Parliament, Friday, 10 July 2020 – The Portfolio Committee on Police welcomes the additional R3.7 billion adjusted budget allocation to the visible policing environment which plays a critical role in the enforcement of the Disaster Management Act Regulations.
The additional allocation will go a long way in ensuring increased visibility of police, something which is a major deterrent to crime. Furthermore, the increased allocation will strengthen the fight against contact crimes, especially gender-based violence (GBV) which has seen an increase since the declaration of the lockdown. Despite this, the committee called on the South African Police Service (SAPS) to have a relook at their targets in the fight against GBV, with the aim of intensifying the fight against GBV in the country.
The committee is, however, disappointed that there was no increase in allocation for the detective service and crime intelligence environment. The committee has always emphasised the centrality of intelligence-led crime prevention, as well as the importance of crime detection in resolving crimes.
There was appreciation that the reprioritisation of the budget will have an impact on the attainment of some of the targets. In line with this, the committee notes that the Capital Works Project will be impacted the most within the SAPS. Despite this, the committee has urged the SAPS management to put in place a plan on how to roll out the projects post-Covid-19.
In relation to the Rural Safety Strategy, the committee welcomes assurances from the SAPS that rural safety remains a priority which will be enhanced by the increase in allocation for the visible policing environment. This assurance will also deal with the issue of farm murders.
In terms of recruitment of new trainees into the SAPS, the committee welcomes the announcement that a process to enlist 3 000 reservists is well underway and would be completed by the end of October. Furthermore, the re-enlistment of 500 former officers, 350 forensic analysts and 326 members who will be added to the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences units is welcomed.
The committee is concerned about the number of 6 391 cases of Covid-19 within the SAPS. Furthermore, the committee is saddened that 36 members have passed on from this invisible disease. “We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of those members who sacrificed their lives in protection of the lives of South Africans,” Ms Tina Joemat-Pettersson said.
Regarding the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service (CSPS), the committee notes the negative impact of the budgetary cuts on the ability of the secretariat to mobilise role players in an effort to strengthen cooperation between stakeholders, and encourage strategic dialogue on safety and security. The committee has called for the secretariat to find ways to exercise its mandate of oversight over the police through monitoring and evaluating police performance. In line with this, the committee has emphasised the urgency needed for CSPS to implement the intention to have virtual meetings as a means of engaging stakeholders.
Regarding the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), the committee also welcomes the information that IPID has concluded its investigation on the Collins Khosa case and has forwarded its recommendations to both the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) and SAPS for action. The committee will await the implementation of the recommendations from the JMPD and SAPS.
Meanwhile, the committee has called for IPID to furnish it with a detailed breakdown of procurement in relation to personal protective equipment to enable the committee to assess whether the department is getting value for money. The committee welcomes the assurance that despite Covid-19 cases and other challenges, IPID is continuing to investigate cases referred to it.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON POLICE, MS TINA JOEMAT-PETTERSSON.
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