Links FAQ's
saps banner
Budget Vote speech delivered by the Deputy Minister of Police, Mr Cassel Mathale (MP) on Thursday, 20 May 2021
2021/05/20

BUDGET VOTE 28, 24 & 21 PRESENTATION FOR 2021/2022: DEPARTMENT OF POLICE, IPID AND THE DEPARTMENT OF THE CIVILIAN SECRETARIAT FOR POLICE SERVICE DELIVERED BY THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF POLICE, CASSEL MATHALE (MP) ON THURSDAY 20 MAY 2021

Honourable Chairperson;
Minister of Police, Honorable Bheki Cele:
Honourable Ministers in attendance;
Honourable Deputy Ministers;
Chairperson of the portfolio committee on police and members of the Portfolio Committee;
Honourable MECs present;
Members of Parliament;
Heads of entities;
Ministry of Police;
Distinguished guests;
Ladies and gentlemen;

Thobela

“…once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”―Haruki Murakami

Indeed the year 2020 was a stormy year for all.  Many lost loved ones due to the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic and it resulted in devastating effects to employment and the economy.  Unfortunately we are still in the midst of the storm with Gauteng already grappling with the resurgence of the third wave and many other Provinces beginning to see a spike in new cases as well.  But this too shall pass, if we all work together and adhere to all COVID 19 protocols, we will weather the storm.  Certainly, we will come out different from when we walked in.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a sudden shift in the dynamics of workforce behaviour. More and more organisations (both public and private) had to rush towards work-from-home arrangements to curb the rapid spread of the pandemic.  Most of us had to embrace technology as a new way of doing business.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the many frontline workers such as health workers and the South African Police Service (SAPS) in particular.  The outbreak saw the implementation of lockdown rules which inevitably imposed added enforcement responsibilities on SAPS.  More police officers had to be deployed on the ground to enforce the law.  I believe we have, however, risen to the challenge and with adjustments and a level of refocus we are ready to tackle the year ahead.

Chairperson, let me therefore focus on today’s subject matter, our priorities for this financial year.  Due to time constraints, I might not be able to touch on all the remaining areas but will try my best.

GENDER BASED VIOLENCE

The scourge of Gender-Based Violence and Fermicide (GBV&F) continues to rear its ugly head in the country.  The rate remains unacceptably high and as the SAPS family we continue to prioritise efforts to fight against this pandemic.  In addition to the specific interventions as mentioned by the Minister in this regard, we have also ensured that there are planned efforts and focussed budget to fight GBV&F in all our programmes and those of our entities.

THE NATIONAL FORENSIC OVERSIGHT & ETHICS BOARD

Honourable Chairperson, credible forensic evidence forms a critical backbone of the police service’s ability to properly investigate GBV&F cases and crime in general to ensure the apprehension of perpetrators – particularly the most violent in our society. The country’s Forensic Science Laboratories (FSL’s), underpinned by a properly administered National Forensic DNA Database (NFDD) is central to enhancing this investigative ability. However, due to a range of systemic challenges related to ineffective demand planning, coupled with poorly coordinated procurement processes – our forensic laboratories currently carry DNA casework backlogs of about 109% for DNA and 87.84% for GBV&F cases respectively.

The low sample processing rate goes to the heart of the challenge faced by the FSLs and that challenge translates to victims of crime continuing to be denied justice. This situation cannot be allowed to continue unabated.

It is for this reason that the operational focus of the Division over the short to medium-term is to restore stability to, and effectiveness of, the FSLs. The ultimate goal of these measures is to progressively eradicate the backlog. The recently developed turnaround plan of the Division is a step in the right direction.  There are also regular meetings under the stewardship of Deputy Minister Jeffrey’s and myself aimed at ensuring the prioritisation and finalisation of the backlog cases. 

As part of the systems reengineering process, the newly developed exhibit tracking system has ‘gone live’. This replaces the manual process recently utilised – allowing for better tracking and management of exhibits. 

System and process enhancement must however be supported by a clearly defined Regulatory space. It is for this reason that the DNA Regulations of 2015 were amended to allow for the establishment of dedicated Forensic Investigative Units at provincial level. These units are tasked with following up on investigative leads reported by the Laboratory. Organisational Development is currently finalising this process.

The recent appointment of a new National Forensic Oversight & Ethics Board (DNA Board) – chaired by Adv. Lindi Nkosi-Thomas (Senior Counsel) will provide added expert advice and oversight over the implementation of the turnaround plan.

SAFER CITIES FRAMEWORK

Honourable Members; During the 2020/21 financial year, the SAPS piloted the National Safer Cities project in identified cities to see law enforcement agencies integrating and maximising on technology to fight crime more effectively. This project focuses far beyond the inner city and suburbs of the cities, but stretches to the townships and rural communities through the Rural Safety Strategy, the Traditional Crime Prevention Programme with the introduction of community-based mounted police, as well as the Royal Reserve Police.

The identified cities for the pilot phase of the project are - Durban, Gqeberha, Nelson Mandela Bay, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Tshwane, Rustenburg, North West; Bloemfontein, Witbank, Kimberley, and Polokwane.

The Pilot Project in Durban saw R52 million from SAPS and R36 million from the City’s budget being ring fenced for the implementation hereof.

The Finance Work Stream was established to compile and manage integrated budget by officials from the Municipality, Metro Police, SANRAL, MEC’s office and Tourism.

During this financial year, the pilot Cities will be assessed in terms of the project deliverables.  Ten new cities will be identified for initiation during this time. The 2021/22 spending priorities for SAPS will be:

‐ Community mobilisation plan (GBV and youth) – R2,6 million
‐ CCTV – INK project (tender process outcome) – R28 million)

The operation of the fusion centre, control rooms including the equipment and furniture will amount R12,8 million.

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION TO FIGHT CRIME THROUGH COMMUNITY IN BLUE

As part of our efforts to closely and effectively work with communities in fighting crime in our communities, The Community-in-Blue directives and reporting template were developed for the implementation in all nine provinces. Over eight thousand patrollers were recruited nationally. The goal is to intensify efforts to improve community policing, focussing on the mobilisation of the community in blue initiatives in order to improve visibility particularly in high crime areas.

TRADITIONAL POLICING CONCEPT

We have also held engagements with Traditional Leaders in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal provinces for the implementation of the Traditional Policing concept in an effort to ensure that rural communities access police services and collaborate in the fight against crime.

These talks resulted in the launch of the Royal Reserve Police which took place in KZN in December 2020.  The plan is to implement this concept in Mpumalanga and initiate the concept more broadly in KZN and Limpopo province.

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DETECTIVE ACADEMY

Last year, we announced our intention to establish a Detective Academy in order to enhance and improve the quality of our detection services.  A benchmarking exercise was embarked on but progress in this regard was stalled by the advent of the COVID 19 pandemic.  However, the project is still underway, with significant progress being made.

To this effect, we are improving the infrastructure at our Hammanskraal Police College to cater for the Detective Academy and are currently improving the training manual and the initial phase of the project.

We are also working with the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation (DHESI) in the mandatory process of the establishment of a SAPS Crime Detection University/College.  The SAPS has nominated Senior Managers to form part of the project team and submitted to the DHESI for consideration.  The DHESI will lead the process of establishment of a SAPS Crime Detection University/College as per its mandate.

CIVILIAN SECRETARIAT OF THE POLICE SERVICE

Amidst a protracted crisis, the end of which is generally unknown, the capacity to ensure strategic certainty and continuity is paramount to the fulfilment of our objective to build safer communities. The country’s ability to recover post COVID-19 undoubtedly also hinges on the creation of a conducive environment for growth and development, underpinned by concerted efforts to tackle crime and corruption in particular. Policing approaches will continue to adapt to the changing landscape, with the role played by the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service (CSPS) in maintaining police accountability through the necessary checks and balances of oversight becoming all the more crucial.

The alignment of the Department’s five-year strategy to the Medium-Term Strategic Framework for 2019 – 2024 has undoubtedly aided the steady trajectory towards this objective, and towards the achievement of its planned outcomes, that is; improving community participation in the fight against crime, and by extension, improving  community-police relations; facilitating collaboration, coordination and integration on safety, crime and violence prevention within the three spheres of government; and ensuring a transformed and accountable police service.

In order for the above strategic objectives and planned outcomes to be achieved, the CSPS had to intentionally focus on building the human resource capacity of the department.  Consequently, a number of institutional policies and strategies in support of the Integrated Human Capital Strategy have been developed in order to improve operational efficiencies.

Chairperson; Safety is not the sole purview of the police but a shared responsibility requiring the participation of all stakeholders within the three spheres of government, the private sector and broader communities. The Integrated Crime and Violence Prevention Strategy (ICVPS) which is at the final stages of consultations, is therefore, aimed at coordinating this participation to enhance prevention of crime and violence in communities, which is a precondition for increasing safety and building safer communities.

The ICVPS recognises that violence results from a combination of multiple factors that put people at risk, and requires interventions at home, school and community levels. The Strategy will be submitted to Cabinet for consideration and approval by end of June 2021. We trust that all stakeholders will fully support the implementation of the Strategy towards creating safer communities in our country.

To contribute in dealing with the scourge of GBV&F, the CSPS continues with its commitment to monitor police response. In this financial year, attention will be directed towards developing a system that will enable the department to monitor management of GBV cases by the police from initial response through to placement in the court roll. The department will further continue with community awareness campaigns in collaboration with community based social partners on the fight against Gender Based Violence and Femicide.                        

INDEPENDENT POLICE INVESTIGATIVE DIRECTORATE (IPID)

Over the medium term, the directorate will continue to focus on investigating serious and priority crimes outlined in section 28 of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Act (2011), and Strengthening investigative capacity and processes.

Processes to improve the quality of investigations

The IPID’s MTEF allocation will therefore focus on strengthening the Department‘s oversight role of the police by:

  • Conducting quality investigations resulting in decision ready cases, as per Independent Police Investigative Directorate Act 1, of 2011 on an ongoing basis;
  • Strengthening the investigative capacity in order to improve the quality of investigation to secure conviction in the referrals made for prosecution;
  • Making appropriate recommendations in various investigation categories, as per section 28 of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Act 1, of 2011, within 30 days of finalization of investigations;
  • Modernizing the Case Management System of the Directorate to improve efficiency, reporting, accountability and service delivery.

Professionalisation of the Police Service

The Directorate will continue partnering with the CSPS for oversight over the police service. Consultative forums in line with Section 15 of the IPID Act will continue to identify collective measures that could be taken by both departments to effect positive changes in the professional behaviour and conduct of members of the police service thus contributing to the Professionalisation of the police service as envisaged in the national development plan. Over the medium term, the directorate will also conduct police station lectures to provide the IPID Act compliance awareness training for police officers.

Gender based violence

The Directorate has noted the vulnerability of women, children and people living with disability in relation to the death related cases, rape, assault and torture. These cases are prioritised to ensure quality investigations and ultimately an accountable SAPS and Metro Police Services.

In terms of Section 30 of the IPID Act, the police are obliged to initiate the disciplinary process against members that are found to be in contravention of the law. All the cases alleging police brutality namely death related cases, rape, torture and assault where victims are women, children and people living with disability will be prioritised and investigated for possible departmental and criminal convictions. The IPID will monitor progress made on the practical implementation of the recommendations referred to police through the stakeholder engagements.                                                                                     

PRIVATE SECURITY INDUSTRY REGULATORY AUTHORITY

Honourable Members, the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) has also developed a roadmap to introduce digital platforms to service its clients through the use of technology as this has become the future of doing business under the fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) dispensation. The digital transformation strategy developed by its Management for the phased-in introduction of digital services is not only in response to the 4IR imperatives, but a response to the Authority’s limited national footprint and the challenges of providing physical contact services to clients in these times of the global Covid-19 pandemic. 

As PSiRA embraces the use of technology to improve regulation and service delivery, it must at the same time be in a position to ensure that the use of technology by the private security industry is fully regulated. This will in turn prevent the misuse of technology by the industry, which is likely to infringe upon the constitutional rights of ordinary citizens and/or encroach on legislative mandates of other state law enforcement agencies.

The private security industry continues to grow exponentially and presents lucrative opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors to be involved in marketing services for which there remains a growing demand. Although the growth of the private security industry is welcomed from a safety, security and employment perspective, it also calls for vigorous oversight by PSiRA to ensure that those who are practicing the occupation of security service provider, do not themselves become a threat to the very safety and security of citizens.

As Government, we are expecting our Regulators to lead by example and to also play a pivotal role in supporting our counterparts within the South African Development Community (SADC) region and the entire African continent, which PSiRA is indeed doing.  I call on PSiRA to ensure that its stellar work and approach to regulating the private security industry is shared with our peers across the continent and beyond.

Together, we will come out of the storm stronger and better, as long as we keep moving forward.  I thank you