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Welcoming remarks by LT General JK Phahlane: Welcoming of Minister of Police, Mr Fikile Mbalula and Deputy Minister of Police, Mr Bongani Mkongi

Pretoria, 2017-04-04

Esteemed ladies and gentlemen

Good morning

It is an honour and privilege to welcome you to this momentous occasion this morning.

Chapter 5 (Section 91) of the South African Constitution states that “The President has the powers to appoint his cabinet, assign them powers and functions”; and

Section 206 (1) further provides for “political responsibility of a member of the Cabinet who must be responsible for policing, and must determine national policing policy after consulting the provincial governments and taking into account the policing needs and priorities”.

It is against this background that we welcome and congratulate the appointment of the Minister of Police, the Honourable Fikile Mbalula and his deputy, the Honourable Bongani Mkongi in the Ministry and the Department of the South African Police Service.

You will all recall that Honourable Fikile Mbalula served as the  deputy minister of Police between 2009 and 2010. The Deputy Minister, Honourable Bongani Mkongi also served in the ministry in the same period as Minister Mbalula.

Section 207 of the Constitution outlines that the President must appoint a woman or a man as the National Commissioner of the Police Service to control and manage the department.

Having outlined these roles, there is a very clear distinction between the role played by the Minister of Police and the role played by the National Police Commissioner as far as the South African Police Service is concerned.

The South African Police Service remains a national competency comprised of 195 000 members. These men and women in blue continue to put their lives on the line daily, to ensure that South Africans are and feel safe.

The SAPS policing objectives, in accordance with the provisions of Section 205 of the Constitution are to:

  • Prevent, combat and investigate crime
  • Maintain public order
  • Protect and secure the inhabitants of the Republic and their property
  • Uphold and enforce the law.

Our vision as the South African Police Service is to create a safe and secure environment for all people in South Africa.

These core responsibilities are directly linked to the National Development Plan (NDP), the Constitution and the SAPS Code of Conduct, in that: ‘All people in South Africa are and feel safe’. ‘Feel safe’ refers directly to citizens’ perceptions of safety and security, while ‘are safe’ relates to the levels of particularly serious crime in the country. The implementation of the country’s Vision for 2030 (NDP) is captured in government’s planning, budgeting and performance reporting cycle, as reflected in the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF), which extends from 2014 to 2019.

The MTSF includes the following key targets towards the realisation of a South Africa in which all people are and feel safe:

  • A reduction in the number of reported contact crimes;
  • An increase in the proportion of citizens feeling safe when walking alone during the day or at night, as measured in official surveys
  • An increase in the proportion of households that are satisfied with police services in their area, and with the way courts deal with the perpetrators of crime
  • Improvement in citizens’ perceptions of levels of crime and progress in reducing crime, as measured in official surveys
  • An improvement in South Africa’s ranking on the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index.

The exercising of our mandate, guided by the direction provided by government’s vision and priorities cannot be undertaken in isolation of the direction provided by the principles of effective public administration, as reflected in section 195 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act No 108 of 1996), which centres around five values, namely

  • participation,
  • accountability,
  • transparency,
  • accessibility
  • and responsibility.

These values speak directly to the transformation of the Police and must reinforce the various facets of the organisational capability of the SAPS in order to enable its continued contributions to the strengthening of the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster and the entire Criminal Justice System (CJS).

As the South African Police Service we remain committed to implementing the  ‘Back-to-basics’ approach which is entrenched within  each and every policing environment.

The “Back–to-Basics ‘ approach is premised on the uncompromising implementation of key policing practices, including enhanced police visibility, which implies more police officers in uniform and increased patrols in vehicles, on horse back and on foot, thereby minimising opportunities for crime to be committed.

The ‘back-to–basics’ approach also requires the thorough and responsive investigation of every crime that is reported to the SAPS and the efficient use of all resources supporting the investigation of crime. The optimal use of crime intelligence in support of proactive and reactive policing is a key feature of this approach.

Ministers; you will be pleased to note that we have been hard at work to realise our vision as the South African Police Service,  to ensure that all South Africans are and feel safe.

The reduction of crime in all seventeen community reported serious crimes bears testimony to this.

It is worth noting and encouraging to our members that our Back-to- Basics approach is yielding positive results with the overall reduction of these crimes in the four broad categories over the past 11 months.

We are pleased to announce that we saw a reduction in percentages as follows:

  • Contact crimes decreased by 3.2 percent
  • Contact-related crimes decreased by 4.2 percent
  • Property-related crimes decreased by 1.1 percent
  • Total other serious crimes decreased by 3.6 percent

We are however gravely concerned about the escalation of crimes commonly known as the “trio crimes” which is made up of  your carjacking, robbery at residential premises and robbery at non-residential premises, which are sub-categories of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

We are committed to realising the reduction of these crimes by the establishment of the “trio crime master plan”, which will look into curbing the scourge of these crime types.

As the South African Police Service we remain committed to ensuring that we prevent, combat and ensure the thorough investigation of crime in South Africa. We however, cannot do this alone, we urge our communities and members of society to take their rightful position and ensure that they work together with our members to eradicate crime in the country.

With this said, Honourable Ministers you are welcome to the South African Police Service. We look forward to your leadership and guidance to ensure that all South Africans are and feel safe.

It is indeed a privilege to welcome you to enjoy the day’s proceedings with us.