17/18 Department of Community Safety Budget Speech | Western Cape Government

Speeches

17/18 Department of Community Safety Budget Speech

30 March 2017

SPEECH BY THE WESTERN CAPE MEC OF COMMUNITY SAFETY, DAN PLATO
DURING A SITTING IN THE WESTERN CAPE PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT
VOTE 4 – COMMUNITY SAFETY – WESTERN CAPE APPROPRIATION BILL

 

Date: 30 March 2017

Honourable Speaker,

Madam Premier,

Cabinet Colleagues,

Members of the Standing Committee on Community Safety,

Members of the Provincial Parliament,

Director-General, Western Cape Police Ombudsman, Head of Department,

Department of Community Safety, CEO of the Western Cape Liquor Authority and Ministry staff,

Members of the Provincial CPF Board, CPF and Neighbourhood Watch members, Non-Governmental Organisations,

Our partners in safety,and

Distinguished guests, including the youth from some of our most vulnerable communities and poverty stricken families that have partnered with us to change their lives.

Provincial Police Commissioner, Municipal Police Chiefs,

Provincial heads of the Justice Cluster Departments,

Members of the law enforcement agencies,

Leaders of local government, and MAYCO members,

INTRODUCTION

Stats SA’s latest Victims of Crime survey shows that the decline in satisfaction with the police was most severe in the Western Cape from 71.3% in 2011, to 57.1% in 2016. The report also states that police stations are most accessible in the Western Cape and that the police in our province have the fastest response time to emergency calls.

While a lot of people in the province are benefitting from adequate policing, proactive and effective community based safety structures; the realities of too many people in the province are still marred by violence, specifically interpersonal violence; I believe to be brought about by the prevalence of guns and drugs in our communities and the continued scourge of gangsterism and drugs in our province.

As a Department, we cannot stand idly by while our youth still bears the brunt of safety threats.

Our Provincial Strategic Goal (PSG 3) of ‘increasing wellness, safety and tackling social ills’ means that for every person to be and feel safe we have to take the plight of our communities as our motivation. Hence we set out to support the efforts of the police, form strategic partnerships and introduce targeted interventions in a whole-of-society response.

Allow me to share the budgetary highlights for the coming year.

TOTAL BUDGET

The Department of Community safety’s budget for the 2017/18 financial year totals R302.056 million.

Included in the overall increase for the new financial year is the appointment of additional liquor inspectors at the Western Cape Liquor Authority, additional staff allocations of the Provincial Police Ombudsman to the tune of R1.5 million, as well as funding of R3.3 million provided for the EPWP conditional grant allocation.

Overall, the Department’s budget is allocated towards:

  • Compensation of Employees, 47.98% (R144.915 million),
  • Goods and Services, 29.3% (R88.486 million),
  • Transfer payments, 20.71% (R62.570 million), and
  • Capital Assets, 2.01% (R6.085 million).

Our expenditure per programme highlights the following:

PROGRAMME 1: Administration is allocated R86.206 million and increases on average with 7.46% over the MTEF with the bulk of the spending going to compensation of employees and transfer payments to the Western Cape Liquor Authority.

Honourable speaker, this programme supports the offices of the Ministry and the Head of Department in providing strategic leadership and ensuring effective governance within the Department. Our 7th consecutive clean audit last year is testament to the dedication of our management teams to ensure the money entrusted to us by the public is spent responsibly, efficiently and effectively.

The Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) also resides in this programme with a budget of R37.665 million in 2017/18 which provides for the appointment of at least four new liquor inspectors. Since taking custodianship of the Liquor Authority last year, we capacitate the authority with sufficient resources and a regulatory framework which would allow the authority to do what it is supposed to do, to the best of its abilities. To this extend, we are looking forward to the final regulations pertaining to the Western Cape Liquor Act to be published shortly. The establishment of a specialised unit within the Liquor Authority to drive enforcement actions at the point of distribution remains key to achieving compliance.

Honourable Speaker, PROGRAMME 2: Civilian Oversight receives a budget of R70.081 million for 2017/18 and exercise oversight over the conduct and efficacy of law enforcement agencies in the Province. Under this programme in 2017/18, R5.071 million is allocated for The Alcohol Harms Reduction Game Changer and R1.310 million for the After School Game Changer.

The Expanded Partnership Programme (EPP) also resides in this Programme and aims to better support the work and initiatives of the Community Policing Forums in the province by ensuring their functionality. R3.9 million has been allocated to the EPP. Honourable Speaker, I am proud to say that the Department is working hard to ensure the available budget to the CPFs are utilised. In 2016/17, 62% of the available budget was accessed by the CPFs compared to only 39% of the available budget accessed in 2015/16. I urge our dedicated CPFs to make use of the opportunities within the EPP.

Honourable Speaker, PROGRAMME 3: Provincial Policing Functions receives R46.054 million in 2017/18. National Treasury’s donor funding support for Wolwekloof Youth Programme has come to an end. The Department has managed to ensure, through Provincial Treasury’s R7.6 million that the modular youth development programme aimed primarily at youth recruited from rural areas remain available. A commitment we made during last year’s Budget address and I thank the Department and Provincial Treasury for prioritising our lost generation, the youth, in our province in this way.

Programme 3 promotes better relations between the police and communities through our ‘whole-of-society’ approach. Included in this programme is the Youth Safety and Religious Partnership (YSRP) programme which receives R3.670 million in 2017/18 and transfers to the City of Cape Town for the Community Stabilisation Unit’s expansion and deployment into volatile areas to the tune of R11.642 million over the MTEF.

PROGRAMME 4: Security Risk Management, Honourable Speaker, receives R99.715 million for the 2017/18 financial year. This relates mainly to the implementation of Section 6 of the Western Cape Community Safety Act in respect of the formal accreditation, training and resourcing of our Neighbourhood Watches in the province.

Honourable Speaker, the Department’s own Revenue Budget for 2017/18 is R30.340 million. It is estimated, however, that the Western Cape Liquor Authority will collect revenue to the amount of R29.853 million during 2017/18. Projections do not include the proposed increases in the fees as contained in the draft Western Cape Liquor Regulations.

PRIORITIES

Honourable Speaker, the Department of Community Safety focus its work, guided by Chapter 11 of the Constitution, around a service delivery model called the Community Safety Improvement Partnership (CSIP) – which aims to:

  • Promote professional policing through effective oversight,
  • Promote safety at all public buildings and spaces,
  • Establish viable safety partnerships within communities, and
  • Reduce alcohol related harms.

Promote professional policing through effective oversight

Honourable Speaker, it is important to emphasise that the Department of Community Safety has no operational control over the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the province. We support the work done under Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Jula, and his management team. Each and every dedicated, hard-working man and woman in blue deserves the full support of this legislature and of every person in the province. As for the bad apples that tarnish the good name of the SAPS, I support the decisive actions being taken whenever and wherever corruption, fraud or criminality rears its head within the ranks of the police.

Honourable Speaker, as a Department and Provincial Government, we take our oversight mandate seriously and have legislated accordingly. We will continue to hold the police accountable in the interest of the communities they serve. Key to this is the mandated station oversight visits administering the National Monitoring Tool (NMT) and monitoring SAPS compliance with the implementation of its obligations in terms of the Domestic Violence Act (DVA).

The Department is implementing the Community Safety Act and all its regulations. As envisaged in the Act, the Department has received the first batch of quarterly crime statistics from the police for every station in the province. This is a first in South Africa and an important milestone not only for our oversight capacity but also for the dissemination of statistical crime information for the utilisation by all spheres of government and the larger safety fraternity to ensure faster resource allocations in response to crime trends.

Another first in South Africa is the formal accreditation of Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) formations. Since the regulations were promulgated in October 2016, the Department has already accredited 39 NHW formations.

Honourable Speaker, accredited NHWs will be our key safety partners in communities, assisting us in the role out of existing programmes and piloting new ones. In 2017/18, the Department will accredit a further 100 NHW formations and provide training to at least 40 accredited NHWs.

One of our oversight allies in the province remain the invaluable work done by the Community Policing Forums (CPFs). Although the CPFs are the statutory responsibility of the SAPS, the Department supports the work of the CPFs through the Expanded Partnership Programme (EPP) in co-producing oversight information over SAPS and general safety information.

The EPP has since 2013 been fully implemented across the 150 CPFs across the province. Additional administrative support is provided to CPFs by the Department through the placement of Chrysalis graduates. Thus far 27 graduates have been placed at CPFs across the province and going forward, graduates will be focused in Gunya, Saldanha Bay, Khayelitsha and Paarl East.

In 2016, 28 training and support interventions were facilitated by the Department for CPFs and R207 313 was unlocked by CPFs through EPP matching grants. For the 2017/18 financial year, the focus for EPP matching grants applications will be focused on addressing the safety needs identified in the Community Safety Plans drawn up at last year’s PNP sessions.

The Office of the Provincial Police Ombudsman is in its third year of operation investigating poor service delivery from police or any breakdown in relations between the police and the community.

Most of the complaints investigated by the Ombudsman speak to a lack of communication between SAPS and communities and unacceptable behaviour by SAPS members towards complainants. Since inception, 870 cases have been received and investigated of which 497 has been finalised. I am confident that the funding made available to the Ombudsman for staff appointments will see the Office of the Ombudsman able to resolve the 373 cases still under investigation.

Honourable Speaker, the court Watching Briefs unit now operates in 30 courtrooms across the Western Cape as it aims to identify and address systemic failures and challenges of SAPS which often result in the removal of cases from the court roll. Since its inception, the Watching Briefs unit has examined 662 criminal cases, many of which have found their way back onto the court roll thanks to our intervention. For 2017/18, the unit will focus more on post monitoring of cases and aims to have regular meetings with all stakeholders, including the SAPS, NPA and the Department of Justice.

I am very concerned about the report released by the Standing Committee regarding our low conviction rates in the province. I will call for an urgent meeting with the Police leadership and the NPA to address the issue. We cannot allow hundreds of murderers, rapists and criminals not seeing their day in court.

Honourable Speaker, the Policing Needs and Priorities (PNP) process affords communities and stakeholders the opportunity to express their particular policing needs and safety priorities per police cluster. Last year, the two-day workshop in each of the 16 police clusters saw the update of the Community Safety Plans. In the new financial year, the Department will focus on Paarl East Vredenburg/Saldanha, Khayelitsha and Gunya to conduct stakeholder engagements while implementation of all Safety Plans across the province will be monitored and promoted through the EPP matching grants applications.

Regarding the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry, the Department is as committed as ever to see all the recommendations fully implemented.  For 2017/18 the Department of Community Safety has committed to financially supporting community based initiatives through the Khayelitsha Priorities Committee, jointly chaired by SAPS and DoCS.

Regarding Promoting safety at all public buildings and spaces

Honourable Speaker, the Department remains responsible for leading the Transversal Security Risk Management Strategy as adopted by Cabinet in 2013. To this extend, the Security Support Team (SST) has been established and is functional since February 2017. It comprises 30 security officials who respond to some of the imminent and emerging threats. In 2017/18 the Department will continue to provide support in terms of security, guarding and access control services at special events.

Honourable Speaker, two of the main priorities for the Department of Community Safety in 2017/18 in promoting safety at all public buildings and public spaces is to help address the increase in attacks on Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and the safety of learners at schools in the most violence prone areas.

The Department of Community Safety, Education and Health have been in regular consultation to develop a strategic approach which is simple yet deals with the complex safety threats the different organisations face. We are in the final stages and will be revealing our response efforts, in cooperation with local government and law enforcement entities like the police, in the next coming weeks. The Security Support Team, with other safety partners, will play an integral role in its focussed support at prioritised schools during the 2017/18 financial year.

Establish viable safety partnerships within communities

Honourable Speaker, one of our most successful formal partnerships in creating safer spaces is the mobile Safety Kiosks. Through partners in municipalities, City Improvement Districts and the Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU), these kiosks provide a link between communities and the SAPS. In 2017/18, Safety Kiosks are prioritised for the Khayelitsha and Gunya areas, Drakenstein Municipality and Saldanha Municipality.

Honourable Speaker, the provincial government is committed to creating opportunities for youth. The Youth Safety and Religious Partnership (YSRP) programme is currently in its 5th year of implementation. Through partnering with the religious fraternity in the province during school holiday periods, the Department has reached more than 68 077 youths with programmes focussing on awareness and prevention of drug abuse, gangsterism, gender-based violence, child trafficking and the provision of life skills development and practical safety tips.

For the new financial year the Department will prioritise high-risk areas during the June and December/January school holidays including: Nyanga, Gugulethu, Paarl-East, Villiersdorp, Saldanha Bay, Delft, Mfuleni, Kraaifontein, Mitchell’s Plain, Khayelitsha, Philippi-East, Bishop Lavis, Manenberg, Imizamo Yethu and Masiphumelele.

Our youth development programmes targets ‘youth at risk’ between the ages of 18 and 25 years. To date, 3581 youth have benefited from the training and placement opportunities provided.

Honourable Speaker, I am proud of the impact our Department has had into the heart of our communities through targeted Safety Outreaches, focused on opportunities for our youth, the lost generation, and empowering the vulnerable in our communities – youth, women and going forward, the elderly.

The Department’s annual youth month, women’s month and 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children will continue and we will continue to link up qualifying youth to funding possibilities through our Northlink FET College bursary application outreach activities. Since we started our partnership, youths have been afforded the opportunity to further their academic qualifications at Northlink and many have graduated succesfully.

Honourable Speaker, in 2016 we launched our Walking Bus initiative as a pilot programme to help ensure a safer walking route for learners to and from school. We set out thinking it might be difficult to get volunteers on board. We have been able to launch 30 Walking Busses in total in several of our vulnerable areas, I thank the concerned community members who keep coming to the fore wanting to play an active role in the safety of their children and community.

For the 2017/18 financial year the Department will focus on developing a monitoring plan to help ensure the sustainability of Walking Busses and I look forward to the launch of new Walking Busses in communities, including Eastridge, Woodlands, Parow Valley, Leiden (Delft), Belhar, Clarke Estate, Ravensmead, Bellville South, Uitsig, Khayelitsha Site C and Site B, Du Noon, Mfuleni, Atlantis, Gugulethu, Nyanga, Langa, Matroosfontein, Happy Valley, Heinz Park, The Range and Valhalla Park.

Honourable Speaker, with still too many youth running around with guns, youth being caught in the crossfire of guns, youth becoming involved with gangs and drugs; the outreach team in my Department is constantly looking at ways in which we can better assist the efforts of other departments or the police in keeping our youth safe.

Guns are flowing to the Western Cape. We have to keep asking the tough questions: Who supplies the guns? The SAPS investigations and intelligence needs to answer to where the guns are coming from. Gang bosses and drug lords are known in each community. What are we doing about it?

To this extend I am patiently awaiting the details from the National Minister of Police regarding the proposed gun amnesty period which he earmarked for the beginning of April. I have, in principle, given my support to this attempt to rid our communities of the guns that kill. Upon confirmation of the gun amnesty period and the details pertaining to the amnesty, I will request the Department, its safety partners and the people of this province to support our outreach initiatives in support of the police.

Every gun taken off the street is one less gun which can potentially end a life prematurely, rip a family apart or perpetuates the cycle of violence and abuse in our communities.

Reduce alcohol related harms

Honourable Speaker, the abuse of substances in the province is concerning. Alcohol, in particular, has been found to be a contributing factor to interpersonal violence in our province.

The Department is proudly taking the lead in the Alcohol Harms Reduction (AHR) Game Changer as directed by Cabinet. Since the publishing of the AHR Roadmap in April 2016, the Department has seen significant progress in the implementation thereof. A Steering Committee has been established consisting of WCG Departments and the SAPS, City of Cape Town (CoCT), the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) and Violence Prevention Though urban Upgrading (VPUU).

The AHR Game Changer strategy is being refined with a heightened focus on increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) and specific focus is placed on delivering its basket of services in the identified high risk pilot sites of Khayelitsha (Town 2), Gugulethu and Nyanga (Hlazo Village, KTC and Lusaka) and Paarl East (Fairy Land and Smarty Town). The NHW members that man Safety Kiosks have received first aid training and are equipped with first aid kits. This is a first for NHWs in the Western Cape.

With the executive responsibilities related to the Western Cape Liquor Act, 2008 transferred to the Minister of Community Safety with effect from 1 April 2016, it provided an opportunity with the aim to reduce the high alcohol consumption rate.

The AHR Game Changer aims to reduce the rate of personal injuries and crime caused by alcohol, through a number of awareness interventions. The aim of the Department in collaboration with the WCLA, through the AHR Game Changer, is to reduce the number of illegal shebeens trading without liquor licences and to focus its law enforcement operations against distributors who sell liquor to unlicensed liquor traders.

The proposed amendments to the Western Cape Liquor Regulations, 2011 that were recently consulted through a process of public participation will enable WCLA liquor inspectors as well as Local Law Enforcement to play a more direct role in the policing of unlicensed liquor traders.

CONCLUSION

Honourable Speaker, no single entity, sphere of government or organisation will be successful in attempts to reduce crime and creating safer environments if they try to go at it alone.

Safety is everyone’s responsibility and we all have to work better together, stretching our limited resources further, pooling our inputs, sharing our knowledge, experience and interventions to make the difference in people’s lives.

Honourable Speaker, I wish to thank every member of the DoCS family – the staff, Directors and Chief Directors, office of the Ombudsman and the Liquor Authority – under the leadership of our Head of Department, Gideon Morris, for their continued support, efforts and inputs in this regard.

I thank the Chairperson and each member of the Standing Committee on Community Safety for their role in helping to ensure the Department delivers on its mandate.

I thank the staff in my Ministry, including the protection unit, for their commitment and professional assistance at all times.

I thank all the visitors in the gallery, the Church Leaders, the youth, the educators, community leaders and Walking bus Members and all our other safety partners out there.

Honourable Speaker, this budget is a budget to help improve the safety of our communities for their prosperity. This budget will enable our Department to extend a helping hand to our youth – a generation who run the risk of becoming lost to the evils of gangs, guns and drugs. We will continue to partner with police in the province; continue to support and partner with our communities and the broader safety fraternity. We do not shy away from our responsibility and we urge communities to partner with us and with the police.

I thank you.

Media Enquiries: 

Ewald Botha, Spokesperson for Minister Plato,

Cell no: 079 694 1113