Safety, security and defence
In October 2010, the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster (JCPS) ministers signed a delivery agreement with President Jacob Zuma. It signified the cluster's undertaking to embark on a prioritised Programme of Action towards making South Africa safe for all and attractive to visitors and investors.
The JCPS Cluster aims to have a stable, safe and thriving democratic dispensation. It is charged with ensuring that the relevant defence, police and correctional mechanisms are in place and work efficiently and effectively.
The mandate of the South African Police Service (SAPS) is derived from the Constitution. The objectives of policing are:
- preventing, combating and investigating crime
- maintaining public order
- protecting and securing the inhabitants of South Africa and their property
- upholding and enforcing the law
The policy documents governing policing in South Africa include the SAPS Act, 1995 (Act 68 of 1995) [PDF] and the 1996 National Crime Prevention Strategy..
The SAPS' Strategic Plan provides a clear framework for personnel to focus their efforts during a five-year period. It also provides the community with information on the direction of policing during this period. The department's Strategic Plan for 2010 to 2014 lays down key operational priorities for the medium term, namely:
- crime prevention
- effective crime investigation
- supporting the investigation of crime
- crime intelligence.
Crime prevention in South Africa is based on the principles of community policing; that is, partnerships between the community and the SAPS. Partnerships between police officers (who are appointed as sector managers) and communities strengthen existing community policing forums (CPFs), which have been in place since 1993. By the end of March 2011, 1 118 functioning CPFs had been established at police stations, including the 169 high-contact crime stations.
As part of cooperative police-community relations, reservists are being used to support the SAPS in combating crime. The reservist system provides for the active involvement of the community in policing and supports a solution-oriented approach.
In support of the recruitment of qualifying reservists as permanent members of the SAPS, 1 245 reservists were appointed in terms of the SAPS Act, 1995 and 332 in terms of the Public Service Act, 1994.
By March 2011, the Reserve Police Force stood at 64 360 reservists. A 2010/11 audit revealed that only 26 259 were considered active reservists, performing at least 16 hours of duty per month. In 2010/11, 2 532 reservists were trained.
Sector policing is an operational policing tool adopted in terms of the SAPS' community policing approach. It provides for practical policing practices to complement community participation in accordance with policing needs and community requirements, and links to CPFs.
By March 2011, sector policing had been rolled out to 986 police stations countrywide.
The SAPS contributes to various social-crime prevention initiatives relating to the Anti-Rape Strategy, the Domestic Violence Programme, youth crime-prevention capacity-building programmes, violence-prevention programmes, the Victim-
Empowerment Programme and community-based crimeprevention projects.
In September 2011, crime statistics for the 2010/11 financial year were released:
- The levels of "contact crimes" in South Africa had decreased by 6,9%. All seven categories of contact crime with reference to murder, attempted murder, sexual offences and assault with serious grievous bodily harm, common assault, aggravated
robbery and common robbery, recorded a decline.
- Murder was down by 6,5% and sexual offences by 3,1%. Assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm dropped by 4,5%, while robbery with aggravating circumstances
decreased by 12%.
- There was an increase of 3,5% in drunken-driving cases. In house robberies, 16 889 cases were reported, compared to the 18 786 reported in 2009/10. This was a decrease of 10,1%.
- The police reported a 23,6% decrease in car hijacking and a 29,2% decrease in truck hijacking, with 413 cases reported.
- One of the biggest improvements noted in the crime statistics for 2010/11 was a significant decline in bank robberies. They decreased by 58,1%, with 39 cases recorded in 2010/11, as opposed to the 93 cases recorded in 2009/10.
Forensic Science Services (FSS) and Criminal
Record Centre (CRC)
The function of the CRC is primarily to provide previous conviction reports to courts, while the FSS provides scientific support in the investigation of crime.
It also identifies and confirms any previous convictions of suspects in crimes being investigated by the SAPS.
Various technologies have been implemented in the forensic-science environment, including the national Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS) database.
This has improved case turnaround time and examination quality. The Genetic Sample Processing System has increased the capacity to process more DNA-related entries. A three-dimensional correlation system has been implemented as part of the IBIS, and has improved the accuracy of firearms identification.
During 2010/11, the CRC received 1 206 333 crime-related fingerprint enquiries for possible identification and/or confirmation compared to 1 181 797 in 2009/10. Of the enquiries received, 595 707 (49,4%) resulted in previous convictions being identified and/or confirmed.
In total, 1 163 209 commercial/non-criminal-related enquiries were received. These enquiries are made to determine whether or not persons applying for, among other
things, firearm licences, professional drivers' permits and employment have any previous convictions.
Upgrading the Automated Fingerprint Identification System has resulted in a faster response time, allowing for search results to be returned faster to the remote sites. It completes between 11 000 and 12 000 searches in a 15-hour period, compared to the previous 8 750 searches in a 22-hour period.
The Detective Service is responsible for maintaining an effective
The crime-combating capacity within the SAPS deals with the combating of crime and the maintenance of public order.
Visible Policing is responsible for providing a proactive and reactive policing service. It is regarded as a line function and its components are Social-Crime Prevention, Crime Prevention, Police Emergency Services, Specialised Operations, Borderline Operations and Crime-Combating Operations.
It is also responsible for combating crime through anti-crime operations, activities at police stations, maintaining high visibility and the availability of police officials at grassroots level. It also oversees sector policing, reservists, municipal police services and closed-circuit television surveillance.
Social Crime Prevention deals with crimes affecting the social fabric of society, including crimes against women and children.
The Police Emergency Services responds to crimes in progress, and provides dog and mounted services. Hostage and suicide negotiators, police drivers and uniformed units
such as the 10111 emergency centres and the Flying Squad provide specialised services.
The Police Emergency Services is also responsible for optimising the Integrated Crime-Prevention Road Policing Strategy, which aims to improve safety and order in the road
environment by preventing and combating criminality and lawlessness.
The division eradicates the proliferation of firearms for use in crime and violence in South Africa. The component also ensures compliance with and effective enforcement of liquorcontrol legislation to address serious, violent and contact crime in South Africa.
To address the proliferation of firearms, a total of 19 357 firearms and 255 924 rounds of ammunition were recovered during day-to-day and special operations. Over 10 260
arrests were made for illegal possession of firearms during law-enforcement operations.
Specialised Operations provides a rapid-response capacity for intervening in extreme situations where normal policing is ineffective, including combating public violence; stabilising serious and violent crime incidents; policing public gatherings; rendering specialised operational support (including the Air Wing and Special Task Force); and handling high-risk operations.
The Department of Defence defends and protects the Republic of South Africa, its territorial integrity and its people.
The department, under the auspices of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, participates in various initiatives to secure peace and stability on the continent.
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is an all-volunteer force consisting of a regular core force and a reserve force. In addition to military matters, the Department of Defence is involved in search-and-rescue operations, hydrography and securing national key points.
Uniformed members of the SANDF have the right to join trade unions, but may not go on strike or picket.
The promotion of peace and security is one of South Africa's most important objectives. This includes strengthening the region's conflict-prevention and resolution capabilities, rendering assistance in monitoring and addressing domestic issues that affect stability.
South Africa remains a significant actor and a major contributor to peacekeeping operations on the continent and elsewhere in the world.
In 2011/12, the SANDF deployed 2 240 military personnel in operations across the African continent: the Democratic Republic of Congo (1 290 personnel), Darfur (850 personnel) and the Central African Republic (100 personnel). These deployments are tasked with restoring peace, training and formalising and developing the security structures of those countries to stabilise and facilitate economic growth and a better life for the citizens.
The Department of Military Veterans was proclaimed by the President as a separate and stand-alone department, in December 2009, to create a department within government, whose sole responsibility is to govern and cater for the affairs of all former members of military organisations before the dawn of democracy and those who served in the SANDF after 1994.
Armaments Corporation of South Africa
Armscor is a statutory body established in accordance with the Armscor Limited Act, 2003. The Minister of Defence is the executive authority responsible for Armscor. The
management and control of Armscor reside with a board of directors, while its day-to-day management vests in the hands of the management board.
In executing its functions, Armscor maintains capabilities and technologies that are required to fulfil its mandate.
These include appropriate programme-management systems, the Defence Industrial Participation Programme and the management of technology projects and strategic
Armscor acquires defence material for the Department of Defence and, with the approval of the Minister of Defence, for any organ of state, public entities and any sovereign state that may require such services.
Denel Group of South Africa
Denel (Pty) Ltd is a commercially driven holding company, with equity of varying degrees in several defence and aerospace subsidiaries and associated companies.
With its focus on the military aerospace and landward defence domains, Denel was incorporated as a private company in 1992 in terms of the Companies Act, 1973. Its
defence capabilities, however, date back more than 70 years when some of Denel's first manufacturing plants were established.
Apart from being original equipment manufacturers in certain product categories, the Denel businesses are also engaged in the overhaul, maintenance, repair, refurbishment
and upgrade of the SANDF's defence systems and equipment.
In September 2009, after a review process, a single department, the State Security Agency (SSA), was established by a presidential proclamation, bringing together the following components:
- the former National Intelligence Agency, which is now the Domestic Branch of the SSA
- the former South African Secret Service, which is now the Foreign Branch
- the former South African National Academy of Intelligence, which is now the Intelligence Academy
- National Communications, which comprises the following former structures: the National Communications Centre, Office for Interception Centres and Electronic Communications Security (Pty) Ltd.
The SSA focuses on matters of national interest, namely:
- organised crime.