ATC200605: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on the respective Strategic Plans and Annual Performance Plans 2020/21 of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, National Prosecuting Authority, Legal Aid South Africa, Special Investigating Unit, Public Protector South Africa, South African Human Rights Commission and Information Regulator; and Budget Vote 25: Justice and Constitutional Development for the 2020 MTEF, dated 3 June 2020

Justice and Correctional Services

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on the respective Strategic Plans and Annual Performance Plans 2020/21 of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, National Prosecuting Authority, Legal Aid South Africa, Special Investigating Unit, Public Protector South Africa, South African Human Rights Commission and Information Regulator; and Budget Vote 25: Justice and Constitutional Development for the 2020 MTEF, dated 3 June 2020

 

The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, having considered the respective Strategic Plans and Annual Performance Plans 2020/21 of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, National Prosecuting Authority, Legal Aid South Africa, Special Investigating Unit, Public Protector South Africa, South African Human Rights Commission and Information Regulator; and Budget Vote 25: Justice and Constitutional Development,reports as follows:

 

  1. Introduction

 

  1. The Budget Vote 25: Justice and Constitutional Development continues to consist offive programmes, as well as a direct charge for Magistrates’ salaries:
  • The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (the Department) is responsible for the Administration, Court Services, State Legal Services and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) programmes, as well as for the Justice Modernisation subprogramme under Programme 5: Auxiliary and Associated Services, which funds the implementation of Information Technology (IT) infrastructure for the Department and distributes earmarked funds for JCPS Cluster projects as part of the Integrated Justice System (IJS).

 

  • Section 39 of the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013, (POPIA) establishes an Information Regulator as an independent juristic person that is accountable to the National Assembly. At present, until fully operational, the Regulator receives its allocation under the State Legal Services programme.

 

  • Programme 5 Auxiliary and Associated Servicesalso contains allocations to various auxiliary services, including transfer payments to Legal Aid South Africa and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU). The Programme also contains transfer payments to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Public Protector South Africa (PPSA).

 

 

  1. New developments

 

  1. The Committee’s consideration of the Budget Vote 25: Justice and Constitutional Development takes place in the context of the declaration of a state of national disaster on 15 March 2020,followed by the announcement of a hard lockdown from 26 March 2020in response to the potential magnitude and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. From 1 May 2020, Government has cautiously begun to ease restrictions, adopting a risk-adjusted strategy. Although the Courts and justice-service points have remained open during this time, access has been restricted to matters regarded as being essential. This has significantly affected operations, including resulting in an increase in backlogs. It is likely that indicators and targets contained in the Strategic Plans and Annual Performance Plans, which were drafted prior to the declaration, will need to be adjusted and the Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation has already notified departments of this.

 

  1. In addition, since the Minister of Finance tabled the Budget in February, Government has announced a R500 billion economic and social support package to help battle the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.There is to be a massive reprioritisation of funds across government. An adjustment appropriations billwill be tabled on 24 June 2020 once the National Assembly has resolved on the Appropriations Bill.

 

 

  1. Method

 

  1. The lockdown has also had consequences for the parliamentary programme and, especially, for the way in which committees work. Unable to physically convene, committees have made use of information and communication technologies that allow for meetings to proceed virtually. For this reason, the Committee has held its meetingson a virtual meeting platform – MS Teams. The meetings were also live-streamed.

 

  1. On 18 May 2020, the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services provided an overview of the political priorities for the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Correctional Services and the Office of the Chief Justice.

 

  1. The Department, NPA, Information Regulator, Legal Aid South Africa, the SIU, the SAHRC and the Public Protector SAeach presented their strategic plans, annual performance plans for 2020/21 and budgets for the 2020 MTEF.

 

  1. The briefings took place as follows:
  • Information Regulator – 12 May 2020.
  • South African Human Rights Commission – 15 May 2020.
  • Special Investigating Unit – 15 May 2020.
  • Public Protector – 16 May 2020.
  • Legal Aid South Africa – 18 May 2020.
  • The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development – 22 May 2020.
  • National Prosecuting Authority – 22 May 2020.

 

  1. All presentations are available from the Committee Secretariat.

 

 

  1. Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR) October 2019and Minister of Finance’s response to Parliament

 

  1. In the Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (October 2019), the Committee expressed its concern about the consequences of possible budget cuts for service delivery. The Committee was especially concerned that a reduced staff establishment could undermine the work needed to create a transformed and responsive justice system.

 

  1. The Report, therefore,recommended that additional funding be allocated to:
  • The NPA to address the shortfall in its compensation of employees’ budget; fill critical post vacancies; create capacity in the Asset Forfeiture Unit, Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit and the Office of Witness Protection; and to resume its aspirant prosecutor programme.
  • Legal Aid SAto prevent it from having to cut posts and to ensure that it can maintain its civil work and assist in land claims matters.

 

  1. In the case of the Public Protector SA and SAHRC, the Committee recommended thatzero budget reductions be applied and, further, additional funding be provided to:
  • The SAHRC to fulfil its coordinating role in respect of the National Preventative Mechanism established in terms of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
  • The Public Protector SA to fill vacancies, employ professional services, and improve security.

 

  1. The Minister of Finance responded to the recommendations as follows:
  • The 2020 Budget provides additional funding of R1.2 billion to the NPA to improve prosecutorial capacity, rejuvenate the aspirant prosecutor programme and operationalise the new Investigative Directorate.
  • Over the medium term, Legal Aid SA will receive additional funding.
  • The baselines of the South African Human Rights Commission and the Public Protector of South Africa have not been reduced over the medium term.

 

 

  1. Medium Term Strategic Framework 2019 -2024

 

  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.

 

  1. This is the first year of the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2019-2024. The MTSF identifies seven priorities and related interventions of the Sixth Administration. Justice has responsibilities in respect of two priorities: namely Priority 1 ‘A capable, ethical and developmental state’ and Priority 6 ‘Social cohesion and safe communities’.

 

  1. In addition, the lack of access to resources and lack of opportunity for Women, Youth and People with Disabilities are identified as cross-cutting, requiring a variety of interventions, including legislative amendments.

 

  1. Key interventions for which the Justice Department is allocated responsibility include:
  • Instituting a programme to prevent and fight corruption in government in partnership with anti-corruption agencies and non-state actors to resolve reported incidents of corruption in the Government through disciplinary measures and criminal interventions.
  • Coordinating engagements between the leadership of the executive, legislature and judiciary in order to develop a social compact by 2021 and implement the compact by 2024. The President and his Cabinet; Chief Justice and Presidents of the Court of Appeal and High Courts; Speakers of the legislatures and Heads of Chapter 9 institutions are identified as core partners.
  • Developing a system to ensure consistent barrier-free access to justice for persons with disabilities across the justice value chain.
  • Coordinating the Implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.
  • Establishing Specialised Commercial Crime Courts (SCCC’s) in five (5) provinces (Limpopo, North West, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and the Free State).
  • Ensuring an efficient, modernised and co-ordinated criminal justice system through integrated digital information systems.

 

 

 

 

  1. Political overview

 

  1. On 18 May 2020, the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services provided a political overview, introducing the budget and plans for 2020/21 for the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Office of the Chief Justice and Judicial Administration and Department of Correctional Services. The Minister referred, among others, to:
  • Vacancies. In order to build a capable estate, critical vacancies are to be filled by year-end.
  • Addressing audit findings. The findings of the Auditor-General and SIU and those of other oversight bodies will be acted on to ensure that there are consequences where there is wrongdoing.
  • Replacing colonial/Apartheid era justice-related legislation. Such legislation will be reviewed, repealed and replaced. In the 2020/21financial year, the Department will begin the process of reviewing the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977.
  • Land Justice. There is a process to transfer the legal representation function and related budget currently undertaken by the Land Rights Management Facility in the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development to Legal Aid SA. This will place Legal Aid SA at the centre of the efforts towards land justice in South Africa and the transfer will ensure that Legal Aid SA has both the finances and capacity that is required. Further, a Land Court Bill is to be introduced this year. The Bill will broaden the mandate of the Land Claims Court and allow the appointment of permanent judges to enable the court to effectively adjudicate in land disputes in this country.
  • Transformed State Attorney and Legal Services. The State Attorney Amendment Act, 2014, was operationalised in February 2020. As an interim measure, an Acting Solicitor-General has been appointed. In addition, there have been complaints from the legal profession about the processes followed in the appointment of acting judges. The Department, therefore, intends to initiate a consultative process with a view to introducing changes aimed, among others, at enhancing transparency in the process.
  • Gender-based violence and femicide. The Department is preparing three bills proposing amendments to the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, the Domestic Violence Act, and the Criminal Procedure Act. Rollout of sexual offences courts and Thuthuzela Care Centres will continue.
  • Build and deepen Constitutionalism, respect for Human Rights and Rule of law. Next year, 2021, marks 25 years since the adoption and final certification of the Constitution. Programmes will be put in place to observe this milestone. In the next five years, efforts will be made to increase and deepen constitutional and human rights awareness.
  • Modernized, accessible courts and people-centred services. ICT infrastructure will be prioritised so that it can be responsive to the digital transformation initiatives and improved service delivery. Digitising legal processes by, for example, E-filing, is at an advanced stage.
  • Child maintenance. Although there have been improvements in the processes relating to maintenance applications, the Department plans to improve speed and efficiency in finalising maintenance orders. Similarly, the finalisation of cases involving children are prioritised.
  • Establishment of a single judicial system. The Constitution mandates the establishment of a single judicial system that is in line with the provisions of section 166 of the Constitution. The introduction of Bills to replace the Magistrates Act, 1993, and the Magistrates’ Courts Act, 1944, remains a priority for 2020/21. The Department will intensify support to the Magistrates Commission in the filling of vacant offices of magistrates to further strengthen capacity in the lower courts.
  • Digitisationof the Masters' office.The digitisation and automation of insolvency registrations and appointments began in 2019/20 and it is envisaged that Trust online services will be implemented in 2021/22.

 

 

  1. Fiscal environment

 

  1. Overview

 

  1. The national state of disaster was declared after the Minister of Finance’s delivery of the Budget in February. On 21 April 2020, the President announced a R500 billion fiscal support package that includes spending towards COVID-19 priorities. The response package will be partly funded through a reprioritisation of R130 billion within existing baselines. This constitutes 12.1% of the consolidated non-interest, non-compensation budget. In order to find resources to fund the response package, departments are required to identify programmes or activities that can be suspended without negatively impacting the longevity of these programmes. It appears that changes in baselines will only be effected in the 2020/21 financial year and will not at this stage be carried forward into the MTEF. The Department, the entities and the SAHRC and PPSA have been asked to respond to a proposed cut of 17% of the 2020/21 budget allocation.

 

  1. Even before the declaration of the national state of disaster, economic growth in 2019/20 was weaker than forecast: Electricity shortages have put the economy under great strain, and demands from Eskom and other financially distressed state‚Äźowned companies continue to drain public resources. The 2020 Budget, therefore, prioritises action to reverse the deterioration of public finances by narrowing the budget deficit and containing debt and structural reforms towards faster sustained economic growth, largely by reducing the public sector wage bill. Other reductions are being applied, wherever possible, to poorly performing or underspending programmes.

 

  1. As there are no additional resources available, any further allocations over the 2020 MTEF, including new priorities, must be funded by reallocations and reprioritisations, either from within the relevant department’s budget, or from another department’s budget.

 

  1. Reducing the public service wage bill, which accounts for more than 35% of all public spending, is seen as key.

 

  1. On the matter of spending efficiency, a number of weaknesses have been identified, including a complex and often ineffective procurement system and claims against the state.

 

  1. Peace and Security function

 

  1. The consolidated budget for the peace and security function accounts for R217.0 billion in 2020/21; R221.3 billion in 2021/22; and R228.8 billion in 2022/23. The R9.7 billion net decrease (from 2019/20) mainly comprises reductions in the compensation of employees and goods and services budget items.

 

Peace and Security function budget allocation 2020 MTEF

Function

R’ billion

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

2022/23

Defence and State Security

50.8

51.4

48.9

50.4

Police Services

105.2

106.1

110.8

114.2

Law Courts and Prisons

48.5

49.6

52.0

53.6

Home Affairs

10.0

9.9

9.6

10.5

Total

214.4

217.0

221.3

228.8

 

  1. Approximately 23% of the overall allocation for Peace and Security goes to ‘Law courts and prisons’. Specifically, the Justice and Constitutional Development Vote receives 10.3% (including magistrates’ salaries).

 

  1. The peace and security function prioritises the implementation of an integrated strategy to fight crime and ensure national security over the medium term.

 

  1. Over the medium term, funds have been reprioritised from the South African Police Services to other departments and entities within the function to implement the integrated criminal justice strategy. From this, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development will receive R1.8 billion, mainly to enhance prosecution capacity in the NPA.

 

  1. An additional amount of R309.2 million over the medium term is allocated to Legal Aid SA to retain public defenders. 

 

 

  1. Overview of Vote 25: Justice and Constitutional Development

 

  1. The overall allocation to the Justice and Constitutional Development Vote (Vote 25) for 2020/21 is R22.4 billion, which includes Magistrates’ salaries (compared with R21.04 billion in 2018/19).

 

  1. Overall, the allocation to the Vote increases in real terms by 2.04% compared with 2019/20. This is largely on account of funds being reprioritised from the South African Police Services to the National Prosecuting Authority. (The NPA’s budget increases by 8.9% in real terms).

 

  1. The three Justice programmes (Administration, Court Services and State Legal Services) as well as the Justice Modernisation subprogramme are allocated R12.2 billion for 2020/21, a real decrease of -1.85% compared to 2019/20.

 

  1. The Vote receives an additional R551 million for the NPA, Integrated Criminal Justice Strategy, Specialised Commercial Crimes Courts, Information Regulator, Special Investigating Unit and Legal Aid South Africa. However, baseline reductions of R336.9 million affect areas that include the Integrated Criminal Justice System programme, compensation of employees, goods and services, and buildings and fixed structures.

 

  1. In2020/21, the total for programmes -excluding the direct charge for magistrates’ salaries - is R19.86 billion (compared with R18.7 billion in 2019/20). Over the medium term, the allocation to programmes grows to R22.08 billion in 2022/23.

 

Vote 25 - Justice and Constitutional Development –Allocation for the 2020 MTEF per programme

Programme

(R ‘million)

Budget

2020 MTEF

2019/20

Adjusted Appropriation

2020/21

2021/22

2022/23

Administration

2 503.7

2 356.5

2 491.9

2 600.7

Court Services

6 736.

7180.3

7 688.4

8007.3

State Legal Services

1 399.8

1 431.9

1 529.3

1 612.9

National Prosecuting Authority

4 031.6

4 583.9

4 906.0

5 096.2

Auxiliary and Associated Services

4 109.6

4 308.0

4 553.2

4 766.8

TOTAL

18 781.5

19 860.6

21 168.8

22 083.9

Magistrates’ Salaries

2 263.7

2 550.2

2 715.6

2 816.0

Total

21 045.2

22 410.8

23 884.4

24 899.9

Change to 2019 Budget estimate

(55.6)

194.0

247.9

357.0

 

  1. Key cost drivers for 2020/21 include the following:
  • Compensation of employees. Overall,the Vote (including theNPA and magistrates) has 22 932 funded posts in 2020/21 at a cost of R12.93 billion. In respect of the Administration, Court Services and State Legal Services programmes, the Department has 16 326 funded posts in 2020/21, costing R6.49 billion. The majority of these posts are located in the Court Services programme. (Notably there is a decrease of R76.54 million in the Compensation of Employees baseline allocation in 2020/21.)
  • Property payments: Property payments increase from R1.23 billion in 2019/20 to R1.24 billion in 2020/21.
  • Computer Services. Although the issue of digitalisation and modernisation is a justice priority, payments for these services decrease from R1.18 billion in 2019/20 to R1.14 billion in 2020/21. (In respect of the Integrated Justice System programme there is a baseline decrease in the goods and services line item of R107.26 million in 2020/21.)
  • Buildings and fixed structures. Theallocation to Buildings and Fixed Structures increases from R510.8 million in 2019/20 to R874.4 million in 2020/21.

 

 

  1. Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

 

  1. The key outcomes and interventions in terms of the MTSF for which the Department is responsible are captured at paragraph 5.4.

 

  1. Factors that have or will shape the Department’s plans include:

 

  1. The outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic, which has interrupted the Department’s planning and highlighted the need for accelerated modernisation and digitisation of the justice system.

 

  1. The downturn in the economy and the impact of budget cuts.

 

  1. Implementing a turnaround plan towards a clean audit and improved service delivery. The Department does not expect to be able to deliver an unqualified audit finding for 2019/20. Contributing factors are a weakened management and leadership; overdrawn capacity caused by the large vacancy rate; the near collapse of Justice College with the resultant lack of focus on skills enhancement; the lack of attention to consequence management; and the continued rewarding of non-performance.

 

  1. Review of the organisational structure. The structure of the Department has not been reviewed for 10 years and, as a result, is not aligned to the strategic goals and commitments made in past financial years. The Department has sought help from National Treasury’s General Technical Advisory Centre. A draft structure is to be completed by September 2020 and will be finalized by November 2020 with implementation envisaged from January 2021.

 

  1. Strengthening management capability. Posts at Senior Management and at the operational level, which are not affected by the review of the Department’s macro structure, will continue to be filled.

 

  1. Consequence management. Investigations, including forensic investigations commissioned by the Department, are receiving attention.

 

  1. Cultural review and skills enhancement. A cultural survey and change management programmes are essential for rebuilding the Department’s reputation. In addition, the repositioning of Justice College is an integral part of building a well-resourced and skilled workforce.

 

  1. Policy certainty and direction. Some of the policy reforms earmarked for completion over the five-year period are:
  • Policy on Judicial Governance and Court Administration – this will build on the work commenced during the Fifth Administration.
  • Policy recommendations to reform the criminal justice system and the Criminal Procedure Act.
  • Policy to reform the civil justice system.
  • Policies prescribed in the State Attorney Amendment Act, including allocation of briefs and procurement of legal services.

 

  1. Legislationthat the Department intends to introduce during the MTSF period include:
  • Criminal Procedure Bill.
  • Land Court Bill.
  • Lower Courts Bill.
  • Magistrates’ Court Bill.
  • Community Advice Offices and Paralegals Bill.
  • Domestic Violence Act Amendment Bill.
  • Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act) Amendment Bill.

 

  1. The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development is striving towards making the following impact ‘Improved public perception, confidence in the justice system and respect for the rule of law’and hasdeveloped eight departmental outcomes:
  • Improved governance and accountability.
  • Modernised, accessible courts and people-centred services.
  • Transformed Masters services.
  • Colonial/Apartheid era justice-related legislation reviewed, repealed and replaced.
  • Transformed state litigation services and the legal profession.
  • Advancement of constitutionalism, human rights and the rule of law.
  • Crime and corruption significantly reduced through effective prosecution.
  • Criminal justice system digitized and integrated.

 

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development - Impact statement, outcome, outcome indicator and five-year target

IMPACT STATEMENT:

Improved public perception, confidence in the justice system and respect for the rule of law’

Outcome Indicator

Five-year target

Outcome: Improved governance and accountability

Percentage of total workforce positions occupied by persons with disability.

7% of total workforce positions occupied by persons with disability by 2024.

Percentage implementation of the department Human Resource Development Strategy.

100%

Justice College reconfigured to offer practical legal training to departments and entities.

All departments and entities in the justice cluster access to practical legal training in niche areas.

Outcome: Modernised, accessible courts and people-centred services

Number of services provided through e-channel platforms.

 

  • Number of justice services provided electronically.
  • E-Filing for civil justice.
  • E-Submission and tracking for services (Maintenance applications, and domestic violence applications order).
  • Audiovisual testimony in top 30 courts.

Percentage of services delivered within the required turnaround time.

95% of services provided within the required turnaround times.

Number of sites built, renovated, established and new leases finalised to increase access to justice by all.

  • 55 Leases finalized.
  • Six new courts built.
  • Nine renovated.
  • 148 Sexual Offences Courts established.
  • Interventions to deal with sexual offences by 2020/24 completed.

Outcome: Transformed Masters Services

Number of Master’s services modernized.

2

Number of policies reviewed.

3

Outcome: Colonial/Apartheid era justice-related legislation reviewed, repealed and replaced.

Percentage of constitutionally-sound legislative instruments and law reform proposals successfully challenged in courts.

<2%

 

Percentage of human rights instruments and legislation successfully challenged in court for constitutionality.

<3%

Outcome: Transformed State litigation services and the legal profession

Percentage of High Court matters insourced.

 

40%

Number of PDI advocates briefed.

 

2200

Outcome: Advancement of constitutionalism, human rights and the rule of law

Percentage government department actions and their laws successfully challenged in court for constitutionality.

 

<3%

 

Number of municipal districts and international fora reached to promote respect for Human Rights, particularly vulnerable groups (LGBTQI, Women and children).

 

Domestically: 44 districts

International Fora: 4 

 

(SADC, AU, Common Wealth and BRICS)

Number of relevant International Human Rights instruments ratified /acceded.

 

3

 

Policy Framework to transform Extradition, Mutual Legal Assistance and International Cooperation in Criminal matters developed.

 

Framework finalised by 2024

 

Percentage of DOJ&CD activities in the NAP Programme of action implemented to promote participatory democracy, human rights advocacy, platforms and agencies.

100%

 

Review of the implementation of the Constitution

 

Reviewed by 2024

 

Social Compact to be developed by 31 March 2024

 

Social Compact Developed by 31 March 2024

Outcome: Crime and corruption significantly reduced through effective prosecution

Level of satisfaction with the prosecution of identified crime type

 

Baseline +30%

 

Percentage of identified high impact corruption prosecutions instituted

 

Baseline +25%

 

Level of customer satisfaction with NPA services

 

92%

 

Outcome: Criminal justice system digitized and integrated

Number of KPI’s completed on the Integrated Justice System dashboard

28

 

  1. The Department has identified the following as risks to the realisation of the Strategic Plan and APP:

 

Key risks and mitigation

RISKS

MITIGATION

Impact of the COVID 19 pandemic.

Implement the Risk-Adjusted Plan.

Budget cuts.

Reprioritisation, donor funding.

Organisational structure does not support strategy..

Align structure to departmental outcomes.

Lack of modernisation of systems and business solution.

  • Continue with Design Thinking Workshops with key business areas.
  • Identify further modernisation initiatives, prioritise and plan.

Vacancies in key positions.

Fill permanent posts.

(Potential) Fraud and corruption.

Roll out and implement the Ethics Management strategy.

Slow transformed State Attorney and Legal Services.

Operationalise the State Attorney Amendment Act of 2014.

Case backlog (due to COVID-19).

Develop Integrated Case Backlog Management Plan to address backlogs accrued during the national state of disaster and lockdown.

Compromised physical and information security.

  • Stakeholder management planning for high profile cases.
  • Develop security needs analysis report.

Increased Gender based violence and Femicide resulting in diminishing public confidence in the criminal justice system.

  • Establish and strengthen the provincial emergency teams for GBVF cases.
  • Prioritise GBVF backlog cases.
  • Upgrade regional courts into SOCs.
  • Revisit legislation  on GBVF matters relating to bail, sentencing and NRSO.

Incorrect reporting of performance information.

Strengthen monitoring and evaluation (sampling checks, verification).

 

 

  1. Department of Justice and Constitutional Development: Programmes

 

  1. Programme 1: Administration

 

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

 

  1. The Department has added the following output indicators:
  • Percentage of reported incidents of corruption resolved through the Departmental Disciplinary Code and Procedure for the Public Service.
  • Percentage of MMS posts occupied by Africans and Women (Baseline of 62% Africans 47,3% Women).
  • Percentage of total workforce positions occupied by people with disability (Baseline of 2.19%).
  • Percentage of Rand Value of Discretionary Procurement allocated to Exempted Micro Enterprises (EMEs) and Qualifying Small Enterprises (QSEs).
  • Department’s reconfiguration and structure implemented by target date.
  • Call Centre operationfor complaints management established by target date.

 

  1. The Administration programme is allocated R2.35 billion for 2020/21, compared with R2.5 billion in 2019/2020 (for the Ministry, Management, Corporate Services, Financial Administration, Internal Audit and Office Accommodation subprogrammes).Overall, the allocation to Administration has decreased by -9.85% in real terms.

 

  1. The spending focus on this programme is mainly on personnel, audit fees, operating leases, property payments, and travel and subsistence.

 

  1. Programme 2: Court Services

 

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

 

  1. Output indicators include:
  • Number of Audio-Visual Remand Systems rolled out.
  • Percentage of NRSO Clearance Certificates issued to applicants.
  • Number of Sexual Offences Court designated in terms of section 55(A) the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007.
  • Number of facilities with term contracts for unplanned maintenance.
  • Percentage of disability-related complaints and investigations where reasonable measures were provided (level of access to justice by sex, age and disability).
  • Policy recommendations to reform the Criminal Procedure Act submitted to the Minister by target date.
  • Development of a security model for courts and service points.
  • Number of dedicated Specialised Commercial Crime Courts in five provinces (Limpopo, North West, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and Free State).

 

  1. Court Services is allocated R7.2 billion for 2020/21 compared with R6.7 billion for 2019/20 (for the Lower Courts, Family Advocate, Magistrates Commission, Facilities Management and Administration of Lower Courts sub-programmes). Overall the allocation to this programme increases by 2.09% in real terms from 2019/20.

 

  1. The programme receives additional funding amounting to R120 million to fund the Specialised Criminal Court Unit and R123 million to fund the Integrated Criminal Justice Strategy over the medium term.

 

  1. Programme 3: State Legal Services

 

  1. The programme provides legal and legislative services to government; supervises the administration of deceased and insolvent estates an estates undergoing liquidation; manages the Guardian’s Fund; facilitates constitutional development; and undertakes research.

 

  1. New output indicators for the Programme include:
  • Number of Apartheid/Colonial era justice-related legislation repealed and replaced.
  • Established Office of the Solicitor-General and aligned Offices of the State Attorney Litigation Strategy implemented.
  • Number of policies to implement the State Attorney Amendment Act implemented.
  • State Attorney Framework contract implemented.
  • Governance structure to lead and coordinate the implementation of National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (NAP) established Terms of Reference for the NAP governance.
  • Funding model for the implementation of NAP developed
  • Number of phases of the development of a trafficking persons
  • Implementation of programmes to commemorate 25th anniversary of the Constitution.
  • Social Compact concept between the Executive, Judiciary and Legislative tiers of government developed.

 

  1. The State Legal Services programme is allocated R1.43 billion for 2020/21, compared with R1.39billion in 2019/20 (for the State Law Advisers, Litigation and Legal Services, Legislative Development and Law Reform, Master of the High Court and Constitutional Development subprogrammes). The allocation to the programme decreases in real terms by -2.02% from 2019/20.

 

  1. The spending focus of this programme is mainly on employee compensation, legal costs and claims against the state. This programme’s spending increased significantly between 2016/17 and 2019/20 due to the implementation of the OSD for legally qualified professionals, as well as the capacitation of the Office of the State Attorney. Additional funds amounting to R70 million are allocated to the Information Regulator over the medium term, resulting in a projected increase in spending in the Legislative Development and Law Reform sub-programme of 18% over the period.

 

  1. Programme 4: National Prosecuting Authority

 

  1. 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. The NPA also forms part of the Anti-Corruption TaskTeam (ACTT).

 

  1. The programme consists of the following sub-programmes:
  • National Prosecutions Service: Primarily responsible for general and specialised prosecutions and the appeals that might follow, which include resolving criminal matters outside of the formal trial process through alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, settling admissions of guilt for minor offences and considering dockets brought by the police where persons have not been charged. This sub-programme further deals with priority crimes litigation, sexual offences, and community affairs and specialised commercial crimes.
  • Assets Forfeiture Unit: Seizes assets that are the proceeds of crime or have been part of the offence through a criminal or civil process.
  • Office of Witness Protection: Provides for protection, support and related services to vulnerable, intimidated witnesses and related persons in judicial proceedings in terms of the Witness Protection Act (1998).

 

  1. The NPA has aligned its strategy with the Department’s impact statement of ‘Improved public perception, confidence in the justice system and respect for the rule of law’ and to the Department’s Outcomes 2 and 7, namely ‘Modernised, accessible courts and people-centred services’ and ‘Crime and corruption significantly reduced through effective prosecution’.

 

  1. The NPA has committed to making the following impact:‘A South Africa in which crime is significantly reduced and everyone feels safe and abides by the law’. The related outcome and sub-outcomes are:

 

NPA - Sub-outcomes, outcome indicators, baselines and targets for the MTSF

OUTCOME:

Crime and Corruption significantly reduced through effective prosecution

SUB-OUTCOME

OUTCOME INDICATOR

BASELINE

TARGET

Increased feelings of safety and security

Level of satisfaction with the prosecution of identified crime types

N/A

Baseline + 30%

Improved investor confidence in South Africa through high impact prosecution

% of identified high impact corruption prosecutions instituted

N/A

Baseline + 25%

Improved access to NPA services to all

Level of customer satisfaction with NPA services

81.5%

92%

 

  1. Priority focus areas for the MTSF period are:
  • Restoration of the NPA’s credibility.
  • Strategic support and innovation capacity.
  • Enhancement of organisational capacity (recruitment).
  • Strengthening organisational performance through skills development.
  • Promotion of sound workplace relations and employee wellbeing (staff morale).
  • Strengthening NPA communications.
  • Develop a NPA complaints and ethics mechanism.
  • NPA’s autonomy.
  • Community prosecutions.
  • Implementation of ECMS at all lower Court.

 

  1. The NPA’s APP 20202/21 is aligned to the MTSF priorities and in addition has three new indicators:
  • Level of quality of prosecution.
  • Number of cases involving money laundering.
  • Number of public awareness sessions conducted.

 

  1. New performance indicators are included in divisional operational plans to further enhance the performance of the NPA:
  • Percentage of TRC reviews concluded.
  • Percentage accused in Regional Courts and High Courts sentenced to direct imprisonment.
  • Conviction rate in priority corruption cases.
  • Number of money laundering prosecutions with foreign predicate offending.
  • Number of community prosecutions.
  • Conviction rate in murder prosecutions.
  • Conviction rate in femicide prosecutions.
  • Conviction rate in murder intimate partner femicide prosecutions.

 

  1. NPA - Outputs, output indicators and targets:

 

Output

Output Indicators

Target

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

2022/23

Effective prosecutions conducted

Conviction rate in High Court

87%

87%

87%

87%

Conviction rate in Regional Court

87%

87%

87%

87%

Conviction rate in District Court

88%

88%

88%

88%

Level of quality in prosecution

NA

Baseline

Baseline +10%

2020/21 +10%

Number of witnesses and related persons threatened, harmed or killed while on the witness protection programme

0

0

0

0

Fraud andcorruption dealt with

Conviction rate in complex commercial crime

93%

93%

93%

93%

Number of persons convicted of private sector corruption

57

150

158

166

Number of government officials convicted of corruption and/or offences related to corruption

202

220

232

243

Number of cases involving money laundering

NA

90

100

110

Freezing of money and assets that are the proceeds of crime

Value of freezing orders obtained for corruption or offences relating to corruption

R6.8bn

R2.4bn

R2.6bn

R2.8bn

Recovery of money and assets that are the proceeds of crime

Value of recoveries relating to corruption or related offences

R1.6bn

R1.4bn

R1.6bn

R1.8bn

Victim-centric services enhanced

Number of operational TCCs in place

55

58

59

60

Conviction rate in sexual offences

70%

70%

70%

70%

Number of public awareness sessions conducted

130

140

150

160

 

  1. The NPA has identified the following risks to its plans:

 

Key Risks

Contributing Factors

Negative public perception and reputation

  • Lack of leadership credibility.
  • No public confidence in the NPA.
  • Lack of accountability in respect of prosecutorial decisions.
  • Interference with the independence of the NPA.
  • Negative media coverage.
  • Lack of decision making/ or prosecutions in certain high profile cases.
  • Perceptions of fraud and corruption as well as dishonest and unethical conduct in the NPA.

Inadequate stakeholder management and cooperation

  • Lack of aligned or common targets within the JCPS cluster, in particular with the SAPS.
  • Lack of joint planning in the JCPS.
  • Lack of accountability in the JCPS.
  • Inefficiencies in the structure and functioning of various national and provincial joint structures, Provincial Efficiency Enhancement Committees (PEECs), and the National Efficiency Enhancement Committee (NEEC).

Lack of required skills and people to attend to complex matters

  • Long recruitment process in specialised areas.
  • Prolonged period of not filling posts due to budget constraints.
  • Discontinuation of aspirant prosecutor programme.
  • Experienced and skilled prosecutors lost to judiciary.

Insufficient use of technology to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in the NPA

  • Lack of integrated electronic case management.
  • Challenges within the Integrated Justice System (IJS) processes.
  • Reluctance to move from paper-based to electronic organization.
  • Lack of organization-wide knowledge management system and capacity.
  • Lack of laptops and network connectivity, particularly at lower courts
  • ECMS developed but not fully implemented.
  • Training of prosecutors.
  • Lack of data capturers at lower courts.

 

  1. The NPA is allocated R4.58 billion for 2020/21 (in comparison to R4.03 billion in 2019/20.

 

  1. The NPA receives an additional R1.2 billion over the medium term through reprioritised funding for: AFU and SCCU capacity, the Investigative Directorate, National Prosecuting Service capacity (critical posts), Aspirant Prosecutor Programme, Witness Protection and Support Services (safety and security).

 

 

  1. Programme 5: Auxiliary and Associated Services

 

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

 

  1. The spending focus of this programme is for the modernisation of the justice system and transfers to public entities and constitutional institutions. The programme’s allocation amounted to R13.7 billion over the medium term. This includes an additional allocation of R300 million for the capacitation of Legal Aid SA and the SIU.

 

  1. The programme also contains the Justice Modernisation sub-programme. This sub-programme contains funds for the modernisation of IT systems and for the Integrated Justice System (IJS) project on behalf of Justice Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster departments and entities.

 

  1. The Justice Modernisation subprogramme has the following output indicators:
  • Number of sites of government departments and entities where Person Verification Services are deployed.
  • Revised IJS programme governance structure implemented.
  • Number of government departments and entities connected to transversal platform and exchanging information electronically.
  • IJS Assessment report finalised by target date.

 

  1. An amount of R1.23 billion is allocated to the Justice Modernisation subprogramme for 2020/21, compared with R1.26 billion in 2020/21 in 2019/20. This is a real decrease of -6.85% from 2019/20.

 

 

  1. Legal Aid South Africa

 

  1. The main objective of Legal Aid SA is to render or make available legal representation to indigent persons at state expense as contemplated in the Constitution, ensuring the rights of citizens to access to justice.

 

  1. A Land Court Bill is being drafted that seeks to extend legal aid representation to a party involved in matters concerning land reform at state expense if the party cannot afford legal representation. Legal Aid SA will take over the legal representation function (and related budget) currently undertaken by the Land Rights Management Facility of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development.The Legal Aid SA Regulations and Manual under the Legal Aid South Africa Act, 2014 will be reviewed accordinglyto align to the Land Court Bill.

 

  1. The Strategic Plan 2020-2025 sets out the policy priorities, programmes and project plans for that period, as well as the related outcomes, outcome indicators and five-year targets. Legal Aid SA’s plans are aligned with the MTSF priority ‘Social cohesion and safer communities’:

 

  1. Legal Aid SA’s strategic outcomes for 2020-2025 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.

 

  1. The overall strategic shift for the 2020-2025 period that Legal Aid SA is seeking to achieve is‘Ensure equal access to justice for all to build a just society’.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. Legal Aid SA receives a total allocation of R2.1 billion for the 2020/21 financial year, an increase from R1.99 billion in 2019/20. Over the 2020 MTEF, it is allocated an additional R75 million (R20 million in 2020/21; R25 million in 2021/22 and R30 million in 2022/23).

 

Legal Aid SA programme budget for the 2020 MTEF

Subprogramme

(R’million)

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

2022/23

Legal Aid Services

334.8

390.5

402.1

427.4

Administration

600.3

1 656.1

1 757.8

1 833.8

Special projects

55.8

59.5

63.3

66.7

TOTAL

1 991.0

2 106.1

2 223.2

2 332

 

  1. Budget constraints continue to affect the operations of Legal Aid SA. The salaries budget is also negatively impacted by the cost of living increases which are higher than the macro increases and these have to be absorbed within the baseline allocation. The operating expenditure budget has not been increased by the macro over the five-year period, except for expenditure linked to contractual obligations.

 

  1. Areas of funding pressures which are linked to contractual obligations are as follows:
  2. Office accommodation.
  3. Escalations linked to contracts for security contracts and cleaning services.
  4. Substantial increases in municipal services rates and vehicle fuel.
  5. Only 2% of the budget has been allocated to capital expenditure which is not adequate to replace assets as and when they fall due.

 

 

  1. Special Investigating Unit

 

  1. 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 that 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.

 

  1. Although the SIU does not have the power to arrest or prosecute offenders for criminal conduct, it reports matters to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI/the Hawks), the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). The SIU works closely with the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) in the NPA, where its powers are more appropriate or effective in recovering the proceeds of crime. The MTSF also identifies the investigative reports of the Financial Intelligence Centre as key in the identification of high priority cases. The SIU is part of the Anti-Corruption Task Team (ACTT), which was established to fast–track investigations and prosecutions of serious corruption cases.

 

  1. The SIU locates its role under the MTSF priorities: ‘Social Cohesion and Safe Communities’ and ‘A capable, ethical and developmental state’. The MTSF envisages an improvement in corruption perception by the end of the five-year period. The SIU is to contribute by reducing levels of fraud and corruption in the private and public sectors; freezing money and assets; establishing and strengthening the capacity of the Special Tribunal for civil recoveries; and increasing the use of Financial Intelligence Reports in identifying high priority cases.

 

  1. The SIU’s Strategic Plan identifies certain high impact initiatives and interventions for the MTSF period:
  • Pursuing Priority High-Impact Targets to optimise the deployment of its resources.
  • Rejuvenating the organisationby investing in critical parts of the business.
  • Differentiating the SIU through its ‘uniqueofferings’.
  • Enforcing consequence management measures through a monitoring and evaluation competency (with the Auditor-General).
  • Pursuing civil litigation.
  • Applying cutting-edge data analytics and technology.
  • Optimising the uniqueness of the Special Tribunal.

 

  1. The SIU continues to have three programmes:

 

  •  
  •  
  •  

Responsible for the provision of business oversight and enablement services to the core business units of the SIU.

Investigations and Legal Counsel Programme

Responsible for ensuring the adequate execution of the mandated service delivery of the SIU.

Market Data Analytics and Prevention

Responsible for the implementation of relevant and proactive initiatives to prevent the reoccurrence of fraud and corruption cases as a result of systemic weaknesses in the public sector and to positively influence the behaviour of South African citizens

 

  1. The SIU has identified the following impact statement, organisational outcomes and five-year targets:

 

SIU – Impact statement, outcomes and five-year targets

IMPACT STATEMENT:

Ridding society of fraud and corruption in state institutions

  1.  

FIVE-YEAR TARGET

A compliant, high performance SIU that is well capacitated to rid society of corruption, maladministration and fraud in State institutions

  • Achieve and exceed all set performance targets
  • Maintain positive AG audit outcomes

State assets and cash resources are protected from maladministration, fraud and corruption for the realisation of full value for money for state programmes

Estimated R10 billion

Confidence in the governance systems, structures and policies of the State is restored and maintained

An established index on confidence in the state’s ability to effectively combat corruption and maladministration

Corruption, maladministration and fraud deterred through proactive preventative mechanisms and effective enforcement of consequence management measures

A minimum 10% annual decrease (aligned to the MTSF Priority Five-year target)

 

  1. The SIU has identified the following as key risks:
  • Inability to financially sustain SIU operations in the short to medium term due to shortcomings in the funding model.
  • Inability to timeously commence SIU investigations due to protracted approval process for proclamations.
  • Failure by state institutions to implement the SIU’s legal recommendations.
  • Inability to pro-actively assist public institutions to prevent corruption and maladministration practices.
  • Insufficient preparedness to respond to physical threats to investigators and security breaches.
  • Inability to achieve forensic investigations legal outcomes.
  • Inability to conduct forensic investigations according to predetermined standards.
  • Inability to attract an adequate and high performing workforce that is suitably skilled and properly managed.
  • Ineffective collaboration with external and internal stakeholders.
  • Failure to process and finalize civil matters enrolled in the Special Tribunal Court.
  • Inability to provide appropriate ICT services across SIU business.

 

  1. The SIU has a mixed funding model that derives income from a National Treasury grant and from work done for state departments. The SIU’s projected total revenue for 2019/20 is R820.4 million, compared with R683.3 million in 2019/20.Additional funding in the amount of R225 million is made available to the SIU over the medium term (R70 million in 2020/21; R75 million in 2021/22; and R80 million in 2022/23). The grant allocation is R452.9 million or 55.2% of the total projected revenue, while the SIU has projected that, in the 2020/21, it will receive R367.6 million in payments from state institutions for services rendered.

 

  1. Spending on Compensation of Employees is the SIU’s main expenditure item. In 2020/21, the Unit will spend R594.3 million on compensation of employees or 72% of the total budget. This amount exceeds the grant allocation for 2020/21.

 

 

  1. Public Protector SA

 

  1. The Public Protector SA 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.

 

  1. The PPSA’s Vision 2023 is underpinned by the following pillars:
  • Enhancing access to (PPSA) services.
  • Engaging targeted communities in their mother tongue.
  • Expanding the (PPSA’s) footprint.
  • Leveraging stakeholder relations and formalising those relationships in Memoranda of Understanding.
  • Projecting the image (of the PPSA) as being a safe haven for the downtrodden.
  • Empowering people to understand their rights.
  • Encouraging organs of state to establish effective internal complaints resolution units.
  • Turning communities into their own liberators.

 

  1. The PPSA has adopted a Strategic Plan 2020-2025 in terms of which the PPSA seeks to have the following impact: ‘Empower everyone at all levels of society to effectively engage organs of state about any injustice, service delivery failure or improper conduct and assist organs of state to establish and maintain efficient and effective governance and administration’.

 

PPSA – Impact statement, outcomes, outcome indicators and five-year targets

IMPACT STATEMENT:

Empower everyone at all levels of society to effectively engage organs of state about any injustice, service delivery failure or improper conduct and assist organs of state to establish and maintain efficient and effective governance and administration

  1.  
  1.  

FIVE-YEAR TARGET

Accessible PPSA services

Number of outreach methods employed to reach people and communities

4

(Clinics, Roadshows, Radio interviews and Mobile Referral Application)

Number of new service points established

  1.  

Investigations finalised within turnaround times

Percentage of investigations finalised within approved turnaround times

80%

Number of systemic investigations finalised

6

Clean audit achieved and maintained

Number of clean audit outcomes over a 5 year period

  1.  

Implementation of ICT systems to optimally support business objectives

Functional Mobile Referral Application

Implement a functional Mobile Referral Application

Functional Case management Application

Implement a functional Case Management Application

Ongoing engagements with  ombudsman and organs of state

Number of bodies being engaged on Ombudsman related matters

6 (AOMA, and 4 institutions to be identified)

 

  1. The PPSA continues to have three programmes:

 

  1. Administration: The programme has reduced its output indicators from four to two in 2020/21: ‘A clean audit achieved annually’; and ‘Implementation of ICT infrastructure’. The PPSA plans to implement a Case Management Application in 2021/22. In the meantime, a Mobile Referral Application will be implemented to assist complainants on available appropriate complaints handling mechanisms prior to approaching the Public Protector.

 

  1. Investigations: The programme has reduced its output indicators from six to five in 2020/21: ‘Number of Investigation reports finalised’; ‘Percentage of adherence to turnaround times in finalisation of cases’; ‘Percentage of 2 years and older cases finalised’; ‘Investigation and finalisation of systemic investigations/interventions’; and ‘Number of dialogues with organs of state on systemic challenges’.

 

  1. Stakeholder Engagement. The performance indicators in the 2020/21 APP remain the same: ‘Number of outreach clinics conducted’; ‘Number of Public Protector roadshows conducted’; ‘Number of radio interviews conducted’; ‘Number of bilateral agreements entered into annually’; ‘Percentage of AORC board meetings chaired by the Public Protector’; and ‘Percentage of AOMA meetings chaired by the Public Protector’.

 

  1. The PPSA acknowledges that due to the COVID-19 pandemic and measures in place to deal with it, the PPSA will need to adjust its targets, especially within the Stakeholder Management Programme. A revised 2020/21 Annual Performance Plan will be tabled in the National Assembly in due course.

 

  1. In 2020/21, the PP is allocated R341.8 million, compared to R322.6 million in 2019/20 (in real terms, the budget grows by 1.5% from 2019/20). A total of 77.8% or R266 million is for compensation of employees, while the goods and services budget is R72.6 million or 21.2% of the overall budget.

 

Public Protector SA Budget 2020 MTEF

Programme

(R’000)

2020/21

2021/22

2022/23

Administration

(38%)

135 209

142 555

148 800

Investigations (58%)

192 362

203 523

213 836

Stakeholder engagement

(4%)

14 254

14 535

1285

Total

341 825

360 613

377 921

 

  1. For some time now, the PPSA has indicated that the institution is underfunded and is requesting additional funding for the 2020 MTEF for the filling of critical positions; professional fees; insurance and fuel for newly acquired motor vehicles; security; insurance for servers; PPE; training; E-library services; a case management system; and employee wellness:

 

Public Protector SA: Total additional funding requested 2020 MTEF

2020/21

(R000)

2021/21

(R’000)

2021/22

(R’000)

TOTAL

(R’000)

R 53 199.1

R41 320.9

50 578.1

145 098.1

 

 

  1. South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)

 

  1. The SAHRC’s constitutional mandate is extremely wide, 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.

 

  1. The Commission has specific obligations in terms of legislation, including:
  • The Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, 2000 (PEPUDA).
  • The Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (PAIA). However, once the Information Regulator becomes fully operational, the SAHRC’s obligations relating to PAIA, excluding the Commission’s protection mandate, will be transferred to the Information Regulator.

 

  1. On 28 March 2019, Parliament ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT). The OPCAT requires States to establish a National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) to prevent torture, other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment. South Africa has adopted a multiple body NPM with the SAHRC in a lead and coordinating role.

 

  1. The MTSF focuses strongly on mainstreaming crosscutting focus areas, specifically the empowerment and access to resources and opportunities women, the youth and people with disabilities. Notably, the SAHRC has been accredited as an Independent Monitoring Mechanism (IMM) under the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD). This obligates the Commission to fully establish and ensure the functionality of the IMM, monitor and report on compliance with the requirements of the CRPD to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

 

  1. The MTSF also highlights the need for social cohesion and a key outcome under the priority ‘Social Cohesion and Safe Communities’is the implementation of the National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

 

  1. In addition, the MTSF identifies the Commission as contributing to:
  • The promotion of the Constitution and its values in schools, awareness campaigns, public engagements and dialogues.
  • The development of a system to ensure consistent barrier free access for persons with disabilities to justice across the justice value chain.
  • Strengthening and expanding protection measures for children and for adults with disabilities in institutionalised settings, such as special school boarding facilities, mental health care facilities and residential facilities.

 

  1. The SAHRC’s Strategic Plan 2020-25 provides for mandate-linked strategies:
  • Promotion - Enhancing human rights advocacy, visibility and awareness programmes by conducting high impact engagements to influence policy, legislation and its application; establishing strategic partnerships for capacity and collaboration; empowering communities and the public to proactively engage with human rights issues; and utilising media platforms to raise awareness and increase visibility.
  • Protection – Increasingly using redress mechanisms to minimise human rights violations by instituting strategic impact litigation and proactively conducting investigative inquiries and hearings.
  • Monitoring – Comprehensive human rights monitoring and impact evaluation by strengthening and applying a comprehensive monitoring system to assess the state of human rights.

 

  1. The Commission has four programmes: Administration; Promotion of human rights; Protection of human rights; and Monitoring observance of human rights.

 

  1. The Commission is allocated R200.1 million for 2020/21, increasing in real terms by 0.88% compared to 2019/20. Revenue is mainly derived from transfers from the Justice Department, which are expected to increase from R190.3 million in 2019/20 to R221.2 million in 2022/23.

 

 

  1. Information Regulator

 

  1. The Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (POPIA), regulates the processing of personal information by providing a framework that sets out the minimum standards that responsible parties must comply with when processing personal information. The Act applies to public and private bodies, including juristic persons, and aims to achieve a balance between the free-flow of information and the right to privacy.

 

  1. The Information Regulator is established in terms of section 39 of POPIA and has wide range of powers and functions relating to promoting and enforcing the right to privacy. POPIA also transfers certain key responsibilities concerning the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000, (PAIA) to the Information Regulator. These include the handling of complaints, conducting investigations, and making assessments about compliance by public and private bodies.

 

  1. At present, only those parts of the Act relating to the establishment of the Regulator and the making of regulations are operational. Once the Regulator has reached a stage of operational readiness, the remaining provisions will come into force. Even then, the Act provides for a grace period of one year to allow responsible parties to comply. This period can be extended to three years.

 

  1. The SAHRC retains the functions relating to PAIA. These will also be transferred only once the Regulator is operational.

 

  1. The Information Regulator reports the following developments:
  • It has also been given approval for a staff establishment of 430 posts and the ‘go ahead’ to appoint 41 staff members in 2020/21. the second phase of recruitment is at an advanced stage – with a focus on managers and administrative officers in the human resources and finance division. The Regulator has recently advertised for the following positions: Executive: Education and Communication Chief Information Officer (CIO); Legal Services Manager; Communication Manager; Public Education and Awareness Officer and a Complaints Registration Officer.
  • The Regulator is sharing accommodation with the South African Human Rights Commission as an interim measure.
  • The Chairperson of the Regulator wrote to the President and the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services requesting that the remaining sections of POPIA are brought into effect from the beginning of the 2020/21 financial year.

 

  1. The Regulator has identified two key outcomes, namely:
  • Ensure personal information is protected and respected.
  • Access to information promoted.

 

  1. Outcome indicators include:
  • The number of complaints received in respect of the POPIA.
  • The percentage improvement in the compliance with section 32 of PAIA.

 

  1. The Information Regulator has identified the following risks and mitigation strategies:

RISK

MITIGATION

Delay in the operationalisation of POPIA

Request to the Minister and the President to issue a Proclamation that will bring into effect the remaining sections of POPIA

Delay in the full-establishment of the administration of the Regulator

Develop and implement a Separation Plan from the Department covering Financial and Human Resource areas of the Regulator.

Finalisation of the Complete Organisational Structure and Operating Model.

Inadequate funding to effectively and efficiently fulfil mandate

Secure funding from the National Treasury to fill prioritised positions on a phased-in approach over MTSF period

 

  1. The Information Regulator has five programmes.

 

Programme and Purpose

Subprogramme

Key output indicators

Protection of Personal Information:

 

To ensure the promotion and protection of personal information processed by public and private bodies in line with the POPI Act.

Complaints and investigations

  • Approved Guidelines for Codes of Conduct for POPIA
  • Approved Readiness Plan for POPIA
  • Approved POPIA Complaints Management Processes, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Manual
  • Automated complaints management system acquired.

Compliance and monitoring

Promotion of Access to Information:

 

 

To ensure the effective implementation of the promotion of the constitutional right of access to any information held by the state and by any other person and that is required for the exercise of any rights.

Complaints and investigations

  • Memorandum of Cooperation South African Human Rights Commission implemented.
  • Approved Readiness Plan for PAIA.

Compliance and monitoring

Education and Communication:

 

Provides strategic direction for the provision of Education and Communication.

Education and Public Awareness

  • Number of public Awareness sessions conducted in line with the approved Public Awareness Strategy and Plan for POPIA.
  • Number of stakeholder engagements held in accordance with the Approved Stakeholder Engagement Strategy and Plan.

Communication and Media Relations

Legal, Policy, Research and Information Technology Analysis:

 

Provides legal, policy, research and information technology analysis services

Legal Services and Litigation

Approved and implemented Research Strategy and Plan

Policy and Research

Information Technology Analysis

Administration:

 

Provides effective and efficient leadership and corporate support services in the day-to-day management of the Information Regulator.

 

  • Approved Phase Two of the Organisational Structure implemented.
  • Separation Plan (Finance and Human Resources) finalised and implemented

 

  1. Funding is ring-fenced under the State Legal Services programme for the continued establishment of the Information Regulator. An amount of R45.5 million is allocated to the Information Regulator for 2020/2, compared with R28.9 million in 2019/21.The allocation for the remainder of the 2020 MTEF is as follows: R57.7 million in 2021/22; and R63.7 million in 2022/23.

 

 

  1. Committee’s observations

 

  1. Impact of COVID-19 on planning and the allocation of resources.Government’s plans for the medium term prioritise rebuilding the capacity of the state; rebuilding the ability to fight corruption; restoring investor confidence; recalibrating the economy; and creating jobs. These plans were finalised before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the declaration by Government of a national state of disaster. At present, the impact of the pandemic on resources and, therefore, planning is unknown but it is clear that delivery on priorities will be adversely affected. The Committee has engaged with the plans presented to it well aware that these are likely to be revised but will consider any revisions at the appropriate time.

 

  1. Backlog cases. The Committee remains firm that economic growth can only happen if underpinned by a well-functioning and stable justice system. If our legal system collapses, our democracy is threatened. Although the courts are open, the types of matters that can be heard are limited to essential matters. Whenever a presiding officer or official is suspected to have the virus, the affected court is closed while it is sanitised, causing disruption to court operations. As a result, the increase in the number of backlog cases is worrying and affects both criminal and civil matters. A year-on-year comparison of case backlogs at the District and Regional Courts is illustrative: At 31 April 2020, in the District Courts, there were 37 408 backlog cases compared with 24 526 such cases at the end of April 2019; and, in the Regional Courts, there were 29 948 compared with 23 636. The Minister has committed to the convening ofa meeting between the Department and stakeholders to discuss the development of a proposed national case backlog management plan to address case backlogs that have accumulated since the declaration of the national state of disaster. The proposed case backlog plan would then be able to be discussed with the Judiciary at a meeting to be initiated by the Minister, as part of case-flow management, which is a judicial function. Once approved, the case backlog plan would be coordinated through the established case flow management structures. The Minister also committed to have the Clerks of the Court and Registrars list all criminal cases that were supposed to be placed on the roll during the period of national state of disaster and lockdown for consideration for purposes of a case backlog management plan. The Committee welcomes these commitments but asks that it be provided with a detailed report that includes actions and timeframes as soon as it is available.

 

  1. The Committee notes that the Department has removed the indicator ‘number of criminal cases on the backlog roll in lower courts’ from the 2020/21 APP. Although the Committee understands that case flow management is a judicial function, the indicator is a useful means of monitoring the pressure on the system and should be reported on, particularly in the present circumstances.

 

  1. COVID-19 related transgressions. The Committee is extremely concerned about the number of arrests related to alleged transgressions of the COVID-19 Regulations. Not only has this placed even greater pressure on the criminal justice system, many citizens are unaware that if they choose to pay an admission of guilt fine, it will attract a criminal record. The Committee is of the view that it is not desirable to make criminals of citizens for relatively minor misdeeds. The Committee notes that the Ministry is aware of this and intends to introduce a Judicial Matters Amendment Billto address the problem. The Committee believes that the Bill is urgent and requests that the Minister tables it by the end of July, failing which the Committee will consider introducing a committee bill. The Department is also asked to provide a report containing the statistics in respect of the number of COVID-19 related matters before the courts and the number of admission of guilt fines that have been paid from the start of the lockdown until the end of May by 31 July 2020.

 

  1. Accelerated Justice Modernisation Plan and Integrated Justice System programme. The Committee welcomes the focus on accelerating modernisation projectsand agrees that the present crisis may provide the necessary impetus for role-players in the justice system to rethink the way things are being done. Our legal system is inefficient but initiatives to end these inefficiencies and time wastages have not progressed satisfactorily. The Committee is informed that a cross-functional task team comprising of representatives from Court Services and the Judiciary, led by Information Systems Management (ISM), is being established to develop a comprehensive plan and budgetary estimates for approval by the Minister. The Committee has previously identified the need to engage with the Department on this item and will arrange a meeting as soon as its programme permits.

 

  1. Integrated Justice System programme. The Committeeis also pleased that the JCPS Cluster has identified certain catalytic projects under the Integrated Criminal Justice Strategy and that the Department plans to prioritise ICT infrastructure to facilitate digital transformation for improved service delivery. The Committee understands that a revised Integrated Justice System (IJS) project plan, which takes into account the priorities arising from COVID - 19, is to be developed in line with the new IJS Governance structure. The revised IJS project includes the accelerated roll-out of the Audio-Visual Remand (AVR) link systems to additional courts and correctional centres; the development of secure Audio-Visual facilities at the seats of regional courts districts courts in major centres to enable virtual trials (and development of legislation for this purpose); digitisation of documents shared across the criminal justice system value chain. The Committee has previously identified the need to engage with the Department and stakeholders on this item and will arrange a meeting as soon as its programme permits.

 

  1. Audit Turnaround and Stabilisation Plan. The Committee appreciates the Department’s candour regarding the sorry state in which it finds itself. Last year, the Department committed to addressing the qualified audit opinion that it had received for 2018/19. The Department has developed a turnaround and stabilisation plan but told the Committee that it does not expect to be able to improve the audit outcome for the 2019/20 financial year. The Committee made observations on the poor audit outcome in its Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report, dated 29 October 2019. The Committee requests that by 31 July 2020:
  • The Acting Director-General provide the Committee with details of the formal commitments made to address the audit findings.
  • The Department provide progress reports to the Committee as part of the quarterly reporting process.
  • Management confirms that in-year financial and performance reports have been adequately reviewed at the appropriate times.
  • At the appropriate time, the Acting Director-General, Chief Financial Officer and Audit Committee all confirm that the annual financial statements have been reviewed prior to submission for auditing.

 

  1. Organisational renewalThe Department also reports that it will start the process of organisational renewal. As part of this, the macro-structure will be reconfigured in 2020/21. The Committee requests that the Department provide it with a report on the reconfiguration of the macro-structure and how the renewal process will improve efficiency in respect of service delivery by 31 July 2020.

 

  1. Vacancies.The Committee welcomes the Minister’s commitment to filling vacancies during 2020/21. The Committee has remarked before on the high number of acting appointments at Senior Management level, in particular, including that of Acting Director-General; Acting Head Corporate Services; and Acting Chief Master. The Committee agrees that the extremely high vacancy rate among its senior managers has contributed to the Department’s present challenges. The Committee, however, believes that the proper management of its human resources is within the Department’s control and expects that it should prioritise the filling of vacancies.The Committee understands that initially the COVID-19 pandemic would have interrupted recruitment plans but, by now,expects that plans should be in place to forge ahead with recruitment. The Committee, therefore, requests that the Department provide it with its updated recruitment plan, particularly relating to vacancies at senior management level and in critical posts, and a progress report by 31 July 2020 and as part of the quarterly reporting process, and be prepared to brief it on the management of human resources in the Department: The briefingshould, among other, address vacancies, turnover rates, training, as well as succession planning.

 

  1. Consequence management. The Committee notes the Minister’s commitment to the enforcement of consequence management, as well as that the recommendations contained in investigative reports and the reports of oversight bodies will be acted on. The Committee asks that the Department provide it with information on the management of disciplinary matters, including the number of these matters, the nature of the transgressions, the number of suspensions, the average time taken to resolve these matters and the outcomes of finalised matters, including the number of matters that have been referred for criminal investigation and recovery of monies by 31 July 2020. The Department should also be prepared to report to the Committee on this item quarterly. The Committee also understands that the SNG Grant Thornton report into the BOSASA matter is finalised and requests that it be made available to it.

 

  1. Justice College.The Committee notes that Justice College is set to play a key role in providing functional/niche training programmes to officials. However, the re-prioritising strategy on Justice College has not yet been finalised. The Committee requests the Department to provide a report on its plans regarding Justice College by 31 July 2020 and be prepared to report quarterly on progress.

 

  1. Court infrastructure and planned maintenance. Building new courts in under-serviced areas has been a core element of the Department’s efforts to expand access to justice. However, the tendency has been that capital works projects typically take far longer to finish than projected and, consequently, costs escalate hugely. There are also challenges relating to the quality of the work done.

 

The maintenance of buildings is largely the responsibility of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (small repairs can be done at court level) but there has been very little money available for this. The Committee has noted previously that the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure declared the state of the courts to be shocking and requested a full report. The Committee noted too that a meeting was to be scheduled between the two Ministers on the infrastructure programme and maintenance of the courts. The Committee is interested in the findings of the report prepared for the Minister: Public Works and Infrastructure, as well as the outcome of the proposed meeting between the Ministers.

 

The Committee is concerned that the allocation for the building of courts is used well, which is not been the case in past years. There is also a tendency not to make adequate provision in the budget for planned maintenance – instead savings from the capital works budget are reallocated to planned maintenance for that purpose.

 

The Committee repeats its intention to schedule a dedicated briefing involving all roleplayers on all aspects of the infrastructure programme, including planned maintenance, as soon as its programme permits. For now, the Committee requests that the Department provide a comprehensive report on this item by 31 July 2020 and continue to report on progress as part of the quarterly reporting process.

 

  1. Transformation policies. The Committee notes that the Department plans to develop and implement a number of policies over the MTSF period. The Committee notes the Minister’s commitment to policy certainty and intends to arrange a comprehensive briefing on the Department’s initiatives to bring about transformation of the South African legal system as soon as its programme permits. For now, it requests that the Department provide it with a comprehensive written report of its plans with timeframes by 31 July 2020.

 

  1. Combatting Gender-based Violence. The Committee is concerned about the reported surge in the number of domestic violence cases during the lockdown. The Committee notes also that Government continues to prioritise the fight against gender-based violence and femicide over the medium term. The Department has invited comment on three amendment Bills to curb gender-based violence and plans to introduce to Parliament this year. In addition, the Department plans to continueto roll out Sexual Offences' Courts and Thuthuzela Care Centres to provide much-needed support services to survivors of gender-based and sexual violence, and continue with efforts to establish a Femicide Watch. The Committee is unclear to what extent, if any, plans to fight gender-based violence and femicide will be affected by the proposed budget cuts for 2020/21 but does not support any proposal to cut funding for this priority.

 

  1. Femicide Watch. The Committee is interested to learn more about the phased establishment of a Femicide Watch. Although the Committee will engage with the Department and NPA regarding its responsibilities relating to Gender-based Violence and Femicide as soon as the programme permits, the Department is asked in the meantime to provide an overview of the project, including the background, its scope and purpose, targets and timeframes, and any challenges experienced in writing by 31 July 2020.

 

  1. Implementation of the National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (NAP). The MTSF continues to prioritise social cohesion. In this regard, the Committee notes the Department’s plans to contribute to building a human rights culture and to giving effect to constitutional values by driving campaigns to increase constitutional awareness. The focus of this advocacy work will be on changing societal attitudes in the areas of racism, xenophobia and related intolerances. The Committee agrees that progress surrounding the National Action Plan has been unsatisfactory. It also wonders whether it is possible for the National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance to be implemented effectively without a governance structure and a funding policy in place. (The Plan only envisages that the governance structure will in place towards the end of 2020/21 with funding to follow in 2021/22). The Committee is extremely concerned about the seeming lack of urgency, given the extent of the pressures being felt within our society at present and the potential for this to become divisive, fuelling xenophobic attacks, among others. The Committee intends to engage with the Department’s plans relating to the NAP and will arrange a meeting as soon as the programme permits.

 

  1. Maintenance payments. The Department had initiated MojaPay at 428 courts and 12 State Attorney Offices as at 31 March 2019 with implementation at the remaining offices (45 courts – mainly in the Western Cape) by 31 December 2019. Mojapay is a centralised system that automatically matches maintenance from a parent to their minor children. The Committee, however, had some concerns about the MojaPay system at the East London Magistrate’s Court, which experienced a technical ‘meltdown’ with the result that there were no payments for a period in April. The Committee notes the Department’s explanation and assurance that the technical problems have been addressed but asks the Department provide a full report on the extent of the problem and what was done to resolve it by no later than 31 July 2020.

 

  1. Sign language as an official language. In the State of the Nation Address, the President announced that steps would be taken to make South African sign language an official language. Although the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture is responsible for the support and development of South African sign language, the Department would typically promote the necessary constitutional amendment that will give sign language its official status. The Committee requests the Department to engage with its counterpart at Sports, Arts and Culture so that the amendments can reach Parliament without delay.

 

  1. Barrier-free Access to Justice for persons with disabilities. The Committee notes that the MTSF 2019-2024 requires the Department to develop a system to ensure consistent barrier-free access for persons with disabilities to justice across the justice value chain. The Committee asks the Department to provide further details about its plans to fulfil this responsibility by 31 July 2020.

 

  1. State Legal Services. The Committee welcomes to appointment of South Africa’s first Solicitor-General, Mr Fhedzisani Pandelani, for a two-year period. Legislation amending the State Attorney Act, which Parliament passed in 2014, came into operation on 2 February 2020. The amendment empowers the Minister to appoint a Solicitor-General to oversee the running of all offices of the State Attorney. Given the extent of the abuse of state litigation resources, the Committee agrees that the appointment is urgent.It understands that a permanent appointment, which involves a lengthier process, will follow in due course. The Committee will arrange a dedicated meeting in order to deepen its understanding of the operations of this Office countrywide, as well as the plans to transform State Legal Services as a whole, as soon as its programme permits.

 

  1. Specialized Commercial Crime Courts. The Committee requests that the Department provide it with a report by 31 July 2020 on the plans to establishmore Specialized Commercial Crime Courts.

 

 

  1. Information Regulator

 

  1. The Committee understands that the Chairperson of the Information Regulator had requested that the Protection of Personal Information Act be brought into operation on 1 April 2020. The Ministry informed the Committee that there is a process underway between the Department and the Information Regulator to bring the remaining provisions of the Act into operation. Given how important it is for South Africa to have a legislative framework that protects personal data, these delays must be addressed urgently. Worldwide, data protection legislation is seen as a key component in securing information so that it does not fall into the wrong hands. The Regulator has commented that, in South Africa, the personal information of data subjects continues to processed with impunity and without adequate redress and that the country is experiencing an unprecedented number of data breaches. The Committee also notes the significant cost of data breaches to individuals and the country as a whole. Furthermore, ensuring that personal data is properly secured will facilitate measures to strengthen cybersecurity, and will assist to prevent cybercrime. The Committee believes that the Act should commence as soon as possible and, therefore, supports this process.

 

  1. The Committee is of the view that in the past not enough attention has been paid to the establishment of the Information Regulator and its proper capacitation. The Committee also shares the Information Regulator’s concern that the budget allocated to it is inadequate given its responsibilities. In this regard, there is a need to properly locate the role of the Information Regulator within the broader context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the threat to cybersecurity. The Committee, therefore, urges the Minister to take political responsibility for the Regulator as the Committee is concerned that without an intervention the Information Regulator will not be ready for the commencement of the Act. To fully understand what more must be done for the Regulator to reach the requisite level of operational readiness, the Committee asks that the Regulator provide a report on this by 31 July 2020.

 

  1. The Committee notes that until the Regulator is operational and the remaining provisions of POPIA come into effect, the SAHRC will continue to fulfil its (largely unfunded) mandate with regards to access to information.

 

  1. As soon as its programme permits, the Committee will arrange a meeting that will include the Ministry and the South African Human Rights Commission to discuss the way forward.

 

 

  1. National Prosecuting Authority

 

  1. The Committee had recommended the allocation of additional funding to the NPA in its Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report, dated 29 October 2019, to address to address any shortfall on its compensation of employees’ budget; to fill critical vacancies; to create capacity at the AFU, SCCU and in the Office of Witness Protection, and for it to be able to continue with the Aspirant Prosecutors Programme. The Committee therefore welcomes the allocation of additional funds in the amount of R1.36 billion over the medium term to enhance prosecution capacity in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), including the Sexual Offences and Community Affairs Unit; operationalise the Investigative Directorate; capacitate various anti-corruption units; and to establish five additional specialised commercial crimes courts to ensure their presence in each province.

 

  1. Recruitments. The Committee has previously expressed its concern about the number of acting appointments and the extraordinary high vacancy rate among prosecutors.The NPA has since reported that it has advertised 921 posts. These include the positions of Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions; Chief Prosecutors and District Court prosecutors as well as posts at the Thuthuzela Care Centres. The Committee is pleased by this and requeststhat the NPA provides a report with a more detailed breakdown of the recruitment drive, including timeframes, by 31 July 2020. The Committee also requests that the NPA indicate its plans to mitigate any possible delays to the recruitment process as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

  1. Acting appointments. The Committee is especially pleased that the recruitment process appears to also address the need for a stable top leadership at the NPA. The Committee requests that the NPA also includes a report on progress towards appointment of Deputy National Directors of Public Prosecutions and Special Directors, as it regards the filing of these positions to be crucial in rebuilding the institution.

 

  1. Move away from statistics driven performance measures. The Committee is pleased that NPA has made good on its promise to rethink the way it measures its performance. The Committee had raised its concern that the focus on convictions rates creates the risk that cases, which are more challenging from a prosecuting perspective, are dropped.

 

  1. Addressing referralsexpeditiously. In the past, there have been complaints about the time it takes for the NPA to reach a decision on whether or not to prosecute in matters relating to fraud and corruption. The SIU was previously especially aggrieved by the length of time taken to reach a decision and raised its objections sharply at the time. There is a new impetus to the fight against corruption and the Committee is, therefore, keen to arrange a meeting between the SIU and the NPA to establish what measures have been put in place to facilitate a good working relationship between the two and other actors in the anti-corruption task team and to speed up decisions relating to referred matters.

 

The Committee is also keen to learn more about the actions being taken to identify and prosecute COVID-19 related corruption matters.

 

 

  1. Legal Aid SA

 

  1. The Committee welcomes the appointment of the new CEO, Ms M Kola, who made her first appearance before the Committee.

 

  1. Land justice. The Committee is especially pleased that the legal representation function (and related budget) currently undertaken by the Land Rights Management Facility in the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development is to be transferred to Legal Aid SA, in order to assist the indigent that seek land justice. The Committee understands that until the jurisdiction of the Land Claims Court is settled, it will be difficult for Legal Aid SA to fully determine its delivery model and the associated costs. Nonetheless this is a very welcome development, which the Committee fully supports.

 

  1. For the same reasons advanced in the Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report, dated 29 October 2019, the Committee does not support any reduction to Legal Aid SA’s budget for 2020/21 to fund emergency relief measures related to COVID-19. It is also likely that because of the growth in backlog cases, courts will need to sit additionally. In this regard, it is very concerning that Legal Aid SA has no relief capacity because of budget cutsover the past few years.The absence of a relief component is also a concern to other roleplayers in the criminal justice system, as matters cannot proceed if an accused’s legal representative is unavailable, causing blockages and contributing to backlogs.

 

 

  1. Special Investigating Unit

 

  1. Special Tribunal. The Committee welcomes the establishment of the Special Tribunal that will allow the SIU to process matters faster than in the ordinary civil courts. The Tribunal has been operating for over seven months and appears already to be making a difference.

 

  1. Employment equity. The Committee has previously noted the SIU’s poor performance with regard to equity targets, especially with respect to the women employees in the professional qualified category and persons with disabilities. The SIU has also acknowledged that its working environment does not adequately support persons with disabilities. The Committee appreciates the SIU’s commitment to address its challenges in this regard, as reflected in its plans, and will monitor progress closely.

 

  1. Shareholder compacts. The Committee supports the SIU’s intention to seek and conclude a shareholder compact with the Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services, even though these are not legislated for Section 3C entities. The purpose of the compact is to strengthen the SIU’s relationship with the Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services, as the SIU relies heavily on the Department’s support in processing Presidential proclamations for investigations.

 

 

  1. Public Protector South Africa

 

  1. The Committee notes the Public Protector SA’s request for additional funds and has included details of the request in this report. The Committee is especially concerned that only one of the Public Protector SA’ s offices has security given the nature of the work that the PPSA undertakes.

 

  1. The Committee is pleased that the Public Protector SA did not experience budget cuts for 2020/21. As for the proposed reprioritisation of funds to support emergency relief measures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the case of the PPSA and the SAHRC, the Committee repeats its view that it does not generally support budget cuts in the case of the Chapter 9 institutions. Typically, the Chapter 9 institutions are already underfunded and budget cuts place an excessive strain on their operations.

 

  1. The Public Protector reflected that she is at mid-term. The Committee is interested in her reflections and insights and will look to creating an opportunity for the Public Protector to be able to share these with it.

 

  1. The Committee notes the explanation that the Public Protector SA does not seek out litigation but will defend matters which reflect on its mandate. The Committee repeats it view that being taken on review is no indicator of the quality of a report. The Committee, however, asks the Public Protector SA ensure that its reports are of the very highest standard to lessen the prospects of a successful challenge.The Committee has raised the matter of the quality of the Public Protector SA’s reports on several occasions and asks that the Public Protector SA provide it with a report on its quality control mechanism. The Committee also requests that thePublic Protector SA keep it informed of the number and status of the review applications and the associated costs.

 

  1. The Committee welcomes the appointment of the new Deputy Public Protector (DPP), Adv. K Gcaleka, who made her first appearance before the Committee in the capacity of DPP. Although the DPP did explain her delegations to the Committee, the Committee requests that thesebe provided in writing as soon as possible.

 

 

  1. South African Human Rights Commission

 

  1. Impact of COVID-19 on resources.The SAHRC’s ability to deliver is constrained by its (relatively) small budget compared with its mandate. The Committee is pleased therefore that the SAHRC does not have budget cuts for 2020/21. However, given their already relatively small budgets, the Committee does not support any proposal to impose budget cuts on either the SAHRC or the PPSA for emergency relief measures. This is especially so given the SAHRC critical role in tackling alleged human rights abuses by state actors during the lockdown period.

 

  1. PAIA mandate. The Commission has never received adequate funds for it to fulfil its mandate in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), 2000. In addition, a lack of enforcement powers has constrained its effectiveness of its PAIA work. The SAHRC has observed a worrying trend of non-compliance with PAIA in recent years. With the exception of its promotional work, the Commission’s powers with respect to access to information will be transferred to the Information Regulator once the Regulator is fully established. The Committee intends to arrange a meeting regarding preparations for the transfer of responsibilities from the SAHRC to the Information Regulator.

 

  1. Failure of departments to co-operate. The Committee is aware that some departments fail to co-operate with the SAHRC. The Committee requests that the SAHRC provide it with a list of errant departments so that the matter can be taken up through the Speaker’s Office with the Leader of Government Business.

 

 

  1. Summary of reporting requests

 

Matter

Action required

Timeframe

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

National case backlog management plan

[para 16.2]

Report

As soon as Plan is available

Statistics relating to COVID-19 cases before courts

[para 16.4]

Report covering period from start of lockdown to end May 2020

31 July 2020

Accelerated Justice Modernisation Plan and

Accelerated IJS programme

[para 16.5 and para 16.6]

Progress reports

 

Briefings

31 July 2020

 

Refer to programme

Audit turnaround and Stabilisation Plan – commitments to address poor audit outcome

[para 16.7]

Report

31 July 2020

 

Quarterly

Organisational renewal – reconfiguration of macro-structure

[para 16.8]

Report

31 July 2020

Vacancies – recruitment plan, especially at SMS level and in critical positions

[para 16.9]

Report

 

Briefing on human resource management plan

31 July 2020

 

Refer to programme

Consequence management – enforcement of disciplinary measures and recommendations of investigative reports

[para 16.10]

Report

31 July 2020

 

Quarterly

Justice College – progress

[para 16.11]

Report

31 July 2020

Quarterly

Court infrastructure and planned maintenance project

[para. 16.12]

Report

 

Briefing/meeting with roleplayers

31 July 2020

 

Refer to programme

Transformation policies

[para 16.13]

Report

 

Briefing

31 July 2020

 

Refer to programme

Femicide Watch

[para 16.15]

Report

31 July 2020

Implementation of the NAP – progress

[para 16.16]

Report

 

Briefing

31 July 2020

 

Refer to programme

Maintenance payments – challenges at East London with MojaPay

[para 16.17]

Report

31 July 2020

Access to justice for persons with disabilities – plans to action this responsibility

[para 16.19]

Report

31 July 2020

State Legal Services

[para 16.20]

Briefing

Refer to programme

Rollout of Special Commercial Crime Courts

[para 16.21]

Report

31 July 2020

INFORMATION REGULATOR

State of operational readiness for commencement of Act

Report

31 July 2020

NPA

Recruitment plan: Vacancies and acting appointments

[para 18.2  and 18.3]

Report

31 July 2020

Referrals

Meeting

Refer to programme

PUBLIC PROTECTOR SA

Delegations to DPP

 

 

SAHRC

Lack of co-operation from government departments – list of errant departments

Report

 

 

 

  1. Appreciation

 

  1. The Committee wishes to thank:
  2. The Minister and the Deputy Ministers for the political overview and Ministry staff for their co-operation.
  3. The Acting Director General and all officials who appeared before the Committee for their co-operation.
  4. The National Director of Public Prosecutions and NPA officials for their co-operation in this process.
  5. The Chairperson and Members of the Information Regulator and officials for their input to their participation in the process.
  6. The Public Protector and the Deputy Public Protector; the Chairperson and the Commissioners of the South African Human Rights Commission; the Chairperson and Members of the Board of Legal Aid South Africa; and the Head of the Special Investigating Unit, as well as all respective staff members that assisted with this process.

 

 

  1. Recommendations

 

  1. The Committee, having considered the respective five-year Strategic Plans and Annual Performance Plans 2020/21 of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Information Regulator, NPA, Legal Aid SA, SIU, Public Protector SA and SAHRC, recommends that they be approved.

 

  1. The Committee, having considered the Budget Vote 25: Justice and Constitutional Development supports it and recommends that it be approved.

 

 

Report to be considered

Documents

No related documents