevant regulations. The delays are attributed to consultative processes with the relevant departments, although in November 2014 the regulations on Assistance to Victims in respect of Basic Education and Higher Education and Training were published and came into effect. The Department has engaged the Independent Development Trust (IDT) to conduct a needs analysis and project manage the Community Rehabilitation regulations. A total of 18 Communities are to benefit from the R1.13 billion available in the Presidents Fund. The Department reported previously that it has engaged the Independent Development Trust (IDT) to conduct a needs analysis in these communities. The process has been finalised in Gauteng (Mamelodi and Alexandria) and KZN (Bhambayi and Mpophomeni). Consultations have begun in the Free State communities of Thabong and Tumahole. The Department intends in 2015/16 to finalise the regulations on Community Rehabilitation so that it can implement the 18 projects targeted for completion in the next five 5 years.


The Committee requests that the Department provide it with a comprehensive progress report on this matter by 30 July 2015.



14.12.   The Committee remains concerned at the continued and significant under-spending that has taken place on IJS projects. The need for improved co-ordination and integration of the JCPS Cluster departments’ IT systems was identified in 2007 as vital to efforts to ensure the effective implementation of the Criminal Justice System’s Seven-Point Plan. Implementation of the Seven-Point Plan is a key component of the NDP’s vision of building safer communities. A JCPS Cluster review in late 2011 revealed significant challenges, including those relating to the governance and leadership of the Integrated Justice System (IJS) Board; strategic alignment of Cluster departments; and SITA’s internal limitations. The IJS Board, however, has been reconstituted and the Director-General: Justice now receives regular reports, which are shared with her counterparts in stakeholder departments. Although it appears that there is some progress at last, the Committee is aware that the project continues to experience challenges. The Committee intends meeting with all relevant departments in the near future in order to fully understand the scope of the project and the problems that need to be resolved.


14.13.   The Department has indicated that the Transformation of State Legal Services is a priority for the MTSF. The State is the largest consumer of legal services in the country. It also employs hundreds of professionals who provide litigation and legal advisory services for the State in different capacities. There is currently no comprehensive set of clearly defined rules governing how litigation services are to be acquired, managed and monitored.


The State Attorney Offices are faced with numerous challenges, including those related to its enabling legislation, instructions by clients, ICT systems, negative judgements and publicity, budgets, opportunistic litigation, the occupation specific dispensation and increasing costs of litigation.


These systemic challenges in the office have led to poor performance. The Department’s 2013 Policy Framework Document on the Transformation of State Legal Services addresses the apparent lack of co-ordination of legal services. The policy plans to consolidate legal services to the State to enhance performance and should also go some way to respond to the outcry that Previously Disadvantaged Individuals are not briefed commensurate with transformational objectives. The State Attorney Amendment Act, 2014, was a first step in this regard. It provides for the appointment by the Minister of a ‘chief’ State Attorney – the Solicitor-General. The Department previously acknowledged that it has not invested as it should have in State Legal Services but this is not so going forward.


The Committee believes that this area requires urgent attention: at present 70% of cases involving the State are lost with cost implications. The Committee is informed that service turnaround will focus on containing litigation costs for the State by implementing clear guidelines that regulate how state litigation is to be conducted; clarifying the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders (state attorneys and government departments) in state litigation management; and implementing cost cutting measures. The appointment of the Solicitor-General is expected to be finalised in 2015/16.


The Committee requests that the Department brief it specifically on its policy to transform State Legal Services as soon as the programme permits.


14.14.   The Committee agrees with the Minister’s observations regarding the slow pace of transformation within the legal profession and the need to elevate issues of racial and gender representativity. The Committee has looked into the demographics of the profession, which still do not reflect those of the country – even broadly. Entry to the profession is a challenge for many aspirant practitioners especially those lacking resources at the outset of their career, and restrictive and outdated prescripts create further hurdles. The Committee’s attention is drawn to a recent academic study by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (WITS) (September 2014), which argues that because of briefing patterns for advocates, the pool from which women judges can be selected is small. The Legal Practice Act, 2014, is intended to address all of the above concerns: a National Transitional Council has been established with representatives from all sectors of the legal profession, to negotiate the establishment of a South African Legal Practice Council, which will regulate the profession going forward. The Committee trusts that the legal profession will draw together to ensure meaningful and proper implementation of the Act’s provisions and that implementation will not be frustrated because of a failure to pull together.



15.   National Prosecuting Authority


15.1.      The Committee notes that the Ministry has planned initiatives to finalise the National Prosecuting Authority’s governance arrangements. In this regard, the Committee notes also a proposal from civil society (in the media) for a body to be set up to review the decisions of NPA. Currently, there is no complaints mechanism to deal with the conduct of prosecutors, and the Committee believes that the establishment of such a body would strengthen prosecutorial accountability.


15.2.      The Committee notes also that at present the NPA is permitted to report separately on its performance and spending but that going forward the NPA will no longer do so, unless legislation is passed to resolve its accounting status.


15.3.      The Committee is pleased at the focus on greater integration between the JCPS Cluster departments. ‘Docket readiness’, postponements for investigations to be completed, the unavailability of witnesses are all factors that contribute to delays that result in remand detainees being incarcerated for lengthy periods of time and to overcrowding in prisons. The Committee notes too that the integrated Electronic Case Management System (ECMS) solution has been deployed at two sites as a pilot. This development allows integrated case information sharing between the NPA, SAPS and the Justice Department so that prosecutors can receive docket information from SAPS, electronically enrol cases on the court roll and receive case outcome information from the Department’s integrated case management system (ICMS). The pilot is completed and there are plans in 2015/16 to begin with rolling out the solution to all 481 sites. However, the pace with which this can be done is dependent on completion of the Department’s network and band width upgrade projects.


The Committee requests that the NPA provide a written report on the rollout of the pilot to the first 22 sites, which was to be done by the end of 2014/15, as well as progress in rolling out the solution to all sites, by 30 July 2015.


15.4.      The Committee acknowledges that the NPA’s ability to conduct successful prosecutions is dependent on the performance of other stakeholders. In this regard, poor investigation of crimes and gathering of evidence is acknowledged to be a particular challenge, as became evident recently in certain high profile cases. The NPA has identified stakeholder relations as key to its success and has given priority to this area at all levels. In this regard, the NPA actively participates in the forums the Chief Justice has instituted, case flow management forums at all levels and also in other departmental fora. The Committee understands that there are forums in which SAPS participates and the NPA has organized workshops on prosecutor-guided investigations. The Committee asks that the NPA provide it with more information on the extent of the problem and measures put in place to address this. The Committee also notes that the Chief Justice has previously indicated the Judiciary’s willingness to assist the police on issues such as taking statements from witnesses.


15.5.      The Committee notes that the NPA has already completed the recruitment processes for the Limpopo High Court at Polokwane. The NPA indicated that the Pretoria office will lose a lot of work. Although the NPA is confident that here will be no loss of jobs, there will be a need to deploy officials elsewhere. As this will need to be managed carefully, the Committee asks that it is kept regularly informed of this process.


15.6.      The Committee notes the efforts of all the role players involved in ensuring that perpetrators of xenophobia related crimes are speedily dealt with. The Committee also notes that the NPA, SAPS, the Judiciary and other stakeholders have adopted a multi-disciplinary approach to deal with cases of xenophobia.


15.7.      The Committee is pleased that the NPA conducts regular face-to-face public education engagements with civil society about prosecutions and the criminal justice system. The Committee urges the NPA to also address the problem of violent protests and industrial action in its engagements with civil society.


15.8.      The Committee is pleased with the efforts of the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) but is concerned that a lack of resources may negatively affect its ability to take on more cases. The AFU indicated that given capacity and funding concerns it may need in future to prioritise larger cases. The Committee is dismayed that this should be the case, given the focus on rooting out corruption. The Committee also notes that monies recovered by the AFU are forfeited to the CARA fund. CARA funding, however, is distributed for specific projects, such as curator fees, and cannot be used to employ more much-needed capacity in the AFU. The Committee is aware that the Competition Tribunal is able to keep funds it recovers and is of the view that the present arrangements regarding the distribution of CARA funds may need to be reviewed in order that the AFU can be adequately resourced.



16.   Legal Aid SA


16.1.      The Committee congratulates Legal Aid SA on its innovative approach to ensure that all South Africans, regardless of the financial circumstances, can access justice services. There was unanimous support for the view that Legal Aid SA is an exemplary institution with much to offer other organisations in the way of best practice. The Committee is pleased that once again (for the 13th year in a row), Legal Aid SA has achieved an unqualified audit opinion.


16.2.      Legal Aid SA has new enabling legislation but the Committee is assured that a transitional Board is in place to ensure that the process goes smoothly.


16.3.      The Committee is pleased to note that Legal Aid SA has taken to heart the Committee’s views on the balance of criminal and civil work. The Committee is impressed that Legal Aid SA is exploring different ways to expand its civil work. In particular, Legal Aid SA is making good use of its paralegals to travel to communities in order to give advice and has invested in vehicles for this purpose. The innovative use of technology is another way that Legal Aid SA has increased its reach. Further, Legal Aid SA provides assistance in certain maintenance and estate matters, providing a service that greatly benefits women and children.


16.4.      The Committee is aware that the high demand for legal aid services poses an enormous challenge to Legal Aid SA’s practitioners.  Practitioner coverage at many courts is insufficient and relief capacity inadequate. This has serious consequences for the effective and efficient delivery of justice services, as gaps in court coverage place strain on the criminal justice system as a whole and can result in postponements, among others. The intention was that Legal Aid SA have at least one practitioner per court but this has not transpired as a result of budget constraints.


16.5.      The Committee notes that that Legal Aid SA has been required to absorb budget cuts from its cash reserves. Nonetheless, there is provision for additional capacity that is made possible by a Cabinet-approved reprioritisation of funds from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development of R39.1 million in 2015/16, R42.3 million in 2016/17 and R45.4 million in 2017/18. The additional capacity will contribute to reducing the backlog of criminal cases and the expansion of court services to rural areas, and will also allow Legal Aid SA to continue to grow its civil work (albeit modestly).



17.   Special Investigating Unit


17.1.     The Committee notes that the SIU indicated that it is adequately funded although it has experienced difficulties collecting monies owed from State institutions.


17.2.     The Committee engaged on the issue of possible duplication of roles among anti-corruption organisations. The SIU agreed that it is possible to debate this but argued that its powers of civil recovery make it unique among such agencies. In addition, the NDP supports the retention of the present anti-corruption system, which has a multiplicity of agencies, on the basis that this promotes independence and insulates institutions from political pressure and interference. Nonetheless, the SIU concedes that there is scope for better co-ordination and communication between institutions, a view that the Committee supports.


17.3.      The SIU indicates that it requires experienced legal expertise The SIU does provide opportunities to young graduates to gain experience in this field and is committed to their development. However, as the SIU has shifted its strategic focus to obtaining legal outcomes (civil, criminal and disciplinary), it also needs experienced lawyers to achieve these outcomes. The SIU also indicated that it requires other specialist skills, for example, accountants, and agrees that ideally these skills would be available to it in house. The Committee notes, however, that the SIU has taken its views on the use of consultants to heart, sourcing in skills only when it is necessary to do so.


17.4.     The Committee notes that the SIU is recently without a permanent Head: Adv. Soni, the former incumbent, resigned from the Unit as from 28 February 2015. Adv. Visagie has been appointed as Acting Head for now. The Committee is aware that Adv. Soni spearheaded a new vision for the SIU, which moved away from a focus on historical to real time investigations with faster turnaround times and recovery of monies through civil litigation. The Committee believes that it is undesirable for the position to remain vacant for any length of time and urges that the Ministry take this matter up with the Presidency if it has not already done so.


17.5.     The Committee notes that there is no longer a budget for consultants. Adv. Soni reported previously that the bulk of the forensic consultant fees are in fact due to the Anti-Corruption Task Team (ACTT). The SAPS (the Hawks), the NPA (AFU) and SIU all form part of the ACTT, working in tandem to streamline the finalisation of criminal matters. Money was made available to the SIU for ACTT, as the ACTT does not have a dedicated budget to fund its activities. However, this has created supply chain management problems for the SIU and the decision was made that an alternative mechanism is needed for the ACTT to be able to acquire its own consultants.


17.6.     The SIU has a dual funding model, which consists of a baseline grant from National Treasury and revenue received from charging and recovering fees and expenses from State institutions for work done together with legal costs relating to the conducting of civil proceedings. The Committee remains concerned about the culture of non-payment by state institutions under investigation. Parliament passed legislation to enable the SIU to charge for investigations conducted with the long term view that the SIU would become fully self-funded. Before this there was a time that the SIU experienced considerable funding difficulties as a result when it was to charge for its services. Although, for now, difficulties in collecting monies owed does not appear to have affected the SIU’s budget for now, the Committee is concerned. The Committee urges that the discussions with Treasury to establish a mechanism for enforcement should be concluded as speedily as possible.


17.7.     The SIU’s enabling legislation provides that it should, at least twice a year, submit a report to Parliament on its investigations and on its activities, composition and spending. The Committee acknowledges that the SIU has experienced problems relating to reporting in past: the SIU’s investigations are mandated by way of presidential proclamation and, for this reason, it has adopted an approach whereby it reports to the Presidency first. In the past, the SIU would provide the Committee with a “high-level” summary of the matters it was dealing with but did not so now. The issue of reporting to Parliament needs to be clarified for the purposes of oversight. The Judicial Matters Amendment Bill, 2014, which is before the Committee for consideration and report, proposes amendments to the SIU’s reporting mechanisms and should provide the Committee with an opportunity to engage decisively on this issue.


17.8.     The Committee feels that the SIU’s targets are set rather low. The  SIU indicated that this is because it can only base its targets on past performance as the SIU has no idea how many proclamations will come its way in future. It, therefore, prefers to set lower targets and then exceed expectations. The Committee accepts this but feels that there should be a better way of setting targets. The Committee also notes that, for the first time, the SIU has created capacity that has a knowledge management component, which will allow it to identify best practices. The Committee feels that this may provide scope for the SIU to better formulate its targets.


17.9.     The Committee asks that the SIU provide it with details of its audit action plan and progress made in addressing findings by 30 July 2015. The Committee notes that some of the problems are as a result of instability relating to the post of CFO and trusts that this will be resolved by the recent appointment of a CFO.


17.10.   The Committee is informed that the Special Tribunal will only be established if there is sufficient case load. The Committee is not clear if the decision to establish the Tribunal should solely depend on case-load and requests more information in this regard. It strikes the Committee that a Special Tribunal would be able to process matters faster than the ordinary courts, where heavy court rolls often result in delays. This would highlight that corruption does not pay. The Committee also notes that although the SIU’s 2014/15 budget provided for the establishment of a Special Tribunal to meet performance targets, there is no such provision in the SIU’s planning and budget for 2015/16.



18.   Public Protector


  1. The Committee emphasises its respect for the Public Protector and the duty to support and assist the Office.


  1. The Committee congratulates the new CEO and CFO on their appointments.


  1. Once again the Public Protector highlights the need for additional funding (in the amount of R200 million) to fund its organisational structure. While it does not dispute the Public Protector’s heavy caseload, it is unclear what measures are in place to manage the uptake of cases in situations where there are overlapping mandates with institutions, such as the Public Service Commission. This may well contribute to the strain on resources. The 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. The Committee asks, once again that the Public Protector provide a comprehensive report on its case load, including the number and type of cases being investigated and when these were received and finalized. The Committee also notes that the Public Protector’s allocation increased in real terms by 7.6% from R217 million in 2014/15 to R245 million in 2015/16. Further, the additional funds were reprioritised from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development’s Justice Modernisation sub-programme for additional capacity.


  1. The Public Protector informed the Committee that it intends to approach two institutions for donor funding by 31 March 2016. The organization also intends developing and implementing a funding model over the next few years. The Committee requests the Public Protector to elaborate on its plans in this regard.


  1. In 2013/14, the Public Protector received an unqualified audit opinion with findings. The Auditor General’s report on the Public Protector’s Financial Statements for 2013/14 stated, on the matter of the Public Protector as a going concern, that “Note 28 to the financial statements indicates that the constitutional institution incurred a deficit of R20 450 499 during the year ended 31 March 2014 and, as of that date, the constitutional institution’s current liabilities exceeded its current assets by R38 912 530. This condition indicates the existence of a material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt on the constitutional institution’s ability to discharge its liabilities in the normal course of business” The Committee reiterates its remarks made during the 2014 BRRR. The Committee is pleased to learn that the Public Protector is working the Auditor-General to address the findings, the Committee asks that it be provided with the Public Protector’s audit action plan by 30 July 2015, and be kept informed of progress made to address findings in writing on a quarterly basis.


  1. The Committee notes the Public Protector’s difficulties relating to accessibility. In the past the Public Protector 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. The Committee is pleased that the Office is to set up 48 Mobile offices each year for each province. However, as the budget for travel and subsistence has been decreased, the Committee wonders if this target will be reached given the limited budget.


  1. The Committee has previously expressed its concern about reports of low morale among staff, which is attributed to the pressure of the investigative load and a lack of support. While the Committee acknowledges that the investigative load is high, the Committee remains unclear about the factors(s) that have contributed to the challenges that were experienced then and notes too that the Office has experienced organisational problems in the past. The Committee is, therefore, pleased that the Office intends to revise its performance management and development system to ensure optimal performance and a purpose-driven culture. The Committee welcomes this initiative and hopes that such a revision will also assist in creating an environment that is conducive for staff to carry out their work efficiently and effectively. It is, however, a worry that the staff development budget is decreased despite the commitment over the medium term to prioritize staff development training.


  1. The Committee also notes that the Public Protector had previously indicated that it intended to carry out customer surveys. The Committee is generally supportive of such surveys as they are a good way of assessing impact. However, similar indicators are not included in the present annual performance plan 2015/16 and the Committee is curious as to why this is so. The Committee Is interested in the outcomes of the survey and asks that it be provided with a report in this regard.


  1. The Committee welcomes steps to develop a quality assurance manual. It is unclear if there are any current assurance tools or processes to assess the quality of investigations. The Committee requests further information on this.


19.   South African Human Rights Commission


19.1.      The Committee commends the Commission on its initiatives to promote constitutional literacy, particularly among learners, and encourages it to continue to foster national dialogue on human rights issues so as to promote social cohesion and nation building.


19.2.      The Committee is pleased that there is funding for an additional commissioner. This is a most welcome development. The Committee is aware that it was recently tasked with recommending to the National Assembly a suitable candidate for appointment and will prioritise this in its programme.


19.3.      The Committee notes the Commission’s thematic approach to its work. The Commission uses public hearings on an identified theme to air issues and also to educate. The Committee notes too that the process is an inclusive one, in which, among others, government and Chapter 9 institutions are invited to participate. The Committee was fascinated generally to hear more from the Commissioners on their findings and recommendations and believes that the Commission’s work can play a very important role in deepening Parliament’s oversight function.


19.4.      The Committee recommended that greater use be made of the Forum for Institutions Supporting Democracy as a way for these institutions to identify common areas of interest, explore and reconcile overlapping workloads and mandates, and also to look for ways of enhancing collaboration and co-operation among these institutions for enhanced efficiency and effectiveness. The Committee is pleased to hear that the Forum is operating well. It asks that the Commission keep it regularly informed of the Forum’s activities.


19.5.      The Committee agrees that there is 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 recommends that the Speaker convene a workshop with all institutions supporting democracy that not only explores ways in which this relationship can be strengthened but also to discuss identified issues, such as mandates, budgets, etc. The Committee notes too that the National Assembly has not yet considered the Report of the ad hoc Committee on Chapter 9 and Associated Institutions in its entirety. While a considerable length of time has elapsed since the Report was published in 2007, certain recommendations may still be relevant.


19.6.      The Committee notes that the Commission is unable to set any timeframes for the transfer of its Promotion of Access to Information (PAIA) mandate to the Information Regulator. The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) provides for the establishment of an Information Regulator, which will have data protection and access to information functions. The Regulator has not been established and, given the Department’s funding constraints, it seems that implementation of POPIA is likely to be delayed although the Department did indicate that there are some funds available. The Committee is concerned as the SAHRC’s PAIA function has never been adequately funded, although it has continued to do the best that it can and has, recently, begun the practice of compiling and tabling section 32 reports that are separate to the annual report. As stated elsewhere in this report, the Committee will monitor the Department’s progress in implementing POPIA and asks that the Commission keep it informed of developments as well.



20.   Recommendations


20.1.      The Committee recommends that the Traditional Courts Bill be redrafted and reintroduced as a matter of urgency to address the challenge of ensuring a transformed legal system that gives equal status to African Indigenous Law.


20.2.      The Committee recommends that law graduates be required to be able to speak an indigenous language to practice law and that this issue be elevated in discussions regarding the LLB curriculum.


20.3.      The Committee recommends that the Speaker convene a workshop that involves all independent state institutions to discuss identified issues, such as mandates, budgets, etc.


20.4.      The Committee, having considered the Budget Vote 21: Justice and Constitutional Development supports it and recommends its approval with the Democratic Alliance reserving its position.


21.   Appreciation


21.1.      The Committee thanks the Minister and Deputy Ministers for the political overview provided.


21.2.      The Committee also thanks the Director General: Justice and Constitutional Development and all officials who appeared before the Committee for their co-operation.


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


21.4.      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 (Acting) Head of the Special Investigating Unit, as well as all respective staff members that appeared before the Committee, for their co-operation.



Report to be considered



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