ATC170516: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on Budget Vote 21: Justice and Constitutional Development, dated 16 May 2017

Justice and Correctional Services

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on Budget Vote 21: Justice and Constitutional Development, dated 16 May 2017


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 continues to comprise of five programmes, as well as a direct charge for magistrates’ salaries:


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


·         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 South Africa(PPSA).


2.             Method


2.1.            On 28 March 2017, the Acting Minister of Justice and Correctional Services presented an overview of the priorities that inform the policies and strategies for the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.


2.2.            The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Legal Aid South Africa, the Special Investigating Unit, the South African Human Rights Commission and the Public Protector South Africa each presented their revised strategic plans, annual performance plans for 2017/18 and budgets for the 2017 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).


2.3.            The briefings took place as follows:

·         Department of Justice and Constitutional Development – 28 March 2017.

·         National Prosecuting Authority – 29 March 2017.

·         Special Investigating Unit - 4 May 2017.

·         Legal Aid South Africa –  31 March 2017.

·         South African Human Rights Commission – 30 March 2017.

·         Public Protector South Africa – 30 March 2017.


2.4.            All presentations can be obtained from the Committee Secretary.



3.             Overview of Vote 21: Justice and Constitutional Development


3.1.            Fiscal environment


3.1.1.   Planning and budgeting takes place within a context where there is urgent need of transformation. However, times are tough and change is both difficult and contested. Economic growth is slow and unemployment remains too high (with 35% of our labour force unemployed or having given up on finding work), while businesses and families are under financial stress. The inequalities and divisions in our society must be addressed by, among others, planning and implementing a more inclusive and shared economy.


3.1.2.   Fiscal policy is to contain the budget deficit and slow the pace of debt accumulation. To address elevated fiscal risks, Government is managing the national and provincial wage bill, improving budget execution and stabilising the operations of financially troubled public entities.


3.1.3.   Government has reduced the expenditure ceiling by R26.1 billion over the medium term. The intention is to reduce spending on non-core goods and services and compensation of employees. A significant portion of funds have been reprioritised to safeguard the provision of social services, bolster public health programmes, mitigate the increasing costs of higher education and maintain infrastructure investment.


3.1.4.   Key features of 2017 Budget include:

·         The budget deficit will be 3.1% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), in line with the commitment to fiscal consolidation.

·         Government debt is to stabilise at 48% of the GDP over the medium term (at present it stands at 50.7% of GDP).

·         Expenditure is within the envelope projected in last year’s budget.

·         An additional R28 billion will be raised in taxes.

·         Redistribution in support of education, health services and municipal function in rural areas remains the central thrust of spending programmes.

·         Government’s wage bill has stabilised, while procurement reforms continue to improve the effectiveness of public spending.


3.1.5.   The consolidated budget for the defence, public order and safety function accounts for 14.2% of total expenditure. Spending is to focus on fighting transnational crimes, improving policing, peace support operations and military health services.


3.1.6.   Over the MTEF, the baseline allocation for defence, public order and safety decreases overall by R1.8 billion - from R626.8 billion to R625.1 billion. This is mainly as a result of reductions effected on the compensation of employees’ budget of the Department of Correctional Services, the buildings and other fixed structures budget of the Departments of Police and Justice and Constitutional Development, and the goods and services budget of the Department of Defence and Military Veterans.


3.1.7.   In 2017/18, the overall allocation for defence, public order and safety is R196 billion (compared with R179.2 billion in 2016/17), of which approximately 8.6% goes to the Justice and Constitutional Development and 0.5% to the Office of the Chief Justice and Judicial Administration.


Table 1: Spending on Public Order and Defence 2017/18


Public Order and Defence


(R’000 000)

% of Public Order and Defence Spending

Justice and Constitutional Development

16 786


Office of the Chief Justice and Judicial Administration


Correctional Services




Independent Police Investigative Directorate


Defence and Military Veterans


Total Public Order and Defence Spending (excluding Direct Transfer: Magistrates and Judges’ salaries)

196 044.6



3.1.8.   The overall allocation to the Justice and Constitutional Development Vote (Vote 21) for 2017/18 is R18.9 billion (compared with R17.9 billion for 2016/17), including magistrates’ salaries. Over the medium term, the allocation increases to R21.2 billion in 2019/20. In 2017/18, the total for programmes (excluding the direct charge for magistrates’ salaries) is R16.8 billion.


Table 2: Vote 21 - Justice and Constitutional Development for the 2017 MTEF per programme



(R ‘000 000)


2017 MTEF


(Adjusted Appropriation)





2 130.9

2 129.3

2 187.2

2 321.0

Court Services

6 061.6

6 276.8

6 635.7

7 076.9

State Legal Services

1 126.5

1 221.2

1 285.7

1 379.1

National Prosecuting Authority

3 557.5

3 684.3

3 836.8

4 116.3

Auxiliary and Associated Services

3 164.2

3 475.2

3 698.1

3 905.2


16 040.7

16 786.8

17 643.7

18 798.6

Magistrates’ Salaries

1 880.6

2 140.5

2 264.7

2 435.4


17 921.4

18 927.3

19 908.4

21 233,9


3.1.9.   The allocation to the Vote increases in nominal terms by 4.9% from 2016/17. In real terms, however, the allocation decreases by -1.36%. Further, if the allocation for magistrate’s salaries is excluded, the budget decreases in real terms by -1.55%.


Table 3: Vote 21 – Justice and Constitutional Development: Nominal and real change to allocation per programme



(R’000 000)



Nominal % change


Real % change 2017/18




2 130

2 129



Court Services

6 061

6 276



State Legal Services

1 126

1 221



National Prosecuting Authority

3 557

3 684



Auxiliary and Associated Services

3 164

3 475




16 040

16 786



Magistrates (salaries)

2 010

2 140




18 050

18 927





3.2.            Spending trends 2016/17 (First - Third Quarter)


  1. In 2016/17, the Vote received R18.09 billion (inclusive of the direct transfer for magistrates’ salaries of R2.04 billion) but this was adjusted downwards in October 2016 by R39.1 million to R18.05 billion. As a result of delays in filling magistrates’ posts, an amount of R30 million was shifted to the Office of the Chief Justice and Judicial Administration to pay for judges’ leave gratuities. Further, the revised estimate indicates that the budget was adjusted down again to R17.9 billion as a result of underspending in the amount of R129 million relating to magisterial vacancies.


  1. In terms of spending patterns during the 2016/17 financial year, by the end of the third quarter the Department had spent R13.3 billion or 73.6% of the adjusted appropriated budget of R18.05 billion, inclusive of direct charges for magistrates. This spending was lower by R296 million when compared to the approved projections of R13.6 billion. Lower than projected spending occurred in all four programmes.


  1. The projected spending in the Administration programme was lower by R131 million or 8.5%. This was mainly due to delays in settling employee’s performance bonuses, delays in submission of invoices for office accommodation by the Department of Public Works, as well as delays in procurement of office furniture and equipment for Head Office.


  1. In both the Court Services and State Legal Services programmes total expenditure was also slightly lower than the approved projections by 0.6% and 0.7% respectively. In the Court services programme, however, there was overspending in some line items such as buildings and other fixed structures. This was due to the settlement of outstanding invoices for infrastructure projects that were disputed in the previous financial year.


  1. In the Auxiliary and Associated Services expenditure in respect of the Justice Modernisation subprogramme was below approved projections by R53.2 million. This was mainly due to delays in processing the Department of Correctional Services claims for the Integrated Inmate Management System as part of the Integrated Justice System (IJS)/Criminal Justice System (CJS) Revamp projects, as well as delays in the implementation of the court recordings projects.


  1. In respect of performance, at the end of the third quarter of 2016/17, the Department reported that it had achieved 68% of its intended targets (54 of 80 indicators) (It met 68% and 70% of its targets in the first and second quarters of 2016/17 respectively). Key areas of underperformance included:

·         A total of 47% of audit findings were addressed to resolve internal and external audit findings against a target of 60%. It is unlikely that the annual target will be reached as a result of capacity constraints.

·         As at the end of February 2017, a total of 807 people were appointed on internship and learnership programmes against an annual target of 850. However, the Department anticipates that it will meet the target by the end of the Fourth Quarter 2016/17. The Baseline Report on percentage procurement spending on youth is being completed.

·         A total of 65% of non-litigation family law matters were finalised against a target of 80%. The Department anticipates that it will not meet the target by year-end because of capacity constraints.

·         The Department processed a total of 34 requests for extradition and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters and 16 of these requests were finalised within 25 days (a total of 47% against a target of 90%). The target was not met as a result of capacity constraints and the complexity of the requests.

·         The Policy Framework on the Prevention and Combatting of Trafficking in Persons was not submitted by the target date (31 August 2016) as a result of further consultations.

·         No needs analyses were completed in TRC-listed communities against a target of two communities. There are plans in place to meet the annual target of seven communities by the end of 2016/17/

·         A total of 15% of the Integrated Case Management System (ICMS) Criminal Enhancement was completed against a target of 45%. The target will not be achieved as a result of an increased focus on other critical projects such as MojaPay and Court Recording Technology.

·         There was 0% completion of the IJS Hub and Data Warehouse platform enhancement against a target of 45%. Resources have been increased to ensure delivery on this indicator.




4.     Policy developments


4.1.            The National Development Plan (NDP) requires, among others, that we build safer communities; promote accountability and fight corruption; and strengthen judicial governance and the rule of law.


4.2.            In terms of the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2014-2019, it is possible to assign responsibilities to Justice in four key areas:

·         Safety (by contributing to an efficient and effective Criminal Justice system; securing cyber space; and reducing corruption in the public and private sectors).

·         Public Service (by strengthening protection of whistle-blowers and creating an open, responsive and accountable public service through the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000).

·         Social protection (by providing certain justice services to the public, such as maintenance and its administration of the Guardians Fund).

·         Nation building and social cohesion (by promoting knowledge of the Constitution and fostering Constitutional values, and enabling participation and communication).


4.3.            Notably, this year marks the mid-term of the MTSF of the Fifth Administration: the second-half of the MTSF period requires consolidation of initiatives in line with transformation of the justice system within our country for improved access to justice. This includes finalisation of key transformative legislation, implementation of policies and responding to government’s programme of action in relation to Outcome 3: “All people are and feel safe”. There is also a focus on the turnaround of State Legal Services to strengthen the capability of the State to manage litigation.


4.4.            The Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services is an important link in our criminal and civil justice system. To ensure more effective delivery of the Minister’s performance agreement with the President, a Forum of Heads of Entities has been established, which will monitor the implementation of the plans of all the departments and entities within the portfolio.


4.5.            A revised Traditional Courts Bill was introduced in Parliament towards the end of January 2017 and is now before the Committee. The traditional justice system has a vital role to play in the administration of justice. Although traditional courts do not need legislation to exist, there is a need to regularize the courts and to bring them in line with the Constitution, as well as address the procedural differences of traditional courts. Previous attempts to regulate the courts met with considerable resistance but with the assistance of a reference group, the Department is optimistic that it has been able to address the concerns that were raised in relation to Bill.


4.6.            The Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill [B6-2017] was recently introduced and has been referred to the Committee. This Bill is a milestone towards building safer communities as envisaged in the NDP, putting in place measures to effectively deal cybercrimes and address aspects relating to cybersecurity, which adversely affect individuals, businesses and Government alike.


4.7.            The public was invited to comment on the Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill. These are being evaluated for incorporation before the Bill is introduced later this year.


4.8.            Other important pieces of legislation that are planned for the remainder of the MTEF include the Lower Courts Bill, which will bring the management of lower courts in line with the Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Act, and the Regulation of Paralegals Bill, which will give recognition to paralegals within community advice centres.


4.9.            As part of the Renaissance project, the South African Law Reform Commission is to be capacitated to fulfil its task of reviewing apartheid era legislation. This will be in addition to Project 25, which looks into the constitutionality of all legislation, specifically compliance with the equality clause.


4.10.        Also as part of the Renaissance project, a complete overhaul of the criminal justice system is planned. The review will address challenges that relate to the slow pace of modernization of court processes through the Integrated Justice System programme and the lack of effective co-ordination across Justice Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster departments. The Department has presented a plan to Cabinet on the re-engineering process with is to be led by the Directors-General Forum of the JCPS.


4.11.        Implementation of the Legal Practice Act, 2014, is underway. The National Forum on the Legal Profession has published a Code of Conduct, which will apply to all legal practitioners once the Legal Practice Council is established. The National Forum, which is a transitional structure, is to make recommendations by the end of July 2017 to the Minister on: The manner of the elections of the Council; the elections and jurisdictions of the provincial councils; the composition of the provincial councils; practical vocational training for legal practitioners; and the right of appearance in court of legal practitioners. The National Forum will also publish Rules in respect of sections 94 and 95, as well section 109 of the Legal Practice Act. The Department has recently proposed amendments to the Act to extend the three-year lifespan of the National Forum for it to complete its statutory mandate and to ensure a smooth transition to the new dispensation. The Legal Practice Council is expected to be in place by the end of 2018/19.


4.12.        The transformation of State Legal Services is ongoing: Although appointment of a Solicitor General has yet to be finalized, processes are underway to ensure that the post is pegged at an appropriate level. The intention is that the State Attorney’s Offices be transformed into legal firms of choice for the State. A model similar to that of the NPA is being explored. Policies that address the briefing of counsel, mediation and tariffs are being finalized.


4.13.        The transformation of the magistrates’ courts to advance access to justice is also to be addressed. The Superior Courts Act, 2013, sets out a blueprint that will guide revision of the Magistrates Court Act, 1944. The overhaul will also look at less adversarial forms of adjudication, including community courts and court-annexed mediation.


4.14.        Multi-lingualism as a constitutional imperative requires parity of languages and, in the legal sector, calls for the development of the use of indigenous African languages in our courts. The Department is looking into how to bring this about and intends to make use of the lessons learnt from the project on the Use of Indigenous Languages to guide it on the capacity that is required to implement a policy of multilingualism in our courts. This will also form part of the discussions to be held at the National Conference that is being planned.


4.15.        The rationalisation of magisterial districts continues: to date, it has been rolled out in Gauteng, North West, Mpumalanga and Free State. By the end of the year, the project will have been completed in the Free State and the Northern Province.


4.16.        The Department intends holding a national conference to enhance policy and legislative initiatives. The themes are to be developed in collaboration with the Committee.


4.17.        Members of the Information Regulator were appointed from 1 December 2016 and the work of making the Regulator operational has begun. The Department is providing the necessary support to the Regulator.


4.18.        The Minister has begun to engage with the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform to discuss the role that Legal Aid South Africa can play in assisting indigent claimants in land restitution matters.


5.     Department of Justice and Constitutional Development


5.1.            The Department has aligned its plans 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).


5.2.            Following “brainstorming sessions” last year, the Department has developed four transformational themes and revised its strategic outcome-orientated goals. Subsequently, the Department revised its strategic objectives to align with its identified transformative themes and goals.


  1. The following transformational themes were identified:

·         The transformation of the legal profession and mechanism for access to justice for all. A specific focus for this theme is the implementation of the Legal Practice Act, 2014, which provides a process for the establishment of a single professional body for the legal profession - the Legal Practice Council - by 2018. Once established, this body is responsible for other transformative initiatives, including improved accessibility to legal careers by persons from disadvantaged communities and implementation of compulsory community service by law graduates to help address the lack of access to legal services. The Annual Performance Plan (APP) 2017/18 includes targets for the establishment of the Council’s establishment. Other targets for this theme include an investigation of the use of indigenous languages within the court environment and legislative steps to introduce reforms of both the civil and criminal legal systems. Targets for the finalisation of the relevant policies have been set in the APP.

·         The transformation of State Legal Services. The intention is that State Legal Services will become the law firm of choice for the State. This is to be achieved by implementing the outstanding provisions of the State Attorney Amendment Act, 2014, including the appointment of a Solicitor General to oversee state litigation, building capacity within the State Attorney, establishing well run offices of the State Attorney and the finalisation of policies to reduce the costs of litigation. Targets for the finalisation of the relevant policies and the appointment of the Solicitor General have been set in the APP.

·         The transformation of the criminal justice system and restoring public confidence. The Department intends to strengthen its victim centred approach and has included targets for the finalisation of a victim–centred policy, as well as monitoring of the existing Victim’s Charter. Performance targets are included for the Department’s programmes, which include support of the courts to finalise criminal and family matters, finalisation of matters handled by the Master of the High Court, legal opinions finalised through office of the Chief State Law Advisor and implementation of programmes linked to constitutional development. Specific targets are also included towards ensuring youth involvement and empowerment. Efforts to implement programmes aligned with the NDP through the JCPS Cluster continue, including improving court processes to increase efficiency in the criminal justice system. A major focus includes overseeing the implementation of the Integrated Justice System, which monitors the performance of the criminal justice system.

·         Entity oversight and institutional arrangements. The focus is on improved co-ordination between entities and departments reporting to the Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services. The newly established forum for this purpose will be strengthened in 2017/18.


  1. The Department’s revised strategic goals are as follows:

·         Optimisation of the use of people, processes and technology to ensure service delivery and good governance requirements.

·         People centred justice services that are accessible, reliable and efficient.

·         Corporatised, cost effective and integrated quality legal services to proactively protect the interest of the state.

·         Promotion of constitutionalism, human rights and commitment to international legal relations.


5.3.            The allocation for programmes that are administered by the Department (excluding the NPA but including the Justice Modernisation sub-programme under Auxiliary and Associated Services) in 2017/18 is R10.5 billion, compared to R10.2 billion in 2016/17.


5.4.            In 2017/18, the bulk of spending remains directed towards Court Services, which is the Department’s main service delivery programme and receives a total of R6.3 billion. The NPA receives the next largest allocation of R3.1 billion in 2017/18.


5.5.            The Department notes that its spending focus in 2017/18 and over the medium term will be on:

·         Improving access to the courts by building new courts.

·         Adapting courts in line with the sexual offences model.

·         Protecting vulnerable groups by rolling out the National Action Plan to combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerances and conduct provincial dialogues, among others to improve constitutional awareness.

·         Transforming state legal services.

·         Deepening the protection of the right to privacy through the establishment of the Information Regulator.


5.6.            The building of new courts remains a core element in the Department’s efforts to improve access to justice. The Department’s projected infrastructure budget for 2017/18 is R769.3 million compared to R721.1 million in 2016/17 after being adjusted downwards by R190 million. The 2017/18 infrastructure budget reflects a Cabinet-approved budget cut of R186 million. However, the Department has accruals in the amount of R449 million in respect of invoices received in 2016/17 from the Department of Public Works and the Independent Development Trust. The Mpumalanga High Court at Mbombela is to be completed in 2017 to ensure that every province has its own High Court. The total cost for this project is estimated at R945.8 million. Magistrates’ courts prioritised for completion over the MTSF are Port Elizabeth, Cape Town (Justitia building), Mamelodi, Port Shepstone, Plettenberg Bay, Dimbaza, Johannesburg (Booysens Magistrates Court), Chatsworth and Bityi at a projected cost of R2.8 billion. While the Department places great emphasis on its infrastructure programme, it will experience a shortfall of R731 million on projects already in execution (this includes the R449 million in accruals). Further planned projects for the outer years are to be stopped. Also, there is no budget for planned maintenance by the Department of Public Works.




6.     Department of Justice and Constitutional Development: Programmes


6.1.            Programme 1: Administration


6.1.1.   The Administration programme is allocated R2.1 billion in 2017/18 compared to R2.1 billion in 2016/17 (for the Ministry, Management, Corporate Services, Financial Administration, Internal Audit and Office Accommodation subprogrammes). The programme shows a real percentage decrease of -6% from 2016/17.


6.1.2.   The purpose of this programme is to provide strategic leadership, management and support services to the Department.


6.1.3.   The Department has revised its strategic objectives for this programme. The emphasis is on achieving and sustaining an unqualified audit opinion, which has become the sole objective. This objective is linked to two key performance indicators; the number of audit projects completed by internal audit and the percentage of significant audit findings resolved on key specific areas.


6.1.4.   The following strategic objectives have been removed:

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

·         Reduction of fraud and corruption in the Department.

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


6.1.5.   A number of Key Performance Indicators have been removed

·         Number of youth employment opportunities supported.

·         Percentage of employees perceiving a decrease in fraud and corruption.

·         Number of public bodies fully compliant with PAIA


6.1.6.   The spending focus for the programme is largely on personnel, audit fees, operating leases, property payments and travel and subsistence.


6.2.            Programme 2: Court Services


6.2.1.   The Court Services programme is allocated R6.3 billion for 2017/18 compared with R6.1 billion in 2016/17 (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 -2.6% from 2016/17.


6.2.2.   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.


6.2.3.   The strategic objectives for this programme have been revised: five of its objectives have been amended and a new objective has been added:

·         Efficient and effective justice system which contributes to the realisation of Outcome 3 (Previously, “Improved finalisation of criminal cases in support of Outcome 3”).

·         An efficient and effective victim and witness support system (Previously, “Provide improved court-based services to achieve clients’ satisfaction within vulnerable groups”).

·         Enhanced and integrated family law services (Previously, “Increased protection of best interests of children and promotion of family cohesion through mediation services”).

·         Increased access to courts to historically marginalised communities (Previously, “Increased access to justice services to historically marginalised communities”).

·         Efficient and effective civil justice system (Previously, “Improved level of compliance with quasi-judicial standards of services”).

·         Transformation of the judicial system aligned to the Constitution (New).


6.2.4.   A number of Key Performance Indicators have been removed:

·         CJS Business Plan completed by target date.

·         Percentage of criminal matters finalised within six months after the accused has pleaded to the charge.

·         Percentage of accused persons pleaded to the charge within three months of first appearance in the magistrate’s court.

·         Percentage of convictions recorded electronically on the National Register for Sexual Offenders (NSRO).


6.2.5.   A number of new Key Performance Indicators have been introduced:

·         An integrated criminal justice strategy finalised by target date.

·         Percentage of indicators on CJS Business Plan achieved.

·         Number of criminal case backlog courts converted to permanent courts.

·         Percentage of child justice preliminary inquiries finalised within 90 days after first appearance.

·         Number of new court building completed.

·         Percentage of annexed civil cases mediated.

·         Number of courts providing court annexed mediation.

·         Number of transformational policies developed.

·         Policy that forms the basis of the lower courts bill finalised.

·         Policy on the design of the judicial court administration model finalised.

·         Policy for the overhaul of the South African legal system developed.


6.2.6.   The spending focus for the programme is largely on court infrastructure; implementation of legislation; medical services for psychiatric observation; and security services for courts.



6.3.            Programme 3: State Legal Services


6.3.1.   The State Legal Services programme is allocated R1.2 billion in 2017/18, compared to R1.1 billion in 2016/17 (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% from 2016/17.


6.3.2.   The programme provides legal and legislative services to organs of State; supervises the administration of deceased and insolvent estates, the liquidation of juristic persons and registration of trusts; manages the Guardian’s Fund; facilitates constitutional development; and undertakes research.


6.3.3.   The strategic objectives for this programme have been revised: a new objective has been added: “A transformed legal profession”.


6.3.4.   The following two strategic objectives have been removed:

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

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


6.3.5.   A number of Key Performance Indicators have been removed:

·         Number of offenders whose convictions were cleared.

·         Percentage of expungements completed within six months.

·         Number of community rehabilitation projects implemented in line with TRC recommendations.

·         Number of needs analysis completed in TRC-listed communities.


6.3.6.   The spending focus for the programme is largely on employee compensation, legal costs and claims against the State. Further, funding has been set aside to establish the Information Regulator (R25 million in 2017/18; R27 million in 2018/19 and R28 million in 2019/20).


6.4.            National Prosecuting Authority


6.4.1.   The NPA programme is allocated R3.7 billion in 2017/18 compared to R3.6 billion in 2016/17 (for the National Prosecutions Service, Asset Forfeiture Unit; Office for Witness Protection; and Support Services). The programme shows a decrease in real terms of -2.7% from 2016/17.


6.4.2.   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.


6.4.3.   The NPA has aligned its strategic objectives with the NDP, which speaks to ‘building safer communities’, and to Outcome 3 of the MTSF.


6.4.4.   The NPA’s strategic objectives are as follows:

·         Increased successful prosecutions (NPS): To increase the conviction rate in the lower courts and high courts.

·         Ensure that profit is removed from crime (AFU): To increase the number of completed forfeiture cases and increase the value of freezing orders.

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


6.4.5.   The following two Key Performance Indicators were consolidated: “The number of cases finalised with verdict”; and “The number of cases finalised through ADRM”. These are to be reported as follows: “All criminal/court matters finalised”.


6.4.6.   While a number of targets were not increased due to optimal performance (conviction rates for the High Courts, Regional Courts, Organise Crime, Trio Crimes and Complex Commercial Crime), the target for the number of operational Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs) established has been reduced from 60 to 55 for the MTEF,as a result of funding constraints.


6.4.7.   The spending focus for the programme remains on finalising cases and the National Prosecutions Services sub-programme will continue to be allocated more over the medium term. Other priority areas are increasing the annual intake of the Aspirant Prosecutor programme; increasing the number of operational TCCs and the number of persons convicted of corruption for amounts higher than R5 million.



6.5.            Programme 5: Auxiliary and Associated Services


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


6.5.2.   The Justice Modernisation sub-programme contains funds for the modernisation of IT systems within the Department and earmarked funds for the Criminal Justice System Revamp and Integrated Justice System (IJS) on behalf of the Justice Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster departments and entities. An amount of R900.1 million is allocated to this subprogramme compared with R853.7 million in 2016/17. This is a decrease of -0.7% in real terms. The budget for the CJS Revamp/IJS project is reduced by R20 million in 2017/18 for the Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training.


6.5.3.   The related strategic objective for the Justice Modernisation sub-programme is as follows: establishment of a functional, integrated electronic criminal justice system to monitor performance of the criminal justice system.


6.5.4.   There are two new Key Performance Indicators: “Number of government departments and entities exchanging information electronically”; and “Total number of IJS department applications that form part of the integrated lab test”. However, the following Key Performance Indicators were removed: “Percentage completion of the Integrated Case Management System (ICMS) for Criminal Enhancement” and “Number of criminal cases postponed via audio visual remand system”.




7.     Legal Aid South Africa


7.1.            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, Legal Aid SA does provide advice and representation in civil matters.


7.2.            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 R1.8 billion in 2017/18, compared to R1.7 billion in 2016/17. Although the grant allocation was not reduced for 2017/18, a budget shortfall of R45 million exists in 2017/18 as a result of the salaries budget not being fully funded. Over the medium term, Legal Aid SA will have a budget shortfall of R202 million. Although this will be managed by capping the salaries budget and implementing cost-cutting efficiency measures, it is anticipated that it will be necessary to cut posts, which will have a negative impact on the delivery of legal aid services.


7.3.            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 4: Legal Aid SA 2017 MTEF per programme



(R’000 000)


Revised Estimate




Legal Aid Services

1 323.7

1 425.8


1 602.2






Special projects






1 691.4

1 786.9

1 877.6

1 981.6


7.4.            Legal Aid SA plans to increase in the number of permanently employed legal practitioners over the medium term to accommodate the court expansion programme undertaken by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. This is funded by additional amounts of R18 million in 2015/16, R20 million in 2016/17 and R22 million in 2017/18, as provided for in the 2015/16 budget.


7.5.            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 all, 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.


7.6.            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.


7.7.            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.

·         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.


7.8.            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 in eviction cases.


7.9.            Legal Aid SA’s APP 2017/18 is accompanied by a Review of the Strategic Plan. The Review notes the following:

·         The Legal Aid South Africa Act 39 of 2014 replaces the Legal Aid Act 22 of 1969.

·         The recent Constitutional Court ruling in Magidiwana v Legal Aid South Africa and Others.

·         Budget cuts.


Table 5: Legal Aid SA - Selected indicators and targets








Legal Aid Services and Special projects

No. new matters approved for legal aid per year

  • Criminal matters

388 692

398 124

400 114

402 360

  • Civil Matters

52 364

54 565

54 838

54 867

No. legal matters finalised per year

  • Criminal Matters


376 023

392 237

392 660

393 752

  • Civil matters

56 187

56 850

58 637

58 836

Ratio of practitioners per district court per year





Ratio of practitioners per regional court per year






7.10.        Legal Aid SA will maintain its programmes at levels possible within the budget constraints and will revise its performance targets for 2017/18 accordingly. Further, any proposal to increase its current responsibilities is not possible.



8.     Special Investigating Unit


8.1.            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.


8.2.            The SIU’s 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.


8.3.            The SIU has a mixed funding model that derives income from a National Treasury grant and work done for State departments. The SIU’s projected total revenue for 2017/18 is R562.4 million compared with R494.6 million in 2016/17.


8.4.            Of the SIU’s projected budget, a total of R346.2 million is from the baseline grant and R200.9 million from (projected) revenue. A further R15 million results from other income. Grant income is projected to increase from R369.3 million in 2016/17 to R386.8 million in 2019/20, with an average growth rate of 6.9% over the period. Project income is projected to increase from R163.3 million in 2016/17 to R234.3 million in 2019/20, an average growth of 12.8% over this period. However, this projected increase is dependent on the number of active proclamations in a particular year.


8.5.            In the 2017/18 financial year, there is a real increase of 2.8% in the baseline grant (compared to a real decrease of -3.9% in 2016/17). This is accompanied by a significant real increase of 14.2% in 2017/18 from fees charged for SIU’s forensic investigation and civil litigation services compared to the projected increase in revenue funding of 26.5% in 2016/17.


Table 6: SIU 2017 revenue breakdown




(R’000 000)

Real % change



(Revised Estimate)






Baseline grant









8.6.            The SIU has highlighted its difficulty in recovering fees and expenses from state institutions, and is now referring to its present business model as flawed. As at 31 March 2017, the SIU was owed approximately R418 million in this regard. The SIU has proposed further amendments to its enabling legislation to allow the SIU to draw up a business plan for each project. The National Treasury would then set aside the funds either from the relevant institutions’ budgets or from the Fiscus.


8.7.            The SIU retains its programme structure as follows: Administration and Investigations.


Table 7: SIU 2017/18 Budget per programme





(R’000 000)

% of Total Budget











8.8.            The SIU has agreed to the following strategic goals, which are to investigate corruption and maladministration and to facilitate or initiate remedial action; and effective and efficient organisational management.


8.9.            The SIU’s planning 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 SIU’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.


8.10.        Although its strategic intent is not altered, the 2017/18 Annual Performance Plan contains a number of important departures from the SIU’s traditional way of operating: the SIU continues to ‘re-engineer’ its business and operating model.


8.11.        A total of three new indicators have been added under the Administration programme, while the indicator “Number of SIU members participating in joint operations or seconded to assist state institutions” was removed. Notably, the targets have been reduced in respect of two performance indicators based on the types on investigations underway and projected project contributions (The target for “The value of money/assets potentially recoverable” is reduced from R240 million in 2016/17 to R200 million in 2017/18; and the target for “The actual value of money/assets recovered is reduced from R140 million in 2016/17 to R120 million in 2017/18).


Table 8: SIU - Selected indicators and targets


Strategic objective

Performance Indicator





Conduct effective and efficient forensic investigations

No. of investigations closed out





No. of reports submitted to the Presidency





Facilitate or initiate appropriate remedial action

Value of potential loss prevented

R18 million

R21 million

R24 million

R27 million

The value of contracts and or administrative actions/decisions set aside or deemed invalid

R600 million

R660 million

R730 million

R800 million

The value of matters in respect of which evidence was referred or the institution of defence/opposition of civil proceedings (including arbitration or counter arbitration proceedings)

R1.2 billion

R1.3 billion

R1.4 billion

R1.5 billion

Collaborate effectively with other role players

No. of referrals made to the relevant prosecuting authority





Number of referrals for disciplinary executive and administrative action







9.     Public Protector South Africa


9.1.            The Public Protector is an independent constitutional institution whose mandate, broadly, is to support and strengthen constitutional democracy by investigating maladministration or improper conduct in state affairs or the public administration in any sphere of government and to take appropriate remedial action. The Constitution also states that the Public Protector must be accessible to all persons and communities.


9.2.            In 2017/18, the Public Protector receives R301.8 million compared with R263.3 million in 2016/17 (a real increase of 7.83 %). Additional funds in the amounts R21 million in 2017/18 and R22.6 million in 2018/19 were allocated in the 2016/17 Budget. The additional funds are to support government’s focus on fighting corruption by assisting with its investigative capacity and for increased capacity in key positions. For many years, however, the Public Protector has indicated that the institution requires more funds: In 2014, the Public Protector requested a budget of more than R300 million and, in 2015, the Public Protector indicated that an additional R200 million was needed in addition to its baseline to fund the organisational structure. For 2017, the Public Protector has indicated that an amount of R1 billion is required to keep the institution afloat.


Table 9: Public Protector Budget 2017 MTEF




(R’000 000)

Real % change


















Stakeholder engagement













9.3.            The bulk of the budget goes towards funding: Investigation activities (R174 million or 58% of the programme budget). The remainder funds go to Administration at R 114 million and stakeholder engagement programmes at R14.1 million.


9.4.            The following are identified as overarching strategic risks that may impact on the Public Protector’s mandate:

·         The inability to fully implement the institution’s legislative mandate due to under-funding and lack of co-operation from Organs of State.

·         A misalignment between the organisational structure and the strategic imperatives of the institution.

·         The lack of knowledge and inability to understand the primary functions of the Public Protector’s role, including the public and media result in a misunderstanding of the PPSA’s mandate and execution thereof.

·         The inability to continue to operate in a fast-changing environment due to scarcity of professional investigators in South Africa and limited means to retain and attract candidates of high calibre.

·         Slow responses by parties/agencies in implementing the Public Protector’s remedial actions.

·         Probable competition posed by specialist investigating entities (Offices of the Ombudsman).

·         An inability to meet the Chapter 14 target of the National Development Plan.

·         The misalignment of the Public Protector Act 23 of 1994 with the Constitution.


9.5.            The PP has embarked on a restructuring process that will align its operations with the new vision, which prioritises the following for 2017/18 and over the medium term:

·         Broadening access by taking the services of this institution to the doorstep of communities located at the grassroots in the margins of society.

·         Interacting with communities in their own languages for effective communication.

·         Reaching people working with traditional leaders and councils.

·         Taking stock of all the Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) between the Public Protector and other key stakeholders, such as government departments.

·         Becoming a stronghold for the poor and marginalised.

·         Empowering the people of South Africa to be able to enforce their rights before approaching the Public Protector.

·         Encouraging organs of state to establish their own effective complaints resolution units or sector specific ombudsman institutions such as Health, Tax and Military Ombudsman.


9.6.            The Strategic Plan 2017 – 2022 introduces new strategic outcome goals and strategic objective, as follows:


Table 10: Strategic goals and objectives


Strategic Outcome Orientated Goal

Strategic Objective

To deliver prompt services to all persons and institutions we serve

Adherence to defined turnaround times in investigations and ADR proceedings per service delivery standards

Implementation of remedial action and settlement agreements

Promote a culture of good governance

To achieve access to available Public Protector services

Ease of access to Public Protector services

An effective and efficient people-driven organisation

Capacity building

Transform ICT to optimally support business needs

Purchase of key facilities/infrastructure

Operational efficiencies

Improve security in all offices

Promote and maintain good governance

Obtain a clean audit

To play a leading role in strengthening fellow administrative oversight institutions

Strengthening of the role of ombudsman institutions


9.7.            Selected indicators and targets for each programme are as follows:



Table 11:  Public Protector - Selected amended and new indicators and targets









Skills audit

Number of employees trained through implementation of the HRD programme (AMENDED)

Conduct skills audit by 31 June 2016

150 employees trained

Upgrade ICT infrastructure and review human resource capacity

% implementation of ICT infrastructure


ICT unit assessed and redesigned by 1 August 2016. Implement high speed connectivity by 31 March 2016

100% implementation of video conferencing and email encryption by 31 March 2018


% percentage development of and implementation of the institutions conditions of service including remuneration framework (NEW)


100% completion of approval; of the institutions conditions of service including remuneration framework by 31 March 2018


Creation an internal audit unit




Feasibility study on insourcing of key facilities/ infrastructure

Own infrastructure. Assets vehicles printing and production facilities (AMENDED)

Conduct a Feasibility study and submit a preliminary report by 30 June 2016

Develop a plan to implement the recommendations of the feasibility study

Implementation of integrated security system

% implementation of integrated security system


Implement integrated security system by 31 March 2017

Conduct threat and risk analysis in all offices by 31 December 2017 and implement TRA recommendations by 31 March 2018


Percentage of cases resolved according to approved investigation plans

Percentage of cases investigated and finalised in accordance with approved service standards (AMENDED)

100% of cases resolved according to approved investigation plans

100% of new cases received from 1 April 2017 finalised


Percentage of decline in turnaround time for investigations (NEW)


10% decline in turnaround time for

investigations received and finalised in 2017/18


Finalisation of all existing systemic investigations/

interventions as at 1 April 2016 by 31

March 2017

Investigation and finalisation of systemic investigations/interventions


Conduct and finalise all existing systemic

interventions as at April 2016 by 31 March 2017. Submit reports to departments on systemic deficiencies identified.

Identify and finalise 2 systemic investigations by 31 March 2018


Investigation and finalisation of systemic investigations/interventions


Conduct and finalise all existing systemic

interventions as at April 2016 by 31 March 2017. Submit reports to departments on systemic deficiencies identified.

Identify and finalise 2 systemic investigations by 31 March 2018


Number of dialogues with organs of state on systemic challenges (NEW)


10 dialogues held by 31 March 2018

Percentage of remedial action matters followed up by the compliance office

Percentage of follow up on remedial action matters and implementation of a policy to deal with non-implementation of remedial action matters (AMENDED)

100% follow up

100 percent follow up by 31 March 2018 and100% development of on implementation policy by 31 March 2018

Stakeholder management


Strengthening the roles of Ombudsman’s Institutions (NEW)


Enter into a 1 bilateral agreement with an ombudsman institution by 31 March 2018


10.   South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)


10.1.        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 establishment of an Information Regulator in terms 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 once it becomes fully operational.


10.2.        As from 3 January 2017, a total of seven new commissioners were appointed to the SAHRC. Of these, five are appointed in a full-time capacity, while two are appointed in a part-time capacity.


10.3.        The Commission intends to focus on the following for 2017/18 and over the medium term:

·         Engaging with relevant government departments and other stakeholders on economic and social rights, as well as producing policy briefs to address identified policy gaps.

·         Improving the effectiveness of the complaints-handling processes.

·         Seeking to promote awareness of the human rights provisions of the Bill of Rights.

·         Improving the application of protective legislation such as the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, 2000.

·         Extending the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to speed up the resolution of complaints.

·         Making greater use of strategic litigation.

·         Continuing to work closely with other Chapter 9 institutions.

·         Intensifying advocacy and communication activities.

·         Strengthening its research capability.

·         Ensuring increased implementation of the SAHRC’s recommendations.


10.4.        The Commission has revised its 2015-20 Strategic Plan but the changes are few: The new Commissioners are ‘committed to sustaining and intensifying the realisation of the intended outcomes and strategic priorities set out at the beginning of the current planning period by our predecessors’.


10.4.1.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.


10.5.        While retaining its five (5) strategic objectives, the APP 2017/18 has a number of new indicators and others have been amended:


Table 12: South African Human Rights Commission - Selected indicators and targets


Performance Indicators

Performance Targets





Strategic Objective 1: Promote compliance with international and regional obligations


Dissemination of bulletins (NEW)


As required

Strategic Objective 2: Advance the realisation of human rights

Implementation of responsibilities in terms of court orders

Monitoring the implementation of court orders (AMENDED)

Guidelines developed

Complete monitoring report on court orders


Submission of SAHRC report recommendations to relevant stakeholders (NEW)


Submit summaries one month after approval of reports

Strategic Objective 3: Deepen the understanding of human rights and promote a human rights culture

Submission of thematic policy briefs

Submission of thematic discussion policy papers to relevant stakeholders (AMENDED)

Submit 8 policy briefs

Submit 8 discussion papers


Implementation of Advocacy and Communications Annual Plan (NEW)


Full implementation of Annual Plan

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

Completion of SAHRC section 194(3) economic and social rights report

Completion of SAHRC section 194(3) economic and social rights recommendations report (AMENDED)

3 research briefs

3 research briefs

Completion of SAHRC civil and political rights report

Submission of civil and political rights policy briefs to relevant stakeholders (AMENDED)

1 Report

1 Report

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


Adherence with Corporate Services Charter (NEW)


Full adherence to identified areas


Implementation of Organisational renewal Plan


Full implementation of Plan


Implementation of Knowledge Management Plan


Full implementation of Plan


Audit opinion




Implementation of Internal Audit Plan


Full implementation of Plan


10.6.        The Commission has unfunded mandates relating to the monitoring of court orders and pending unforeseen strategic litigation. It requires an additional R42.3 million for this:


Table 13: Summary of additional funding required for compliance monitoring and unforeseen strategic litigation



Required funding 2017/18


Monitoring court orders:

  • Lindela and other places of detention;
  • Basic Education for All (Textbooks)
  • Aurthurstone Community (Evictions)

R 12.0 million

  • Very high.
  • Contempt of court implications.
  • Continued high impact violations are likely

Pending litigation

R6.2 million

  • Very high
  • Associated with adverse nation-wide impacts

R12.3 million

  • High
  • Poses compliance risks for SAHRC as National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI) and the State in terms of international obligations

Convention on the Rights of  Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

R11.9 million

  • High
  • Poses compliance risks to the SAHRC as an NHRI and sectors seeking to promote participation in all spheres for persons with disabilities

Total funding required

R42. 3 million



10.7.        Further, the Commission has identified a number of desirable but unfunded projects for which it intends to seek additional funding:

·         Monitoring the implementation of court orders; establishing and strengthening a dedicated monitoring and evaluation function; conducting impact evaluation studies; and conducting public perception surveys.

·         Implementing advocacy and outreach programmes at schools.

·         Having youth empowerment and children’s programmes.

·         Hosting an annual human rights lecture and publishing a Human Rights Journal.

·         Proactive programmes to educate South Africans about human rights.


10.8.        The Commission is funded by way of a direct transfer from the Justice and Constitutional Development Vote. The allocation increases from R153.5 million in 2016/17 to R173.4 million for 2017/18. In real terms, its budget increases by 6.3%. Notably, in 2016/17, the Commission was allocated additional funds (R11.5 million in 2017/18 and R12.2 million in 2018/19) for its advocacy work, in particular for its work relating to xenophobia.


Table 14: South African Human Rights Commission 2017 Budget per programme




(R’000 000)

Real % change








Promotion and protection of human rights

89 6



Research and monitoring and evaluation.










11.   Committee’s observations: Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and National Prosecuting Authority


11.1.        The Committee is generally pleased that the Department has acted on its views regarding the need to transform the justice system, albeit that the pace is not always as swift as it would like. It notes that the Department is developing a policy for the overhaul of the South African legal system for ministerial approval by the end of 2018/19. If these developments come to fruition, they will have far-reaching consequences for the legal system by infusing the substantive law with a progressive jurisprudence that contributes to the State’s efforts to redress the legacy of apartheid, of inequality, exclusion and poverty.


11.2.        The Committee notes that the Department is pioneering a “Renaissance Project” to transform the legal system. It is informed that the aim is to change the existing body of law to ensure alignment with the Constitution and the values of uBuntu. The Committee understands that, as part of the project, the South African Law Reform Commission is to review apartheid-era legislation. This is in addition to the work that it undertook in Project 25, which looked into the constitutionality of all legislation. The Committee is very interested in hearing more about the full scope of the Project, including the allocation of resources to carry it out, and will arrange a dedicated briefing on it as soon as its programme permits.


11.3.        The Committee is informed that a further component of the transformation path is the complete overhaul of the Criminal Justice System to align it to the democratic order. The Committee notes that the Minister wishes to present the Integrated Justice System/Criminal Justice System strategy to it once the Strategy has Cabinet approval. For many years, the Committee has expressed its frustration at the slow pace of the IJS/CJS Revamp. It notes too that a Business Plan has been finalised at long last and is to be implemented and agrees about the need to monitor implementation of the Plan. The Committee believes that there is need for a focus on ensuring greater co-ordination and co-operation between participating departments to ensure more rapid results. The Committee, therefore, intends to arrange a joint meeting between the relevant portfolio committees and departments, institutions and entities as soon as the Strategy is available to be presented, taking into account its programme. In the meantime, the Committee requests a comprehensive written report on progress to date by 31 July 2017.


11.4.        The transformation path is also to focus on inter-branch relations. In this regard, the Committee notes that the Department intends to submit a policy on the design of the judicial and court administration model to Cabinet by 28 February 2018. Again, the Committee is interested in hearing more and will arrange a dedicated briefing on progress to date.


11.5.        The Committee remains of the view that greater consideration should be given to using the structures that are already in place to bring justice closer to communities. In this regard, the Committee welcomes the introduction of the Traditional Courts Bill in Parliament and has already begun to process it.. Further, the Committee has previously urged the Department to consider reviving community courts. In theory, there are some community courts but, in practice, these have been subsumed into the mainstream system. Again the Committee is encouraged that the Department has taken up its views on this matter, intending to use the Traditional Courts as a blueprint for the establishment of community courts, but notes that, at this stage, there appears to be little before it that is substantive. The South African Law Reform Commission has been tasked with conducting research into community courts in South Africa and a draft report should be available by the end of September 2017. The Committee looks forward to having sight of the report and will continue to engage regularly with Department on progress made.


11.6.        The Committee has also identified that paralegals, and community law and advice centres, play a major role in the area of public interest law by providing legal assistance to those who would not otherwise be able to access legal services. Currently, the role of paralegals is constrained by the lack of statutory recognition. The Legal Practice Act, 2014, does recognise the paralegal sector but provides for a five-year window for the establishment of a separate statute for regulation of the paralegal sector. If access to the legal profession, and to justice generally is to be improved, statutory recognition of paralegal services should be expedited. Accordingly, the Committee believes that the necessary legislation to ensure that statutory recognition of paralegals should be fast-tracked. In the meantime, the Committee notes the Department’s plans to address the plight of paralegals and requests that the Department continue to report on progress quarterly.


  1. The Committee repeats its concern at the slow pace with which land claims are settled. Apartheid dispossessed people of land and resources leading to poverty and inequality. In the Committee’s view, the process of dealing with land claims is falling short, creating the risk of land occupations and violent protests as people become frustrated. The Committee notes that the Ministry’s intention to engage with its counterpart in Rural Development and Land Reform regarding the feasibility of transferring the budget to provide legal assistance to land claimants to Legal Aid South Africa. The Committee strongly supports that Legal Aid South Africa undertake this work. However, without the transfer of these funds, Legal Aid South Africa is not in a position to take on these matters.


  1. Further, it recently came to the Committee’s attention that the legislation to amend the Land Restitution Act, 1994, which would have seen land restitution fast-tracked, also contained provisions that would allow for the permanent appointment of judges to the Land Claims Court. As the amending legislation was successfully challenged at the Constitutional Court, there is no mechanism that will allow the permanent appointment of judges to the court. The Committee is of the view that there is urgent need for this legislation and requests that the Ministry urgently engages with its counterpart in Rural Development and Land Reform to address the problem. Further, the Committee is of the view more capacity is needed in that court and requests that the Ministry look into this as well.


  1. The Committee is concerned about the impact of funding constraints on the rollout of properly capacitated dedicated sexual offences courts. The Committee will engage with the Department and other stakeholders specifically on this as soon as its programme permits.


11.10.    The Committee supports the Department’s initiatives to promote multilingualism in courts as this is vital to ensuring access to justice. The Committee feels strongly that law graduates be able to speak an African language as a pre-requisite to practicing law. The Committee is dissatisfied at the apparent lack of progress; despite being informed that the Department intended to engage with the Department of Higher Education on developing the LLB curriculum last year. The Committee asks that the Department provide it with report on progress to date by 31 July 2017.


11.11.    The Department has also previously provided clear timeframes on its intended actions to address the use of official languages in courts. The Committee notes the views of the judiciary regarding the language of court record but remains convinced of the need for courts to make use of indigenous African languages in the court environment as a key element of access to justice. Although there are interpretation services available, these are often less than ideal Interpretation services are critical for access to justice by the majority of our people. The Committee notes that a policy on the Use of Official Languages in Court Proceedings was to have been finalised by the end of 2017/18. The Committee, therefore, requests that the Department provide it with a written report on its progress by 30 July 2017.


11.12.    The Committee welcomes that the Department has reported improved delivery in the context of capital works projects by the Department of Public Works and the Independent Development Trust (IDT). Historically, it has been a challenge to deliver new courts on time and within budget. The Department has time and again reported slow spending on this budget item: last year, the Department’s infrastructure budget was adjusted downwards from R911 to R721 million as a result of slow spending because of delays in court construction projects. Ironically, the improvement in delivery created its own challenge, as the remaining budget was not adequate. The Department took measures to forestall any over-expenditure but the 2017/18 budget may well be affected by accruals.


11.13.    The funding of new court infrastructure is a concern to the Committee as the building of new courts remains a core element of the Department’s efforts to improve access to justice. The establishment of the new High Court in Mpumalanga, in particular, is vital in this regard and the expectation is that this court will be completed later this year. In this regard, the Committee was dismayed to learn from various stakeholders that the operationalisation of this court may be affected by a lack of budget. This is unacceptable to the Committee and it asks that the matter be addressed at ministerial level.


The Committee also requests that the Department continue to provide it with a comprehensive progress report on its infrastructure projects by 30 July 2017, and be prepared to address the Committee quarterly of this matter.


11.14.    The Committee welcomes that each magisterial district now has its own small claims courts and congratulates the Department on its achievement in this regard. It requests that the jurisdictional amount of R15 000 be revisited, while noting the associated complexities of revising this amount upwards.


11.15.    The Committee has previously noted that 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. Of concern to it are reports of disarray within the offices of the State Attorney and, also, complaints regarding the provision of state legal work to young, previously disadvantaged legal practitioners in a context where there is currently no comprehensive set of clearly defined rules governing how litigation services are to be acquired, managed and monitored. In this regard, it notes that the Department intends to prioritise the transformation of State Legal Services.


The State Attorney has experienced many 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 State Attorney Amendment Act, 2014, provides for the appointment by the Minister of a ‘chief’ State Attorney – the Solicitor-General. This appointment has been delayed as the level of the position required upgrading to attract the calibre of individual required for the job, who will be tasked with developing the office of the State Attorneys into the biggest law firm in the country and a firm of choice for the State. The Committee supports the Department’s intention to bring legislative amendments to allow for this as a matter of priority. In the meantime, the Committee urges the Department to give serious consideration to making an acting appointment so that transformation of this sector can proceed. The Committee also requests that the Department brief it specifically on its policy to transform State Legal Services as soon as the programme permits.


11.16.    The Committee is of the view that there is a need to amend the legislation to provide for greater scope for the expungement of criminal records. At present, many people are unable to obtain work because they possess a criminal record. The Committee recognises that this is a complicated matter that requires considerable caution but notes that previously the Ministry was requested to inquire into the matter and report to Parliament on its findings. Further, the South African Law Reform Commission has issued a report on this. The Committee, therefore, requests that the necessary legislation be fast-tracked, as the present situation acts as a significant obstacle to economic transformation. In addition, the Committee is unclear as to why the indicator that addressed expungements has been removed from the annual performance plan, despite this forming part of the Department’s strategy to contribute to economic transformation and youth employment. The Committee asks that the Department continue to provide it with the relevant information when reporting quarterly.


11.17.    The Committee is pleased that the Department intends to finalise the appointment of approximately 200 new magistrates this year, as the additional capacity will bolster court performance and, more broadly, will contribute to the transformation of the judiciary. Further, the Committee notes approval that the Department has made funds available to the South African Judicial Education Institute (SAJEI) for the training of these new magistrates.


11.18.    The Committee notes the reduced budget for compensation of employees. As the administration of justice is labour intensive, spending on compensation of employees remains the main cost driver. The Department must absorb a cut in spending on compensation of employees of R426 million in 2017/18. This will inevitably lead to a reduction of the number of posts over the medium term as the Department aligns its establishment with its lowered compensation ceiling. The Department has assured the Committee that it will prioritise the filling of identified critical posts and sharing of support services wherever possible so that service delivery is not affected. Further, the Department also reports an organisational repositioning project to train and reskill employees and re-organise the Department’s structure. The Committee remains concerned despite these assurances and is of the view that the situation will require close monitoring from it.


11.19.    The Committee is disappointed to learn of the Department’s intention to seek amendments to the Legal Practice Act, 2015, largely to extend the life of the National Forum so that it can complete its work and ensure a smooth transition once the Legal Practice Council is established. The Committee is interested in learning for itself of the progress that the National Forum has made and intends to arrange a meeting between it and the Forum as soon as its programme permits.


11.20.    The Committee is displeased that certain indicators have been removed from the annual performance plan, specifically those relating to youth employment, the internship programme and its management of fraud and corruption cases within the Department. The Committee is not entirely satisfied with the explanation for removing these indicators, all of which it regards as significant.


11.21.    The Committee notes the establishment of the Information Regulator: The Chairperson and members took up office on 1 December 2016. It looks forward to engaging with the Regulator regularly on progress made.


11.22.    The Committee notes the amendments to the NPA’s annual performance plan, but fails to understand why the indicators “Number of cases finalised with verdict” and “Number of cases finalised through ADRM” have been removed and are now reported in a consolidated manner. The use of ADRM to resolve criminal matters is, at present, intended for less serious matters and there has been a significant increase in the number of cases resolved in this fashion over the years. However, the application of ADRM in resolving criminal matters is largely unregulated and, for this reason, it remains

important to track its use to ensure that there is no abuse.


12.   Committee’s observations: Legal Aid SA


12.1.        Once again, there was unanimous support from the Committee for the view that Legal Aid SA is an exemplary institution.


12.2.        Legal Aid SA has so far been able to absorb budget cuts from its cash reserves but will have a budget shortfall this year of R45 million and of R202 million for the 2017 MTEF period. To address the budget shortfall, Legal Aid has capped its compensation of employees’ budget and has implemented cost-cutting efficiency measures. Nonetheless, it will be necessary to cut posts, which will have an adverse effect in legal aid services. As it is, the Committee is aware that the high demand for legal aid services poses an enormous challenge to Legal Aid SA’s practitioners, especially as 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 Committee notes that Legal Aid South Africa has made it clear that it is not in a position to take on any unfunded mandates.


12.2.1.Legal Aid SA’s budget goes largely towards funding legal representation of accused in criminal matters, as there is a constitutional obligation on the State to assist accused persons with legal representation. In past years, Legal Aid SA has done its best and has slowly increased the amount of civil work that it does – about 12% of its caseload consists of civil matters. Without additional funds, the Committee cannot see how Legal Aid SA can significantly expand its civil work, despite the very real need of South Africans for assistance in this regard. The Committee specifically wishes to draw attention to the very real need for Legal Aid SA to be funded to able to assist land claimants with legal advice and representation. The Committee, therefore, remains of the view that Legal Aid SA should receive additional funds to allow it to expand its civil mandate despite the fiscal environment.


12.2.2.As discussed earlier, the Committee requests that the Ministry engage with the Ministry of Rural Development and Land Reform to discuss the feasibility of transferring funds for legal advice to and litigation by land claimants to Legal Aid South Africa.


12.2.3.The Committee appreciates that Legal Aid South Africa is sensitive to the plight of those seeking maintenance and is doing all that it can within available resources to provide assistance in these cases. However, the Committee believes that we need to be doing more to expand representation in maintenance cases, as the inability to obtain child maintenance from an errant parent has far-reaching consequences. The Committee is aware that budget constraints make it very difficult for Legal Aid South Africa to assist more than it does already. However, the Committee believes that this unfortunate situation is wrong and that, as a country, we should look for some way to re-prioritise funds for this purpose.


12.3.        The Committee welcomes that Legal Aid South Africa has recently finalised its language policy and that clients must be engaged in the language of their choice.


13.   Committee’s observations: Special Investigating Unit


13.1.        The Committee appreciates the detail and candour of the SIU’s presentation to it. The Committee engaged with the SIU on how confident it is in its ability to combat corruption. The Committee is acutely aware that, at present, there is more attention than ever on the need to address corruption. The Committee is of the view that the SIU is not only a key player in our anti-corruption machinery but is also able to provide critical insight into how best to address the problem.


13.2.        The Committee is deeply concerned that the SIU is experiencing considerable difficulty collecting monies owed to it from State institutions – to the extent that it has pronounced its present funding model flawed. The Committee notes that it intends to bring legislative amendments to its enabling legislation in order to address the problem. The Committee is not pleased at the situation and requests that the SIU provide it with a report on the debtors’ list as at the end of the 2017/18 financial year. The Committee notes too that the failure to pay appears to attract no consequences, despite this being in contravention of the law. In this regard, the Committee specifically wishes to draw attention to section 38(1) of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), 1999, which requires Accounting Officers of departments to settle contractual obligations and pay all monies owing, including inter-governmental claims, within the agreed or prescribed period. Further Treasury Regulation 8.2.3., which is issued in terms of section 76 of the PFMA, requires that Accounting Officers ensure that all payments to creditors are settled within 30 days of receipt of the invoice. Non-compliance with this requirement constitutes financial misconduct in terms of section 81 of the PFMA.


13.3.        The Committee notes that the SIU intends to bring legislative amendments to its enabling legislation that will provide it with a clear legislative mandate to undertake pre-proclamation investigations.


13.4.        The Committee has engaged with the SIU in the past on the issue of possible duplication of roles among anti-corruption organisations. At the time, the SIU agreed that there was scope for better co-ordination and communication between institutions, a view that the Committee supported. The Committee is, therefore, pleased that the SIU and the Public Protector have met to determine clear criteria for referral to avoid duplication.


13.5.        Further, the Committee is informed that a Memorandum of Understanding is shortly to be signed between the SIU and the NPA, which will enhance the effectiveness of the SIU’s powers of remedial action. The Committee has engaged with the SIU on the need to address the poor turnaround time of matters referred to the NPA for prosecution and, therefore, welcomes the agreement.


13.6.        The SIU has the power to conduct civil litigation in its own name or in the name of the affected state institution but heavy court rolls often result in its civil litigation work being delayed. The Committee is informed that there is finally progress in establishing a Special Tribunal that will allow the SIU to process matters faster than in the ordinary civil courts. It is envisaged that the Special Tribunal will effectively operate as a specialist division of the High Court. The Committee notes that there is some concern about the impact of the Special Tribunal on court rolls but that this is being discussed. The Committee requests that it is kept informed of progress on a regular basis.


14.   Committee’s observations: Public Protector


  1. The Committee welcomes the Public Protector’s focus on accessibility, including entering into memorandum of understanding with the Department of Justice to make use of magistrates’ courts and also with traditional councils. The Public Protector indicated last year that it would be in a position to report on its accessibility plan by the end of 2017/18. The Committee, therefore, requests that the Public Protector provide it with sight of the plan as soon as possible.


  1. The Committee notes the Public Protector’s request for an additional R1 billion in order for the institution to remain afloat. While the Committee understands why the request is made, it was not presented with sufficient detail. Further, in real terms, the Public Protector’s Budget allocation increased by 7.8%, which is unusual in this portfolio. The Committee, however, urges the Public Protector to make full use of the Budgetary Review and Recommendation process later this year to inform the Committee of the PPSA’s forward funding needs for the 2018 MTEF.


  1. The Committee is concerned about the legal costs associated with the increased number of the Public Protector’s findings that are being taken on review since the Constitutional Court clarified the Public Protector’s powers of remedial action. At present, there are 21 cases on review and an amount of R5 million in 2017/18 has been set aside for litigation. The Committee requests that the Public Protector keep it informed of the number and status of the review applications and the associated costs.


14.4.        The Public Protector clarified that, for now, it will outsource its Internal Audit function, as it is more cost effective to do so.



14.5.        The Committee welcomes the Public Protector’s efforts to address staff morale, including the payment of the Occupation Specific Dispensation (OSD) to Managers and Senior Managers, and is looking into implementing a performance management system.


14.6.        The Committee supports the Public Protector’s view that the Public Protector Act, 1994, as amended, requires revision to bring it in line with the Constitution and requests that the necessary legislation is expedited.

15.   Committee’s observations: South African Human Rights Commission


15.1.        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. One aspect of that engagement is ensuring that Parliament considers the substantive reports produced by the Chapter 9 and associated institutions. The Committee believes that Parliament’s Office for Institutions Supporting Democracy is able to assist in ensuring that the relevant reports are brought to its attention (and, in fact, quite a number have been) but also requests that the institutions are proactive in informing the Committee of relevant activities, such as public hearings and similar stakeholder engagements, and bringing their reports to the Committee’s attention.


15.2.        The Committee has 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 Forum could also provide a vehicle by means of which these institutions can inform the public of the role of Chapter 9 institutions in our democracy and fostering constitutional awareness generally. The Committee is concerned that it has heard very little about the Forum and wonders if it is working well. The Committee, therefore, asks that the Commission keep it regularly informed of the Forum’s activities. The Committee will also engage with the OISD on this.


15.3.        The Commission highlighted that it needed additional funding to fulfil its monitoring responsibilities as a result of various court orders. Although the Commission could request the Court to release it from its monitoring responsivities, this would merely shift the responsibility elsewhere. The Committee is sympathetic to the Commission in this regard, as it is likely that violations will continue to take place with very serious consequences should monitoring not take place.


15.4.        The Committee notes that the Commission has met once with the Information Regulator and more meetings are planned to explore the modalities of handing over its responsibilities in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000, to the Regulator. The Committee requests that it is kept informed of progress in this regard.


15.5.        The Committee welcomes that the Commission recognises the strategic importance of engaging with Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) to assist with its work: FBOs have a wide reach and influence within communities and can greatly assist when addressing challenges such as xenophobia and other human rights violations.





16.   Recommendations


16.1.        The Committee, having considered the Budget Vote 21: Justice and Constitutional Development supports it and recommends its approval.


16.1.1.The Committee recommends that the Ministry engage with the Ministry of Rural Development and Land Reform on the transfer of funds allocated to support legal advice to and litigation by land claimants to Legal Aid South Africa so that it can take on these matters and reports to the Committtee on the outccome.


16.2.        The Committee recommends that Legal Aid South Africa be allocated additional funds to address its budget shortfall of R45 million for 2017/18 to prevent it from having to reduce its staff establishment.


16.3.        The Committee recomends that Legal Aid South Africa be allocated additional funds to enable it to expand its civil work, including for legal assistance and representation to land claimants and the provision of legal representation in maintenance matters.


16.4.        The Committee recommends that the South African Human Rights  Commission is allocated additional funds in the amount of R11.9 million in 2017/18 for it to fulfil its court-ordered monitoring obligations with respect to the Lindela Repatriation Centre, Basic Education for All (textbooks) and the Aurthurstone Community (evictions).



Report to be considered




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