Policy and budget speech 2009/10 presented to the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature, by the MEC for Community Safety, Security and Liaison, Honourable Sibongile Manana, Nelspruit
13 Aug 2009
Members of the Executive Council
Honourable Members of the Legislature
Honourable Members of the House of Traditional Leaders
Heads of departments
Acting Provincial Commissioner Mr R Q Machabi
South African Police Services (SAPS) management
Heads of various institutions within the Criminal Justice and Security Cluster
Chairperson of the Community Policing Forum (CPF) Board
Our learner cops present in this house
This budget vote takes place at a time when the country is celebrating the Women’s month. The month of August is devoted to women in paying tribute to the heroic women who marched to the union building on 9 August 1956 to protest against pass laws. The Women’s Month celebration affirms and acknowledges contributions made by these sterling women of our country, who reinforces human rights and recognition. This celebration also serves as a useful platform to highlight the resilience of women and their contribution to the current democracy.
Part of their demands was to ensure that the apartheid government ends any law that infringes on their rights and rights of the people representing our people from all bondages of oppression. This year South Africa celebrate the 53rd anniversary of women’s march under the theme "together empowering women for development and gender equality," a call by government to all sectors of society, to unite in a national effort for the advancement of women in all spheres of our life.
Women have a unique ability to bring about change in their families and to collectively transform communities and societies. They must be regarded as agents of change who are vital to the social, economic and political fabric of their communities and the country.
I am therefore standing here today to pay tribute to those distinguished women and acknowledge, with pride, the role they played as champions of development in our communities.
Indeed, we have made significant strides since 1956, with Constitution and government that recognises women as equal players in the development of society.
In his State of the Nation Address delivered on 3 June 2009, President Jacob Zuma said, “Together we must do more to fight crime. Our aim is to establish a transformed, integrated, properly resourced and well managed Crimininal Justice System (CJS). It is also critically important to improve the efficiency of the courts and the performance of prosecutors, and to enhance detective, forensic and intelligence services. This work has started in earnest and it will be undertaken with new energy and vigour.”
I fully concur with the sentiments expressed by the President that the criminal justice system needs to be completely transformed. The Minister of Police, Mr Nathi Mthethwa has proposed amendments to the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977, sections 26 and 49. These amendments will seek to empower the police in their fight against crime and as a province, we fully support the minister.
Most of our communities around the province complain about lack of service delivery. They suffered a major setback with protests relating to issues of service delivery. I wish to emphasise, however that democracy should never be equated with anarchy and chaos. It appears that the protesters have crossed the line Mr Speaker as they confuse the freedom of expression and criminality.
I want to put on record that I will support the right of citizens to freedom of expression, demonstration, picketing, petitioning and that this government will do everything in its power to defend and uphold that right that many of our leaders lived and died for.
It remains our belief; however, that rights alluded to above do not exonerate anybody from respect to the rights of others, public property and the rule of law. One has noted that in some of the areas the protests are justifiable; however they were hijacked by criminals in order to pursue their own interest.
I want to take this opportunity to congratulate and extend my appreciation to the acting provincial commissioner, his management team and all members of South African Police Service (SAPS) for their quick response and their will to enforce the law in protecting our communities.
In his State of the Province Address delivered on 19 June 2009, the Premier DD Mabuza said, “The scourge of crime and corruption undermine the core values of human development and enjoyment of human rights enshrined in the Constitution. Crime curtails the freedom of communities to live their lives without any fear of abuse and murder of women, children, the elderly and persons with disabilities. As government, we will not tolerate corruption as it undermines service delivery. We need to fight fraud and corruption in the private and public sectors.”
We remain committed in the fight against crime and corruption. South Africa Police Service has developed a corruption and fraud prevention plan. This plan aims to educate employees and general public about the gravity and consequences of corruption.
It is with great sadness that our committed police officers confiscated a bag full of 1 000 Mandrax tablets, with an estimated street value of R3.75 million. The drugs were stored at the organised crime unit offices in Nelspruit and subsequently went missing from the storeroom. Such corrupt activities undermine government efforts to fight crime. The few corrupt police officers tarnish the good name of other proud and hard working officers in the force. We must send a strong message to those unscrupulous police officers that the law will deal with them harshly and they will rot in jail.
We can only repeat the words of Former Minister of Safety and Security, Mr Steve Tshwete, “Those who cause the dust should not complain when it gets into their eyes." Our responsibility as a government is to improve standard of living of the communities.
The Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison remains a department whose mandate needs to continually communicated to the public, so as to clear the confusion between itself and the police. The core business of the department is as follows:
* to monitor and evaluate the SAPS
* to build the relationships between the police services, community and the local municipalities through CPF
* facilitate social crime prevention activities with all stakeholders
* coordinate the criminal justice cluster.
During 2008/09 financial year, the department has recruited 241 Tourism Safety Monitors to ensure safety of our visitors. These Tourism Safety Monitors assisted in patrolling crime hotspots in conjunction with the police. They were deployed at all tourist attraction areas in the province as well as in some areas outside the tourism spots as determined through crime trends.
Preventative actions such as roadblocks, patrols, air support operations, high density operations and cordon and search operations were conducted throughout the province.
Many arrests were made and goods were successfully recovered during the operation. Intelligence driven operation to search for wanted suspects with the assistance of the task force and national intervention team several high profile case arrests were made. Drugs, namely dagga were recovered during static road blocks on the route from neighbouring countries to Gauteng. Joint stock theft operations between Swaziland, KwaZulu-Natal and the Piet Retief cluster ensured successes in the recovering of stock.
We are proud that working together we have succeeded in drastically reducing incidences of crime in the province. We however are aware that more still needs to be done to deal with the challenge of stock theft especially in the areas of Mmametlhake, Marapyane, Mkhondo and Bushbuckridge where communities have been complaining of this kind of crime.
In order to strengthen coordination of the criminal justice system at local level, the department is leading a process of the establishment of Community Safety Forums (CSF).
Ninety three CSFs volunteers were recruited and placed at 31 priority stations. Through private public partnership with Old Mutual, a donation of R200 000 was given to this department which was used to purchase furniture and stationery for the 15 Community Safety Forum offices provided by various municipalities.
In its mandate to mobilise community members to partner with the department in crime prevention and to inform them about departmental programmes, the department conducted two xenophobic izimbizo in Tonga and Leandra. We still appeal to the people of Mpumalanga to exercise restraint and tolerance and not to make themselves guilty of these cowardice and misguided acts. I hereby condemn any act of xenophobic attacks or criminal acts perpetrated under the disguise of xenophobia in the strongest terms.
Sector policing remains one of the pillars of community policing. The sector policing approach will aim at sustaining and integrating the rural safety strategy by providing a properly trained and resourced capacity to implement rural safety measures. The strategy further aims at promoting the effective and dedicated participation and involvement of all internal and external role-players in an integrated, joint and coordinated manner.
The implementation of sector policing is based on the following:
* the demarcation of the police station into manageable sectors
* the appointment of sector commanders and dedicated members for each sector
* the establishment of contact points in the sectors
* the establishment of sector crime fora in the sectors.
In the last financial year sector policing was implemented fully at the following stations: Kanyamazane, Kabokweni, Tonga, Acornhoek, Bushbuckridge, Mhala, Calcutta, Hazyview, Nelspruit, White River, Barberton, Ermelo, Secunda, Standerton, Middelburg, Mhluzi, Vosman, Witbank, KwaMhlanga, Siyabuswa, Kwaggafontein, Belfast, Waterval Boven, Machadodorp and Dullstroom. The South African Police Service plan for this financial year is to roll out sector policing to all remaining police stations in the province. To improve efficiency and effectiveness in response to calls from community members, SAPS will re-establish three fully fledged police response 10111 call centres in the province.
The aim is to ensure quick call taking and dispatching police officer to the complainant (response), to reduce delays in reaction to complaints. South African Police Service plan for this financial year is to revive four Crime Combating Units in KwaMhlanga, Middelburg, Secunda and Hazyview. These units will undergo refresher courses on latest crowd management techniques to be utilised during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The Office of the Acting Provincial Commissioner has nominated a co-ordinator for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. This official will be co-ordinating different government department to ensure an integrated approach.
This financial year, the department will strengthen the Multi-Agency Mechanism (MAM) structures and developed a marketing strategy. Such a service delivery intervention will surely enhance business growth at the municipality level. It is therefore our clarion call that all municipalities should priorities the full participation in these MAM structures. This financial year, we will enhance our Border security campaigns. Ports of entries and communities living along the border will be visited with the purpose of educating them in border line policing.
In line with the taverns and shebeen operation conducted in the province, it was found that most liquor outlets do not comply with the conditions stipulated in their licenses. It was also determined through the analysis of crime statistics that most of contact crimes, particularly assaults and murders are linked to the abuse of liquor, hence the department deemed it necessary to hold a Taverns and Shebeens owner’s provincial indaba with a view of addressing this matter. The Indaba will be held towards the end of this quarter.
To improve safety in our rural areas, department will establish and co-ordinate rural safety forums to address among others stock theft, capacity building in the form of para-legal workshops and coordinating other departments such as Human Settlement, Department of Education and depart of Rural Development and Land Reform to ensure that there is service delivery in the rural communities
We have noted that most of our learners and teachers are not safe in their schools. The department will hold school safety indaba this financial year. An integrated school safety strategy will be developed to ensure that our schools are safe.
We are in line with the manifesto of the ruling party to mobilise communities to participate in combating crime through establishing street committees. The department will begin a process of establishing street committees in the province. A delegation from the department was sent to the Northern Cape to benchmark on street committees because they are far ahead in conceptualising the street committees’ initiative.
Young people are an integral part of our plans. A Youth Crime Prevention summit will be conducted this financial year and it will begin a process of mobilising young people to participate in community policing programmes. We are delighted that Cabinet has mandated the department to drive and lead the national campaign of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children. This campaign will only be successful if all relevant stakeholders actively participate.
In our effort to strengthen community mobilisation, the department will continue with its campaign of engaging community members through Izimbizo. This is one of the initiatives aiming at encouraging the public to assist government in the fight against crime.
It is therefore important to continue holding Izimbizo in order to successfully win the battle against criminality, hence this financial year, the department will hold six Izimbizo spread in the three regions of the province.
The monitoring and evaluation of police stations remain a central mandate in making sure that police are performing as required by the law. Recently teams from the department monitored and evaluated the province 85 police stations for both effectiveness and efficiency. The teams were constituted by officials in the department, SAPS and Community Policing Forums (CPF).
The poor performing stations were tasked to develop intervention plans to improve their performance. The stations that excelled in their performance were acknowledged in the MEC’s Excellence awards. The overall winner was Schoemansdal Police Station, which is led by a woman Supt. Xaba. For this financial year the process of selecting the best achievers has been finalise. The awards ceremony will taking place at Gert Sibande Region in Secunda before the end of the current quarter.
The department commissioned an investigation following allegations of racism in certain police stations in the province. Due to the seriousness of these allegations, the department in terms section 206 (5) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa instituted an investigation into these allegations.
The findings of the investigations are that there are indeed acts and practices of racism in some of the police stations and that these practices do not manifest themselves openly and it remains difficult for victims to deal with it head-on. The department with SAPS will come up with a strategy to address these findings in there current financial year.
I want once more to make a call to all the citizen of Mpumalanga, religious leaders, traditional leaders and all political parties in the province to join hands with our department and let us fight crime together. I will like to congratulate the newly appointed National Commissioner Mr Bheki Hamilton Cele and I wish the new commissioner all of the best. Very soon as a province we will also be appointing the new provincial commissioner.
I would like to thank the Premier for his sterling leadership, Members of the Executive Council and previous MECs for laying a solid foundation of this department, members of the Portfolio Committee for their oversight role, I want to thank the Acting Provincial Commissioner and the police force for responding beyond the call of duty in the light of the riots in the Mpumalanga communities. I will like to thank the department, which is led by Mr Isaiah Khoza and all the officials at various levels for their hard work. I want to thank my family for being a pillar of strength as I execute my duties.
Last but not least, I would like to express my sincere gratitude and thanks to members of both electronic and print media who supported the department by informing the people about the programmes and projects of the department aimed at the reducing crime. Together we will fight crime and corruption.
It is my privilege to table the budget of the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison for the Financial Year of 2009/10, the amount allocated is: R90 415 million
The budget will cover the following programmes:
* Programme 1: Administration, R73 511 million
* Programme 2: Community Liaison, R10 085 million
* Programme 3: Monitoring and Evaluation, R6 819 million
Together we can do more!
Source: Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison, Mpumalanga Provincial Government (http://www.mpumalanga.gov.za/safetysecurity/)
Issued by: Mpumalanga Provincial Government
13 Aug 2009
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