Department of Community Safety: Budget Speech 2011/2012 by Mr Albert Fritz, Western Cape Provincial Minister of Community Safety at Provincial Parliament
25 Mar 2011Honourable Speaker
Members of the Provincial Parliament
Members of the law enforcement agencies and justice cluster
Leaders of local government
Director-General, Head of Department
Department of Community Safety staff
Our partners in safety, especially those people who volunteer their time to serve on community policing forums, neighbourhood watches and non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
A Safer Society for All
The Western Cape government is committed to making this province a safe place to live, work and be. A safe province allows its people to be free – free from the fear of becoming victims of crime. A safe province attracts skills and investment and a safe province empowers citizens to take charge of their own futures. This is the Western Cape of our dreams.
To realise the Western Cape of our dreams, we need to create growth and jobs and thereby extend opportunities to all the people of this province, allowing them to better their lives.
In order to create growth and jobs, we need to boost the economy, we need to focus on education and wellness so that our citizens can play an active role in the economy, and we need to alleviate poverty. Safety plays an important role in each of these aspects.
To quote the Premier, Helen Zille, “a very serious impediment to growth is crime, especially violent crime. Not only does it deter investment and cost jobs, but it violates peoples’ rights to live without fear. We have to do what we can, within our limited resources and constitutional mandate, to increase the safety of citizens in this province.”
The Provincial Government has no operational control over the law enforcement agencies or the courts. The question then is, how do we make this province safer for all, without having control of policing agencies? To answer this question, we have been conducting extensive research into finding innovative alternative responses that include the whole of society. I will expand on this shortly.
Our first focus is that of effective oversight. Section 206 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa provides provinces with a powerful tool namely to monitor police conduct and to oversee the efficiency and effectiveness of policing. The Western Cape government is therefore, committed to the development of an oversight model that will allow the Province, in its own right to exercise effective oversight and hold law enforcement agencies to account.
The police service is certainly a great part of the safety solution, it is however, not the only solution. We believe that law enforcement agencies, communities and civil society institutions working together – of which there are many successful examples is the way to increase safety in the Western Cape.
This is the second focus area for the Department of Community Safety. We are investigating ways in which to harness the successes of these types of initiatives and use the best policies of these examples to increase safety, especially for those communities that are most vulnerable and torn apart by violence. There are many examples of where communities have done outstanding work in making their environments safer and this needs to be acknowledged and supported.
Third, the Department of Community Safety is championing a process aimed at bringing the “whole-of-society” thinking into all of our operations, including how we manage risk, and how we secure our staff and our assets. The fourth focus of the Department of Community Safety is that of increasing safety on our province’s roads.
Speaker, the Department of Community Safety is to receive a total budget allocation of R310,9 million in the 2011/2012 financial year, which represents a nominal 7.6% increase on the adjusted budget allocation of 2010/2011. With this budget, we are becoming smarter with how we use our resources and reprioritising focus areas.
The department previously had four programmes, however, in order to comply with specific budget and programme structures as prescribed by National Treasury, the Department now has five programmes of which, programmes one,
two and three are standardised for all Community Safety Departments across the country.
The budget allocation across the five programmes is as follows:
1. Administration receives R36 million, programmes two and three, responsible for oversight, crime prevention and community police relations, receive R20 million and R44 million respectively. Traffic Management in Programme four receives R164 million and Security Risk Management in Programme five receives R48 million.
The importance of oversight cannot be overstated. This year, the South African taxpayer will be spending just over R60 billion on the South African Police Service (SAPS). This is roughly equivalent to some R160 million per day. To put this into perspective, the amount spent in four days on the police nationally, is double the Department of Community Safety’s budget for the entire year.
Yet despite this massive investment made, I believe we can with right ask the question: What do we, as South Africans receive in return for this ever increasing investment? The police budget has tripled in the last decade, yet crime remains unacceptably high. Even after the reported seven percent decrease in the murder rate last year, South Africa sadly ranks high on the list of murder rates per capita.
We see daily reports of murder, rape and other forms of violent crime; we all know people who have, or have ourselves fallen victim to crime. Speaker, it is against this background that although we acknowledge the success of the police in some areas, much is yet to be done to make South Africa and the Western Cape safer.
As the Provincial Government, our duty is that of oversight – to ensure accountability and to ensure that the Police acts appropriately and efficiently and delivers services to the people of the Western Cape in the fight against crime. Effective oversight remains fundamental in ensuring the proper allocation and proper use of resources.
Ons het verskeie mediaberigte gesien waar lede van die SAPD se gedrag teenstrydig was met die gedragskode van etiek van die Poliesiediens. Die groot aantal berigte van polisie-korrupsie en brutaliteit is kommerwekkend en dit is slegs deur behoorlike oorsig wat hierdie insidente ondersoek en uitgeroei kan en moet word. Terselfdertyd moet ons ook erken dat die oorgrote meerderheid polisiebeamptes daagliks hul lewens op die spel plaas om hierdie land en hierdie provinsie veiliger te maak. Daar is egter ‘n klein groep polisiebeamptes wat nie optree in die belang van ons burgers nie. Byvoorbeeld, hierdie maand is daar in ‘n verslag aan die nasionale parlement se Portefeuljekomitee van Polisie voorgehou waarin geraporteer is dat nagenoeg 20 000 vuurwapens of deur polisiebamptes verloor is, of van hulle gesteel is. Hierdie vuurwapens, wat aan die Suid- Afrikaanse Polisiediens toevertrou is, het in alle waarskynlikheid in die hande van misdadigers beland.
The Department of Community Safety has, through its complaints hotline and through reports from the public, dealt with over 600 investigations into complaints against the police in the last year. The Department has furthermore, monitored service delivery at all 149 police stations, has monitored compliance with, for example, the Domestic Violence Act, sector policing and has also monitored the answering of telephone calls at police stations. The municipal police services were also monitored and evaluated for compliance with relevant legislation.
This administration is currently developing a model to further strengthen and develop this oversight role. Proper oversight, we believe, has the potential to serve as a catalyst for the improvement of service delivery within the South African Police Service, adding considerable value to our efforts to not only achieve the Province’s Strategic Objective Five - increasing safety, but to also align with National Outcome 3, so that all people in South Africa are and feel safe.
Last year, provincial Cabinet approved the drafting of legislation which is aimed at enhancing effective oversight over law enforcement agencies. We have, however, not given effect to this decision because of a parallel process undertaken at a national level on the Civilian Secretariat for Police Services and the Independent Complaints Directorate, which required clarity. This process is now underway and legislation will be placed before this Parliament in the coming financial year.
The Western Cape remains fully committed to the development of its Constitutional powers, in its own right, to monitor not only police conduct, but that of all law enforcement agencies in the province, and to use such powers of oversight to improve service delivery for all the people of this province.
For the new financial year an amount of R20 million has been allocated to programme 2: Civilian Oversight within the Department of Community Safety to ensure and expand its oversight role. This amount includes funds earmarked for the independent collection and analysis of accurate and reliable information about the safety challenges that are faced by our communities. This includes information on crime trends, gang activities, security risks and so forth enabling role players to ensure that resources are aimed where most needed. A further R9 million is earmarked to monitor and evaluate police conduct and if necessary to independently investigate complaints from the public about the manner in which they are treated by the police.
During the 2010/2011 financial year the Department of Community Safety conducted comprehensive research in close collaboration with various stakeholders, including the SAPS and community policing forums (CPFs). This research, in compliance with Section 206 (1) of the Constitution, provided a detailed analysis of the Policing Needs and Priorities (PNP) that exist within the Western Cape.
A questionnaire tool was developed, peer reviewed and approved for data collection. Data collection was facilitated with every CPF in all of the 149 police precincts. Interviews were also held with Business Against Crime. The results of the Community Safety Barometer 2009/ 2010 were also used in this PNP report.
A number of key recommendations were made, most notably the following:
This detailed report has been submitted to the South African Police Service for incorporation into the national police plans affecting this province. We shall continue to interact with SAPS to monitor and evaluate the new SAPS Police Plan.
- That the SAPS develop a strategy to address the problem of weapons and sharp objects used in violent crimes,
- The need for an illegal drug supply reduction strategy in order to deal with the substance abuse challenge in the province.
- That the activities of organised crime syndicates in general and gangs in particular, within the province, be acknowledged as a driving force behind the high incidents of drug abuse and of violent crimes.
Neighbourhood watches (NHW) and community policing forums (CPFs) have an important participatory role in the whole of society approach, and are important safety partners. The Department has capacitated over 1 000 neighbourhood watch volunteers to assist SAPS and increase police visibility. We will continue with the Provincial Neighbourhood Watch Expansion Framework which will set provincial norms and standards for Neighbourhood Watch structures and develop protocols for training and resources and increase NHW capacity in high priority areas through training and resource allocation.
The Department of Community Safety (DoCS) supported 71 CPFs and all CPFs in the province were provided with training. In the oversight model we are developing, we believe that the role of CPFs needs to be strengthened, so that these bodies are capacitated to perform their legal mandate of civilian oversight of the police.
Accountability however, remains a key requirement of our new proposed model. All structures, including CPFs must remain accountable for any funds that DoCS places at their disposal. I believe it is important for tangible outcomes to be achieved through this funding. For this reason, we are looking at clarifying the role of CPFs through the introduction of standardised monitoring tools and checks for the CPFs.
As I have mentioned before, the Western Cape Government is working towards a whole of society and whole of government approach to safety. The whole of society philosophy advocates making safety everyone’s responsibility. This can be done through a process in which we mobilise the resources, knowledge, creativity and concern of all role-players in building safe communities, on a partnership basis, in order to create safe environments and communities in which crime is less likely to happen in the first place.
This can be achieved through the development of sustainable partnerships between the Provincial Government, civil society groupings and communities in a collective effort to realising Strategic Objective Five, increasing safety. The formation of such partnerships should enhance social crime prevention and promote good community police relations, thereby making communities safe through multi-agency partnerships.
The whole-of-society approach emphasises integrated social crime prevention measures that holistically aim to address the root causes of crime in communities. Good community police relations can equally strengthen the whole-of-society approach and will encourage active civil society formations. The sustainability of those partnerships will include access to government funding, however, I wish to emphasise that this will not be effective if we are not absolutely sure that the money is accounted for and is being spent in the best interest of communities.
R43.9 million is allocated to Programme 3: Crime Prevention and Community Police Relations which is made up of three priority areas namely Social Crime Prevention, promoting Community Police Relations and the new focus area of Promotion of Safety.
Speaker, gangs remain a particular scourge in the Western Cape and a root cause to the many safety concerns that exist within our communities. The Department of Community Safety has and will therefore continue with its gang intervention strategy, in which we have followed an integrated provincial approach with our partners being the Departments of Social Development, Cultural Affairs and Sport and Education as well as municipalities and the Justice Cluster. I have hosted a round-table to look at holistic approaches to dealing with gang violence. I will be engaging with the National Minister of Correctional Services to ensure that communities directly impacted by the release of gangsters, are given a voice at parole hearings. The impact that the release of these inmates will have on communities must be considered.
Die ontwikkeling van die jeug is iets wat my na aan die hart lê. Dit is om hierdie rede dat my departement voortgaan om kampe in lewensvaardighede aan jeugdiges beskikbaar te stel. Dit is veral die kinders wat in bendegeteisterde woonbuurte soos Manenberg, Atlantis, Kewtown en Bokmakierie woon, wat voordeel trek uit die kampe. ‘n Provinsiale Jeugveiligheid-leierskapkamp vir jeugdiges van regoor die Wes-Kaap is onlangs gehou en opvolgkampe sal gedurende skoolvakansies geskied. Dit word aangebied in noue samewerking met burgerlike gemeenskapsgroepe en verskeie van die ander regeringsdepartemente ten einde ‘n holistiese oplossing vir die probleem te bevorder.
Die Chrysalis Akademie is aan die voorpunt met die opleiding van hoë-risiko jeugdiges. Ons fokus is om die kinders toe te rus met vaardighede en geleenthede sodat hulle nie sal verval in ‘n lewe van misdaad nie. Ons bly toegewyd tot jeugontwikkeling deur middel van die Chrysalis Akademie.
Ons huidige intervensies by Chrysalis is daarop gemik om die rekenpligtigheid van openbare fondse wat bestee word ter ondersteuning van hierdie belangrike instansie in ‘n volhoubare wyse te verseker. Daar word in die vooruitsig gestel dat drie opleidingskursusse tydens die 2011/2012 finansiële jaar geimplementeer sal word met ‘n geleidelike styging in die aantal jeugdiges wat oor die volgende drie jaar opgelei sal word. Vir die huidige finansiële jaar is dit ons doelwit dat die Akademie sowat 500 jeugdiges sal oplei.
Making our people and our assets safer
The Provincial Government is responsible for securing the assets of the Western Cape Government. Our people remain our greatest asset and as such we have to think about not only making our buildings safer, but also ensuring that all people working and visiting here are safe too. We are also required to ensure that the service delivery environment is a safe one, since it impacts on the quality of service rendered.
DoCS Security Risk Management aims to implement a compliance framework in order to institutionalise holistic safety and security management. We will continue to focus on current services, such as providing surveillance, guarding services, contract management of outsourced security, access control etc. The highly specialised Occupational Health and Safety regulatory environment also necessitates the maintenance of specialised skills in this regard. The Department seeks to promote greater compliance within the Provincial Government by facilitating the implementation of Occupational Health and Safety directives.
In applying the whole-of-society approach, where safety is everyone’s responsibility, it is important to use the resources that we already have and we, the government must take the lead in this regard. What if every government employee became a community safety ambassador? Speaker, just imagine hypothetically for a moment, if we could utilise technology already existing to transform the cell-phones of each and every Provincial Government employee into mobile safety buttons.
What if this system was then monitored by the Department of Community Safety which would phone the person back to get the details of what was being reported, whether it be a pickpocketing, a broken fence, or fused light on a dangerous road, or even a violent attack. The correct agency would then be mobilised to respond.
In this way, we are looking at safety and prevention. This is the success of the CCTV cameras, but with one important difference namely that we became the eyes and ears of community safety – thereby creating a 70 000 member strong neighbourhood watch just imagine the possibilities. This is how we need to be thinking in order to maximise our resources in making the Western Cape safer. This is but one idea, and I am certain that there are many more – what are your ideas? E-mail us and tell us at email@example.com.
Increasing road safety
Increasing safety in the Western Cape extends to increasing safety on our roads. In collaboration with my counterpart MEC Carlisle, ensuring that all road users get Safely Home, has been a priority. Safe roads play an important role in our economy and its growth.
My Department’s Provincial Traffic Component in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies has conducted a total of 3 192 roadblocks and effected 2 169 drunk driving arrests over the last year.
For the year thus far, in order to prevent overloading, a total of 530 283 vehicles were weighed and with one month still to go, we hope to improve our record and weigh 50 000 more vehicles than last year.
Since we started with integrated operations with the South African Police Service throughout the Western Cape, we have achieved great success in our drug operations. CAT, dagga, cocaine, heroin, mandrax and illegal cigarettes amounting to almost R28 million were seized. We plan to have at least two special integrated operations per week with the South African Police Service in order to make our provincial roads a drug free road network.
For the period from October 2010, a total of 1 665 school buses and 186 privately owned buses and taxis were stopped throughout the Western Cape Province. Eighteen (18) busses were discontinued and seven arrests made for overloading. Ensuring our learners get to school and home safely is of the utmost importance.
Provincial Traffic will be out in full force over the April holiday period and there will be zero-tolerance for drunken driving.
The Western Cape Provincial Traffic Department is the only provincial traffic service in South Africa that offers a 24 hour, seven days a week service. Our officers are on our roads all day and all night to increase safety for road users. The other provinces are now consulting with our Department on best-practice so that they too can move to a 24 hour service and offer a similar service to that of the Western Cape.
The Gene Louw College has been successfully accredited with the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) as well as with LG Seta and SASSETA in the past year. All of the facilitators have been registered as Assessors and Moderators with the relevant SETAs and have implemented the roll out of the Traffic Qualification which will see traffic officers being trained over a period of 12 months, instead of six months as was done previously.
The Gene Louw Traffic College will be focussing on the upgrading of the College in the upcoming year in order to make it one of the only colleges in South Africa that will be able to facilitate all our training interventions in situ. We will be conducting compulsory “Refresher Training” for all our Provincial Traffic Officers at all 12 traffic centres.
We have now received full accreditation from the South African Police Service enabling us to distribute and control firearms for our officers. I am pleased to report that not a single firearm was lost by or stolen from Provincial Traffic in 2010/11.
The department has undertaken to teach and assist learners and unemployed youth to acquire learner driving licences. Various schools, NGOs, neighbourhood watches, SAPS reservists and other community based institutions have also benefited from these courses. The successes in this regard have led to our office being inundated with requests from various quarters for similar assistance. Through this programme, we reached 6 317 learners and unemployed youth. A driver’s license is often a requirement for employment and could make the difference between a job or no job.
Speaker, before concluding, I would like to thank the Premier for her guidance and support. I thank her for her hard work in making this Province a well governed Province. I wish to thank my cabinet colleagues for their significant contributions and for their collaboration in many projects that aim to increase safety.
I thank the chairperson of the Standing Committee on Community Safety, Mark Wiley and the Committee members.
I wish to thank the Head of Department, Dr Lawrence, the Chief Directors, the staff at the Department and Provincial Traffic Officers for their dedication and efforts to making this province safer. I wish to thank the Ministry staff for their commitment and for running my office efficiently.
I wish to thank General Lamoer and the police officers of the Western Cape for their efforts in fighting crime. I equally wish to thank the municipal police and traffic services. These men and women work tirelessly to ensure our safety.
I thank the media for the pivotal role that they play in getting the message out and also the role they play in holding us to account. I also wish to thank my wife, Dianne and my son, Charlton for their continued support and understanding.
Speaker, in conclusion, this budget is about being smarter with our resources, it is about better ideas and approaches to safety and it is about making this province safer for all who live in it. Safety directly impacts on our economy, on attracting investment, on how our children learn, perform and whether they stay at school. A safe environment creates the climate for economic growth, development and ultimately jobs. Education and a job is the ticket out of the cycle of poverty.
Speaker, a safer province is essential in realising the Western Cape of our dreams. As the Premier said in her State of the Province address a few weeks ago, the Western Cape of our dreams is, “[a] place where children grow up taking their freedom for granted. Where every child is safe, sheltered, nourished, and loved. Where learning opens the door to opportunity, and a growing economy, the path to prosperity.”
Source: Western Cape Provincial Government
Issued by: Western Cape Community Safety
25 Mar 2011
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