Speech by the Deputy Minister of Police, Makhotso Maggie Sotyu (MP), Parliament, Cape Town on the occasion of the Budget Vote No 25 and 23
9 May 2012
Minister of Police, Mr EN Mthethwa
All Ministers and Deputy Ministers present
Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Ms S Chikunga
Honourable Members of Parliament
Acting National Commissioner of Police, Lt. Gen Mkhwanazi
Executive Director of the newly established IPID, Mr Beukman
Chairperson of Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority, Mr. Bopela
Ladies and Gentlemen
I rise to first pay tribute and respect to our Comrades and Colleagues in Government who passed on during the past two weeks. We say rest in peace Cdes Shiceka and Nyanda.
We are also still reeling in shock from the untimely and unexpected death of Cde Padayachee, the Minister of Public Service and Administration, because he was at work in a foreign country when he passed away. May his soul rest in peace.
The core work of the Department of Police is aligned to the national priority outcome 3: all people in South Africa are and feel safe. Notwithstanding, for the South African Police Service (SAPS) Management to create a reduced crime environment in our society, we strongly believe that our common goal 3 must be oriented to inter-departmental and inter-governmental integrated action.
I am saying this Chairperson, because only yesterday I had a major meeting with the Acting National Commissioner of Police together with a working group for former Non-Statutory Force (NSF) members who were integrated within the South African Police Service, to address the long-outstanding issues of the former NSF members’ integration, re-ranking and pension.
This meeting is informed by the directive of our President, His Excellency Jacob Zuma, who is expecting us, as Police Leadership, to implement the national directives of the Military Veterans Act 18 of 2011, the Government Employees Pension Law Amendment Act, and other formal agreements to remedy the disparities with regard to these members’ benefits and privileges.
The Ministry of Police is cognisant that, the successful realisation of this directive can only be achieved with the support of National Treasury.
We will also be requesting the Ministry of the South African National Defence Force for support by sharing with us, best practices, since the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is already rolling out the same directive.
That is why as the Ministry of Police, we believe that crime prevention and crime reduction work must also resonate, especially, with the national Outcomes 2, 4, 9 and 12 (a) and (b): A Long and Healthy Life for All South Africans, Decent Employment through Inclusive Economic Growth; A Responsive, Accountable, Effective and Efficient Local Government System; An Efficient, Effective and Development Oriented Public Service; and An Empowered, Fair and Inclusive Citizenship respectively.
For, undoubtedly, the success or failure of the Department of Police’s mandate solely lies on the efficiency and effectiveness or lack thereof, of local police stations in our local communities.
The strengthening of the Cluster and Station Management Framework (CSMF) that we are now embarking on in the department surely becomes imperative, to bolster the effective management and efficient functions of our police officers at local police station level.
Admittedly, the past few months have seen a jittery reputation of our South African Police Service, at times self-inflicted nervy image, but at most times, alleged and unfounded painted picture by skeptics.
Indeed, the self-made problems include the recent headliner “600 police officers arrested and 272 fired” in Gauteng alone; the brutality or excessive use of force by our police officers; and the killings of loved ones by police officers.
We are quickly to say without any doubt that, the Ministry of Police will neither shudder nor shiver in acting decisively against any police of officer or personnel in the Department of Police, who is found guilty of committing serious crimes, including corruption. In this instance, the Ministry of Police has put in place a comprehensive anti-Corruption Implementation Plan.
In the same vein, the Ministry of Police acknowledges that, maladministration and service failure at a station level and at national office level in specific; do lead to a dysfunctional and disoriented work force in general.
Yes, as Leadership, we would not be shy to say that, the oversight reports by both the Secretariat of Police and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Police have clearly and factually shown that, all is not well at some of our local police stations across the country.
Suffice to say, as the Ministry of Police, we are now showing and leading the way for the SAPS Top Management to be responsive to these glaring problems. In support to the Minister of Police’s constant visits to police stations across the country; I am also rolling out what we call the Provincial Intervention Programme across the nine Provinces.
The main goal of this programme is to hold in-depth engagements with our police officers, especially the lowly ranked personnel, on issues of their health and wellness both at their respective working and dwelling/residential places. The engine of any organisation is its work-force; and the functioning of that engine is solely dependent on how well it is looked after.
What we have found out so far from these engagements with the police officers is that, identified problems are mostly to do with upholding or not upholding the basic principles and values of good administration by that commander or manager.
For example, we have discovered that most police officers who get vulnerable to being killed whilst using public transport to report to duty, or who are committing suicides or killing their loved ones, tend to be mostly lowly-ranked; low-salaried; co-habiting/not having a house of his own.
It is then precisely during these volatile times that we need a strong leadership from Provincial Commissioners to address these problems.
We need all nine Provincial Commissioners to actively encourage and support Station Commanders to be able to manage their police stations fearlessly, fairly and with focus, by treating his/her troopers impartially, with respect and courtesy and without bias, discrimination and prejudice.
For, we need proactive Station Commanders, who will detect what works and what does not work anymore for the proper running of his/her police station.
That is why the Station Management Learning Programme (SMLP) is now being introduced to provide basic knowledge and skills required by a Station Commander across the priority fields of police station management, such as Personnel Management and Human Resource Utilisation.
Such trained Station Commanders will in turn make sure that their troopers are also benefiting from Refresher Training/Reskilling Courses in order to reinforce command and control, discipline, tactical skills and operational knowledge, as well as basic management principles.
We are saying that, the national office divisional commissioners must support the Station Commanders in this endeavour. Divisional Commissioners must minimise beaurocracy, and must begin to be visible at Police Stations. They must stop being office-bound and being submission-signers.
Divisional Commissioners are encouraged not to be hindered by reporting burdens and target-oriented, but must be more visible and available at Cluster and Station levels to intervene on issues of station management and operations.
Tackling problems of management, service delivery and accountability will not be solely dictated by the size of budget provided to SAPS. Yes, R62.5 billion is the total budget for the financial year 2012/13 for the Department of Police, and one of the biggest amongst National Departments.
But this big budget becomes futile if the SAPS Top Management is not able to honour the implementation plan to appropriately spend this allocated money. It must be about a strong belief in the vision and principles of this Government to better the livelihood of our people.
It must be about a decisive focus to a working organisational culture of the Department of Police and its Top Management, and about the precise approach to fighting and preventing crime as set up by the Executive Authority of the Department of Police.
At every step of the way, our criminal justice system must now become overwhelmed by the zeal to putting things right where they have gone wrong; and to seeking continuous improvement in the administration and operations of the Department of Police.
For the FY2012/13, the Department of Police has planned on the purpose of visible policing at more than 40% of the total budget as mentioned above, to enable police stations to institute and preserve safety and security, provide for specialised interventions and the policing of South Africa’s borders.
The purpose clearly demonstrates that crime cannot be addressed by focusing solely on catching, investigating and charging those who have committed crimes. Fighting crime is obviously also about tackling the risk-factors that can actually escalate criminal behaviour.
In this instance, prevention of crime strictly requires an inter-departmental and inter-governmental approach.
This brings us back to the earlier made point in this speech, when I said, as Police we might have our own national Outcome 3, but we will always be influenced by other national outcomes in order to make a meaningful and sustainable impact to our common goal 3: all people in South Africa are and feel safe.
The national call by His Excellency Jacob Zuma in the 2012 State of the Nation Address (SONA 2012), where the President invited “the nation to join Government in a massive infrastructure development” – for job creation and poverty alleviation - must surely resonate with our Goal 3 as well, albeit indirectly.
Through the Capital Infrastructure and Capital Management programmes, SAPS will be improving its working relationship with the Department of Public Works during the building and revamping of police stations across the country.
Collaboratively, the Departments of Police and Public Works will be able to manage projects in terms of Time, Cost, Utilities and Quality with the established Project Management Office (PMO), towards the building of new police stations for the FY 2012/13.
The SAPS is also participating in all structures mandated to facilitate the establishment of the Border Management Agency. The department is represented at the D-G Cluster level and also in other sub-structures. A proposal on the appointment of the Enabling Structure has been handed to the office of the minister of State Security for approval.
In the meantime the SANDF and SAPS are continuing working together in the manning of our borders. The role of the SANDF is the safeguarding of the borderline in accordance to the Defence Act Section 18(1) read with section 20(2) of the same Act.
In other words the SANDF is patrolling and protecting the Republic’s border, its territorial integrity and its people against any foreign adversary.
On the other hand, the SAPS is responsible for crime prevention activities and provision of the Client Service Centre services to the community within the precinct of the border, as well as the implementation of the SAPS Rural Safety Strategy.
SAPS members deployed at Border Posts (Ports of Entry) are responsible for crime prevention and combating crime within the port itself including a 10 kilometres area from the port inwards inside the country.
These integrated efforts between our Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) departments is a clear resolve that we are working jointly on border controls with a clear strategy, streamlined process and a clear accountability about how goods and people move through checks and controls.
Indeed, this is a sufficient coordination of policing serious and organised crime from local to regional to national and international level.
Perhaps, the most difficult aspect that we as the department are still facing is to convince our people, that fighting crime is not about coming to grips with just the symptoms, but it is also about tackling the risk factors that may cause crime in close partnership with our communities.
Risk factors include poor parenting; youth misbehaviour; substance abuse and drug trafficking. For the Ministry of Police’s recent monthly outreach programme, I had visited a community in Port Elizabeth, called Glevendale.
During this visit, we got to be informed that youth as young as nine years of age, are already drug addicts. We also learnt that most of people who are convicted in foreign jails for drug trafficking are women coming mainly from the Eastern Cape.
And yes, we agree 100% with the Minister of Social Development that, substance-related crime, especially alcohol-related, remains a serious problem.
These types of anti-social behaviours cannot be effectively policed by police officers alone. Engaged and active communities, public cooperation, and not just a passive response, is critical in order for the police to address these types of crimes effectively.
Communities must have a constant desire to get involved, as families, must get involved through structures such as Community Police Forum (CPF), and as responsible individual citizens.
On our side as the Department of Police, we are beefing up the police officers’ training courses for prioritised and vulnerable groups such as children and women.
For the FY2011/12, more than 18 000 police officers across the country have been trained in Victim Empowerment, Child Justice, Human Rights, Domestic Violence, and Sexual Offences Act.
We are happy to say that these topics are also covered in the newly introduced Basic Police Development Learning Programme and some managerial courses.
They are also featured as cross-cutting topics in all operational courses dealing with victims, complainants, suspects, colleagues, arrestees, use of force, etc. For this FY2012/13, R1.7 billion has been budgeted for all forms of training interventions.
Indeed, the integrated facilitation of all learning areas at Academy Phase allows both trainees and trainers to be able to link the academic theories with the tactical training for a better understanding of effective and efficient Policing.
The two-year course is a shift from the former academic approach to a more practical hands-on approach to Policing, and is easily manageable to force mentors/relief commanders/Field Police Development Officers to train the trainees.
True to our resolve to inter-departmental approach to fight and prevent crime, the Minister of Police and the Minister of Basic Education also signed a Protocol Implementation Agreement last year April 2011, to partner for the promotion of safer schools and to prevent the involvement of young people in crime.
The Adopt a Cop Programme and the Safer Schools Programme are already gearing at building resistance and resilience amongst learners and youth to offending behaviour and from victimisation.
SAPS is also a member of the technical team for substance abuse prevention that supports the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Substance Abuse Prevention, and is represented on the Central Drug Authority.
Another major paradigm shift happening this year is the promulgation of the Independent Police Investigative Act (IPID), which came into effect 1st April 2012.
We are truly grateful to you, Minister of Police, for being resolute in seeing through the work that was started in 2005 by the then Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Safety and Security.
For, it was this Portfolio Committee on Safety and Security that saw the need to strengthen the then Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD), by adopting a report that proposed the idea of separate legislation for the ICD.
The IPID Act is now enabling the new IPID to shift the focus from being a complaints-driven body to one that, in conducting its investigations, addresses systematic problems with the police service, and a body that recommends appropriate interventions.
The Department of Police Top Management is also in the process of negotiating with the IPID for a memorandum of agreement to ensure the smooth implementation of the IPID Act.
In the meantime, the Police have already prepared a circular informing all members of the coming into operation of the IPID Act, and were provided with the copy of the Act and Regulations. A template was developed to assist members to comply with the obligation to report matters to IPID.
Members were also urged to fully co-operate with the IPID, and were made aware of the fact that in terms of Sections 29 and 33 of the IPID Act, any person or private entity, who interferes, hinders or obstructs the Executive Director of IPID in the exercise or performance of his/her duty or powers, is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years.
(Gone are those days where the then ICD was referred to as the Toothless Bulldog!)
Notwithstanding, the IPID must not leave our police officers feeling disempowered from the fight to combat and prevent crime. The police can only do their job properly if they are able to confront and take action against crime, if they don’t feel they have one hand tied behind their back, due to fear of unreasonable instigation of inquiry.
In conclusion, Chairperson, I would like to re-iterate what I had begun with at the beginning of this speech: that, inter-departmental and inter-governmental approach is the best method to integrate all progressive activities against crime, corruption and substance abuse.
This united front will surely yield to enhanced public confidence in the police in particular, and in Government in general. With decisive action and clear direction, as the Police Leadership, under the guidance of Minister Mthethwa, we are indeed moving forward to help our Government to improve everyone’s quality of life.
Crime undermines the quality of all our lives - and as with most failings in society it is the poorest who suffer the most. People living in deprived areas are more than twice as likely to be mugged as those living in better off neighbourhoods.
This ANC-led Government’s approach against crime is thus to trust our police officers, and to put the community at the centre of that trust. A continuous effort to connect the public and the police is at the heart of our police agenda.
I thank you all.
Issued by: South African Police Service
9 May 2012
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