Budget Speech 2012/2013 for the Department of Community Safety and Liaison by KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Community Safety, Willies Mchunu
31 May 2012Madam speaker
The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Honourable Dr. Zweli Mkhize
Members of the Provincial Executive Council
Honourable Members of the Provincial Legislature
Amakhosi AseNdlunkulu present
Mayors and councillors of municipalities
Excellencies, members of the diplomatic corps
Director-General and Heads of the various departments
The South African Police Service
Senior officials of government departments
Membership of the Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster
The leadership of the Community Policing Structures
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen
Members of the media
Citizens of KwaZulu-Natal.
This afternoon I have the honour to present the budget speech for the Department of Community Safety and Liaison, Budget Vote 9 under the theme 'Deepening People's Action Against Crime'. Experience has taught us that the fight against crime and criminals requires mass mobilisation and an activist approach, hence our theme. To this end, the department is involved in educating, conscientising and mobilising the community to cooperate with the police by being their eyes and ears in the process of building a society of noncriminals.
This we do through Operation Hlasela, anchored on our strategy of Building a United Front Against Crime. Honourable Members will know that the fight against crime and corruption is one of the priorities of our Government. We want to ensure that our vision, "The people of KwaZulu-Natal live in a safe and secure environment" is realised.
We are advancing this priority and this vision by taking the department to districts and be actively involved in the fight against crime. We need to ensure that our department becomes the strategic centre in the fight against crime, not to just monitor the work of the police. We must be a part of the whole societal fight against crime.
Honourable members, allow me to take a leaf on commitments made in the past financial year as this Department. We committed to host an annual MEC's Community Awards for Police Excellence, we went on record with regards to extending the Communities in Dialogue Programme to Presidential Pardons Programme, we committed to embark on a drive to reconstitute Community Policing Fora (CPFs) as well as train them to perform their functions optimally through our Thathulwazi programme. We pronounced on forming partnerships with the existing neighbourhood watches, community and street patrols that have voluntarily set themselves up as crime fighters. Developments on commitments
We committed on hosting a summit on community safety structures, work with youth formations to create a crime fighting programme targeting our youth and driven by them. We further committed to playing our part in the multi party political oversight committee on elections as well as provide election monitors in critical voting stations and critical areas.
Chairperson, we have reached remarkable milestones in as far as the commitments made in the past budget vote. To begin with, we remain committed to awards for police excellence. In fact we have revisited our awards for police to include community crime fighting structures.
In as far as the Presidential Pardons Programme subcommittee of the Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster ( JCPS ) is concerned, we can report that the subcommittee is hands on, on this programme. It has presented both to the Committee of Heads of Departments and to the Executive Council. The principal membership of this subcommittee includes the State Security Department, the Department of Correctional Services as well as the Department of Community Safety and Liaison.
With regards to the programme to reconstitute CPFs, this is well underway and is extensively dealt with under Community Policing. In as far as the summit on community safety structures is concerned, we were able to host the summit in August 2011, wherein we emerged with resolutions which have already taken off as you will see under community policing.
As committed in the past budget speech, the department played its part during the 2011 Local Government elections. Honourable members, Heads of Departments for the Eastern Cape, Free State and KwaZulu- Natal were invited by the National Secretariat to discuss, and share best practices to resolve stock- theft cases along the South African borders. This meeting came up with a resolution that the affected provinces should prepare for the staging of the national cross- border summit.Programme 1: Administration
The provinces were also requested to stage provincial cross-border summits in preparation for the National Summit. The summit concept was presented and endorsed by the KwaZulu-Natal Cabinet, on presentation by the Head of Department, Department of Community Safety & Liaison, KwaZulu-Natal. I am pleased to announce that a Provincial Cross Border Crime Prevention Summit will be held on 24 and 25 July 2012.
Chairperson, we are pleased to report that under programme 1 Administration, the department received an unqualified audit over the past 4 years. Our Human Resources component managed to get a bronze award during the HR Convention. This was the third consecutive year for the department featuring prominently in these awards.
Honourable members, an area of focus under programme 1 this financial year is organisational reviewal. Over the past year, there have been fundamental developments affecting both the mandate and strategic direction of the department. The department derives its mandate from sections 206 and 208 of Chapter 11 of the Constitution.
Section 206(3) states that each province is entitled to:
a. monitor police conduct
b. oversee the effectiveness and efficiency of the police service
c. promote good relations between the police and the community
d. assess the effectiveness of visible policing and
e. liaise with the Cabinet member responsible for policing in the province.
Section 208 states that, ‘a civilian secretariat for the police service must be established by national legislation to function under the direction of the Cabinet member responsible for policing’. To give effect to this provision of the Constitution, the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Act, 2011 (Act No. 2 of 2011), was enacted.
The Act requires the MEC to establish a provincial secretariat for police within 18 months of the commencement of the Act. With this in mind, the department has already started preparations for implementation.
This development coincided with the commencement of the process to review the way the department operates in order to more adequately implement its flagship programme of 'Building a United Front against Crime' through Operation Hlasela. As we review our organogram, we are taking this development on board.
We have decentralised our operations to District level to get closer to the communities we serve. Our core mandates have been intensively interrogated and we have emerged with a basket of services that we are delivering with renewed vigour.Civillian Oversight: Programme 2
Honourable members are aware that one of the core functions of this department is to play an oversight role over the Police. Towards this end, the department evaluated a number of police stations, verified Community Police Forum (CPF), victim support centres and assessed specialised South African Police Services (SAPS) units. A number of interventions were also conducted to ensure greater effectiveness and efficiency of the SAPS. We even embarked on unannounced police station visits.
During station evaluations, the department identified that infrastructure constraints are persistent and hamper the provision of optimal service delivery. The problem of long distances being travelled by some of our communities in an attempt to access police services continues to be a recurring challenge. To this end, we will continue to make recommendations for the rationalisation of police stations so that all communities enjoy equitable access to justice.
We are heartened by the pronouncements made by the Minister of Police, Mr Nathi Mthethwa in his budget vote presented to Parliament on 8 May 2012 in this regard. The minister identified as a third priority in this financial year, the acceleration of the pace of building new police stations and correctly capacitating them with committed personnel and systems.
The priority is mainly about building police stations around rural areas and townships. We look forward to the positive spin offs on this matter, particularly, its implementation in our province.
We are also pleased to report honourable members that, as a result of our evaluations, some relief in terms of infrastructure has been arranged for stations such as Ekuvukeni whereby sixteen computers were procured. The Elandslaagte police station also received some much needed renovations as well as an allocation of two new vehicles to the station. There are other numerous good direct results following our assessments and evaluations including motivating for the establishment of a satellite station in Ndwedwe. At other stations serious challenges were uncovered which hamper effective service delivery. Honourable members, this government has strengthened oversight over the police in ways unprecedented. The Independent Police Investigative Directorate Act ( IPID ACT, No 1 of 2011) is now in place since 1 April 2012. This piece of legislation takes this investigative directorate out of the South African Police Service, thus entrenching its independence from the police. In essence the collaboration of this unit with the Department of Community Safety and Liaison is destined to yield positive results.
Findings from those were relayed to the SAPS who are attending to them. As per the National instruction to assess the management of firearms within selected police stations in KwaZulu-Natal, our service monitors were involved in conducting assessments in various policing areas.
Through participation in ward committees, we intend that our community crime fighting structures participate in Operation Sukuma Sakhe programs. Enhancing service delivery by the police chairperson, policing is a huge responsibility. Over and above their normal duties, police are often called to intervene between communities and their public representatives over service delivery matters. In some instances, they end up at the centre of the dispute. Often times, their good work go un recognised.
We are pleased that the minister's priorities in this financial year include a focus on smart policing, strengthening crime intelligence capacity so as to enhance the criminal justice system, as well as policing public service delivery better to reflect the, 'ethos of human rights'. Certainly, these new developments will enhance service delivery whilst assisting immensely in upholding the image of the police, including renewing and building confidence of the citizenry on the police.
This department will continue to recognise excellence in our law enforcement officers and Voluntary Community Crime Fighting Associations. This year we will take this a step further by also awarding community crime prevention structures such as CPFs that have done an exceptional service to their communities by volunteering their time and efforts thus contributing towards a safer province.
We will solicit a credible outside organisation to assist us with the process and programme of evaluating performance of the Police, CPFs, volunteers and voluntary community crime fighting associations, for excellence. The motivation to our police service provided by these awards cannot be quantified. We take cognisance of the fact that the Minister of Police has dubbed this year's budget vote as the year of the detective, with a focus on 10 point priority deliverables. Our recognition awards will certainly take this on board as well.Crime Prevention and Community Police Relations: Programme 3
Chairperson, our approach in the fight against crime and criminals is a proactive one. It is anchored on our strategy of Building a United Front Against Crime and driven through Operation Hlasela. The focus is on mobilising communities to fight against crime and criminals. Programmes which form part of crime prevention and community police relations include community policing, communities in dialogue programme, victim empowerment, volunteer social crime prevention programme, campaigns against police killings, youth against crime, collaboration with various stakeholders in the fight against crime as well as the Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster.
We are pleased to report to this House that the team from the department recently visited Cuba to learn best practices on community based structures. This country boasts of over 50 years experience in neighbourhood watches according to the Wikepedia articles and Amnesty International websites. We have integrated these best practices in our programmes. We have furthermore conducted workshops to our community based structures in a drive to ensure that we strengthen their capacity to fight against crime and criminals. We are hopeful of positive outcomes arising out of our crime fighting programmes.
Honourable members, we move from the premise that community participation must be structured. This philosophy stretches to the formation of the Community Policing Fora ( CPFs ). The department must make it its task to assist communities to form and sustain Community Policing Fora. These must also be formed in terms of the law and in line with their own Constitutions. We will also coordinate, reconstitute, strengthen, capacitate and assist Voluntary Community Crime Fighting Associations.
Honourable members, part of our effort towards ensuring the effective functioning of the CPFs has culminated in an agreement between the MEC and the Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS to appoint an interim steering committee to lead the CPFs towards establishing a new proper constitution.Once that process is finalised, we envisage that a new provincial CPF board will then be elected. Members may all be aware that part of the problems impacting on the functioning of these structures is that elections had not been held in a very long time. With the new Constitution in place this is now going to be possible.
Voluntary Crime Fighting Associations
The establishment of vigilante groups which are operating in Umzinyathi, Ulundi, Amajuba and other Districts has been of great concern to the department. Community members suspected of being involved in stock theft are victimised by these structures. In my discussions with informal structures on 15 August 2011, I stressed that all crime combating must take place strictly within the boundaries of the law. Through the new umbrella organisation called KwaZulu-Natal Community Crime Prevention Association KZNCCPA, the department will provide capacity to these structures to enable them to make a positive contribution to preventing crime.
Peace Building In Communities
Chairperson, the Department of Community Safety and Liaison working together with the police, also plays a leading role in the promotion of peace, democracy and social cohesion through the Communities in Dialogue Programme. These were held in a number of areas such as Mtshezi, Mafakatini, Hlabisa, Greytown, Besters, Mpungamhlophe, Loskop, Sydenham, Verulam Waterloo, Tongaat, Loskop, Hlabisa, Pongola, Elandslaagte, Mbongolwane, Colenso, eMankenganeni and Greytown. The department has also been involved in peace building interventions at tertiary institutions.
In response to Political Conflicts which have troubled our province, the department led the Provincial Multi-Party Political Oversight Committee on Elections to ensure peace and stability in preparation for the May 2011 Local Government Elections. The committee visited those areas which were regarded as politically sensitive. The committee visited Mbabazane/ Mtshezi precint, Greytown/ Msinga precinct; Ulundi/ Nongoma precint; KwaDukuza/ Mandeni/ Maphumulo precinct; and eThekwini Hostels. The Provincial Multi-Party Political Prayer was successfully staged in Matimatolo, Greytown on 9 May 2011. A prayer rally was hosted in Nongoma on 30 September 2011, post the elections. We remain hopeful that KwaZulu-Natal will cease to be a volatile province through such interventions. We will therefore continue the Multiparty Political interventions and permanently inculcate the culture of political tolerance and peaceful co-existence.
Honourable Members, we commit ourselves to take forward the resolutions of the summit against police killings through clearly defined programmes. We value our protectors and their contribution in the fight against crime. We want communities to play a central role in the implementation of these resolutions. We are happy to announce that we have had structures coming forward to state their roles towards eradicating this scourge. We commend Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union ( POPCRU ) for heeding our call and coming forward to state their role towards taking the resolutions of the summit forward. We have also had community crime prevention associations coming forward through their newly drawn constitution, stating their role in this war against crime and police killings.
Chairperson, crimes against women and Children are a priority for this government. It is becoming too common to hear of these crimes throughout our communities. Much as these crimes are difficult to police as they happen largely within trusted family circles, as government we cannot fold our arms. To this end, we welcome the Minister of Police’s assertion in his budget vote that, the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units (FCS ) has been reintroduced in all SAPS clusters in the country. This department, working together with the police has a huge task of strengthening this unit so that we are able to serve our constituencies better.
The department has a role to drive social crime prevention programmes throughout our communities. In partnership with the National Prosecuting Authority, the department conducted capacity building workshops for SAPS and the community, on Gender Based Violence, the Sexual Offences Act and the Domestic Violence Act. Through our teams at district level, we will continue addressing challenges in implementation of these legislations and support programmes at local level aimed at rights education and promotion of human rights in general.
The department furthermore creates awareness of protective rights for children in partnership with various stakeholders through road shows on Kuyoze Kube Nini which is a comic book and DVD that educate about domestic violence.
The subject of human trafficking continues to raise eyebrows and as such, the department intensified its education campaigns against the scourge. Lately, the links of human trafficking to drug trafficking are beginning to surface. Working together with other departments in the social cluster and the JCPS cluster, the department will continue with its efforts to create awareness about the impact of substance abuse to individuals and society as a whole.
Youth against crime
Chairperson, we hold the view that the youth are critical in the fight against crime and criminals. Any crime fighting programmes which exclude the youth are generally flawed. In partnership with the SAPS Provincial Office, the department embarked on a process of verifying the existence of CPF Youth Desks throughout the province for the purpose of capacitating these structures.
Youth Desk structures at Mpumalanga, Osizweni, Eshowe, Jozini and Cato Manor have been capacitated. We look forward to taking this programme to all districts for maximum crime fighting output. We are working on a comprehensive program to revive the Youth Desk right across the Province. We also want to assist them to re-launch their structures at all levels.
Volunteer Social Crime Prevention Project
Madam Speaker, the Volunteer Social Crime Prevention Project involves the recruitment and deployment of volunteers to embark on social crime prevention activities at community level. From 1 April to 17 October 2011, volunteers were deployed in all 11 districts thereby achieving the target that was set to ensure that all 11 district municipalities are sufficiently resourced with trained volunteers to deal with Social Crime Prevention. Linking the volunteers with our District teams will ensure better management and oversight over the work that they do at a local level. This will also ensure that the programmes they embark on really address the needs of their local communities, as opposed to those developed at a provincial level. The Department of Community Safety and Liaison is currently working on a programme to build the early warning capacity within the Volunteer Social Crime Prevention Project. We also want to work on making the volunteers to work together with other community crime fighting structures.
Collaboration with stakeholders
Honourable members, the fight against crime and criminals requires collaboration with various stakeholders. The department will identify all other role players and their roles in 'Building a united front against crime' and work closely with these formations. As we embark on the exercise to rebuild CPFs for instance, we must define their role in reference to ward committees in view of the inherent competition for political hegemony.
To this end, we must therefore engage the Department of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs ( COGTA ) to together define the roles of CPFs and ward committees in the fight against crime. Equally, the department and COGTA must negotiate the role of municipalities in fighting crime and ensure that crime prevention is not just a temporary project, but a permanent programme of all the spheres and departments of our government.
Traditional leaders are encouraged to be actively involved in community safety structures within their areas. The department has held capacity-building workshops for Amakhosi and members of Traditional Councils in partnership with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
We must equally also partner with the Department of Social Development and many other relevant partners in the fight against substance abuse including other social ills. As part of the Substance Abuse Awareness Programme, a meeting involving Licensed Liquor Traders was held. The department has partnered with the SAPS, the Department of Transport as well as the Department of Economic Development and Tourism’s Liquor Board to initiate a series of Liquor Forum meetings promoting responsible trading and consumption of alcohol in various areas. These have commenced at Dundee and eNquthu.The training manual ‘Making Our Schools Safe’ continues to form the central pillar for the school safety capacity building offered by the department working in partnership with the Department of Education. This year, we are concretely pursuing collaboration with the Department of Sports and Recreation with regards to sport against crime programs.
Justice Crime Prevention And Security Cluster (JCPS)
Honourable Members, the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster (JCPS), which is made up of the Criminal Justice Departments and our social sector partners, is a very effective governance mechanism for delivering integrated services to our people whilst providing an open platform for dialogue with departments from various levels of government in an effort to close the blockages in the Criminal Justice System and civil society. JCPS Cluster in KwaZulu-Natal has reached an unprecedented level of cooperation. Also notable among the successes in this area of our operations is the mediation of conflicts within the taxi industry through integrated responses from the JCPS Cluster.
The JCPS cluster is comprehensively addressing the stock theft matter which remains a cause for concern to us as government and the affected people. The areas identified as stock theft hotspots in the province are Ladysmith, Utrecht, Bulwer, Bergville, Ezakheni, Hlobane, Dannhauser, Amangwe, Paulpietersburg, Vryheid, Ekuvukeni, Estcourt, Nongoma, Elandslaagte, Kwa-Mbonambi, Impendle, Kwa-Msane, Taylor’s Halt, Himeville, Intsikeni, Maphumulo, Gluckstadt, Besters, Plessisslaer and Dumbe. The department is visiting the affected areas to address stock theft issues.
The department, in liaison with the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development, facilitated the branding of live stock province wide. A stock theft prevention plan was developed in partnership with the JCPS Cluster Departments. The curbing of stock theft will contribute to the development of our rural communities.
The Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster will continually strategise on legal imperatives. This will entail evaluating whether we need new policies or we need to review old ones. Furthermore, whether there are implementation weaknesses that need to be remedied. It must facilitate informed interventions through setting up relevant task teams/sub-committees so as to impact positively in the fight against crime and criminals.The subcommittee on Presidential pardons is a brain child of this cluster. It is executing its task as mandated by the cluster. This is a crucial step in the integration of our society. More work remains to be done in this sub committee to drive the integration of former in mates to the wider society.
Chairperson, it is worth mentioning that continuous research, monitoring and evaluation of our Crime Fighting Strategy is a key success factor to our crime fighting programmes. We will execute this mandate diligently so that we keep and remain abreast of our crime fighting strategies and programmes.
Honourable members, this is a department with a small budget, especially when you compare its mandate of fighting crime as one of the five key priorities of our government as well as the demand for service delivery. The department therefore needs to explore how to increase it in line with our programmes, or alternatively tap into other sources of funding to fight against crime, especially business, but not only through Business Against Crime.
Chairperson, we will communicate our crime fighting programmes and strategies so as to enhance and augment our mass mobilization strategies and initiatives. We want every district, every ward, every household and every individual to know and partner with us on our crime fighting programmes.
As I conclude, allow me on behalf of my department to express our appreciation to the police in KwaZulu-Natal under the stewardship of Lieutenant General Ngobeni, for having contributed immensely towards the decrease in some codes of crime, as seen on the latest crime statistics. The quality of work they performed before, during and after the Local Government Elections, is also commendable as they managed to quell tensions in some parts of the province that had the potential of ruining the experience of voting for a lot of ordinary citizens. Major visible policing operations were successfully executed during the Easter weekend, festive season and COP 17 climate change summit amongst others.
I wish to extend my sincerest thanks to the Interim CPF Steering Committee led by Mr Sibaca, the different voluntary community crime fighting structures for their work in the fight against crime and for agreeing to work with the department within the legal framework and in the spirit of cooperation. The role of community policing as played by the crime fighting structures and all our partners in the United Front Against Crime cannot be over emphasised.
I also thank the Department of Community Safety and Liaison led by Mr RV Bhengu for their support and contribution in championing service delivery. The milestones achieved in our crime fighting strategies and initiatives owe their success to your continued efforts. My sincerest gratitude goes to my wife and family for their undying support. To the government of KwaZulu-Natal, under the stewardship of the Premier we salute your contribution to the marked improvement of the quality of lives of our people.
To the organisation that bestowed its confidence in me to lead this portfolio, the African National Congress, I salute you!!!
I look forward to visible and positive spinoffs as we deepen our activism in the fight against crime and criminals. Finally, Madame Speaker, it is my privilege to table the budget of the Department of Community Safety and Liaison for the 2011/12 financial year amounting to R161 334 000 million for approval to be appropriated as follows:
Program 1: Administration R36 981 000 million
Program 2: Civilian Oversight R40 319 000 million
Program 3: Crime Prevention and Community Police Relations R84 034 000 million
I thank you.
Issued by: KwaZulu-Natal Community Safety and Liaison
31 May 2012
[ Top ]