2014/2015 Department of Community Safety Budget Speech | Western Cape Government

Speeches

2014/2015 Department of Community Safety Budget Speech

24 March 2014

Oversight and Partnerships can make this Province Safer

In May 2009 the people of the Western Cape chose a new government to lead this province as they believe that we are the best choice to ensure effective and efficient service delivery and believe that we can improve the lives of all.

It has been my job, through the public mandate we received, to increase the safety of our communities since I joined this government as Minister of Community Safety three years ago. Our approach to achieving the goals we have set for ourselves has been structured under this government’s Strategic Objective 5: Increasing Safety.

We would never have accomplished all that we have if not for the many partnerships that we have created with civil society, academics, NGOs, the business sector, the religious community, and various other government structures. These partnerships would not have been created and sustained if not for the several hundred dedicated Community Safety employees who keep these partnerships alive and who work towards achieving our goals.

We have realized that our budget and resources can only go so far, and that only through leveraging the strengths of others and drawing on a whole of society approach will we achieve a safer place for everyone to live, work, and relax in.

Speaker, at the opening of this parliament in May 2009, Helen Zille, the Premier of this Province, set out the role of the Department of Community Safety; she said:

“We have the function of monitoring the performance of the police, setting priorities for the region, and appointing commissions of inquiry into problem areas in policing, such as endemic corruption.”

 

The Premier also said that,

“Substance abuse, murder and crime in general, are serious disincentives to capital and skills, and directly ruin the lives of a growing number of our citizens.”

The Premier spoke of this government’s “objective of creating jobs and building the economy.” Safety is a fundamental element that underpins this economic growth.

I believe that the budget of this Department has appropriately been aligned to our Strategic Objective 5: Increasing Safety, in order to effectively address these serious issues and build on the successes that we have already achieved.

Speaker, the budget allocation for the Western Cape Department of Community Safety for the 2014-2015 financial year, is R222 566 000. This represents an increase of 14.97% or R28, 97 million.

It must be noted that the budget allocation for the Programme: Traffic Law Enforcement is no longer part of this Department’s budget allocation, as this programme  will  reside within the Department of Transport and Public Works as from 1 April of this year. I will speak more about this later in the speech.

We consider the increase in our budget allocation to be a vote of confidence in the work the Department is doing, and an indication that we are indeed moving in the right direction when it comes to increasing the safety of our communities and conducting oversight over the South African Police Service and law enforcement agencies in this province.

The increase in the budget is largely from funding received for: the successful Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) projects run by the Department, based on conditional grants;  funding for the development of the brand new Wolwekloof Academy, which is intended to build on our Chrysalis Academy;  the soon to be launched Police Ombudsman Office; and the on-going implementation of the Security Framework Strategy.

Our Department is driven mostly by human capital - it is our employees who are the face of the Department, the people on the ground in our communities, organising public meetings, training neighbourhood watch members, facilitating youth safety programmes, conducting the very important oversight visits to police stations and building the necessary partnerships.

Programme 1: Administration

As of 1 April 2014, the Department will comprise 4 Programmes. The first of these is the Administration Programme that provides support services to the rest of the Department and has been largely responsible for the favourable audit outcomes that the Western Cape Department of Community Safety has received over the past 4 years.

With a continued focus on good governance and efficient service delivery this unit can take us forward to yet another clean audit. The budget allocated to Programme 1 is R39,3 million and shows an average increase of 6.53% over the MTEF period. The increased budget for Programme 1 is in line with the inflationary increase and relates mainly to personnel costs.

The Western Cape Department of Community Safety was awarded the prize for the best functioning provincial government Department in the National Batho Pele Excellence Award for 2013 by the National Government. The Department was also placed first in the Province and third in the country for the Monitoring Performance Assessment Tool, or MPAT as it is commonly referred to. This award is another indication  that the Department is indeed on the right track when it comes to how we carry out our duties.

The Goods and Services budget for 2014/15 shows a decrease of 10.8%, when measured against the 2013/14 adjusted appropriation. This decrease is attributed to our stringent cost cutting measures to ensure that we spend responsibly - we are leading by example.

Programme 2: Civilian Oversight

The second programme is Civilian Oversight. Since 2010 the budget for our Civilian Oversight has increased by 94%, which is a clear indication of the important role that we believe police oversight plays in a constitutional democracy. This programme is allocated R27,4 million.

We received a once off allocation of funding last year for the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry into Policing, which accounts for the dip in funding, when compared to the previous year.  The funds needed for the Commission were allocated as an addition to the budget of the Department. We believe that this cost was absolutely necessary to address the on-going crime and serious concerns that have been raised with regards to policing in Khayelitsha. The Constitutional Court, in a unanimous decision, gave the Commission the green light and noted that the province was obligated to take reasonable steps to shield the residents of Khayelitsha from an unrelenting invasion of their fundamental rights as a result of the alleged police inefficiency. The outcomes of this Inquiry will help a great deal in addressing policing service delivery challenges across the province.

The National Development Plan and the Provincial Strategic Objective: 5 Increasing Safety, both aim to promote professional policing. A professional police service is what the people of the Western Cape are entitled to.

The Western Cape Provincial Police Ombudsman office, a first of its kind for South Africa, will provide a platform for the people of this province to raise their service delivery complaints concerning the police. The Police Ombudsman will have the required expertise, legal mandate and resources to effectively deal with such complaints of communities to ensure policing of a professional standard, to increase accountability and we believe, act as a catalyst for improved policing.  We hope that other provincial governments will see the benefits of this service and roll out a similar structure in their provinces.

Another exciting project developed by my Department has been the “Watching Briefs,” which is in line with the operational coordination and support to the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster (JCPS), Section 206 (3) (a) of the Constitution and the National Development Plan. This project was piloted with much success during the 2012/2013 financial year and strengthened and institutionalised in 2013/14 in partnership with the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

The Department has to date, in partnership with the UWC, monitored approximately 300 (mostly murder) cases as part of the “Watching Briefs”. The findings of the Department in 27 cases were completed and presented in a report to SAPS. This report allowed SAPS senior management to pursue internal disciplinary processes against 19 SAPS officers who were found to be negligent in the execution of their duties. This is what we understand to be effective police oversight as outlined in the South African Constitution – helping the police to provide a better service to the people of the Western Cape. I wish to thank the Provincial Commissioner for his decisive action in these cases.

Speaker, in 2010, the Department was spending about R42 million on Crime Prevention programmes – by comparison next year we shall spend R83 million, which represents an increase of 95% over four years. This money is focused mainly on Youth Development Programmes, neighbourhood watch programmes, supporting Community Police Forums through the EPP programme and creating capable safety partnerships within the religious fraternity and various organisations working to make all communities safe. 

Youth Safety

One of the key focus areas under our Strategic Objective is reducing the motivators for crime to occur. We have paid particular attention to the youth, and most specifically, the youth at risk. We run programmes in conjunction with partners to provide alternative options for the youth.

Other projects such as our Youth, Safety and Religion Partnership Project (YSRP) started at the end of 2012 and has continued from one successful holiday period to another.  We have provided almost R2,5 million in financial assistance to 96 religious organisations working to develop youth social crime intervention initiatives on a local level and in areas affected by gang violence and high levels of crime in the Western Cape. Close to 20 000 youth have already benefitted from this programme.

Speaker, the majority of these programmes are run in our previously disadvantaged communities where the youth often feel that they have no future. This administration believes in creating a society of opportunity, and that is exactly what we have been doing with the budget allocated to this Department – we are creating opportunities and our youth at risk are grabbing them with both hands.

The Youth Work Programme run by the Western Cape Department of Community Safety has had great successes and will see the establishment of a further 1400 job opportunities for unemployed youth.  This is in addition to the hundreds of tertiary education opportunities that this department has facilitated with our FET college partners. Youth who were once gangsters, drug addicts, and social delinquents, are now studying engineering, safety and security, welding and many other courses – they have chosen to change their lives and grab the opportunities that we bring to them.

The Chrysalis Youth Academy, an educational institute developed by this government for youth at risk remains at the forefront of the Department’s attempts to address the safety challenges faced by youth. An estimated 600 youth from all over the Western Cape will undergo training at the Chrysalis Academy during the upcoming financial year.  I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the CEO, Lucille Meyer, for her dedication and hard work in leading the academy.

The Department is not only the main funder of the Chrysalis Academy; it also makes it possible for the graduates to access stipend payments through work opportunities created under the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

During this financial year, the Department rolled out the “Youth Work Programme” for graduates from the Chrysalis Academy who were placed on a nine (9) month internship with public safety partnerships throughout the Western Cape.

The Department has formalised these safety partnerships with 96 organisations to date placing a minimum of 450 Chrysalis Graduates as interns at a cost of R9.1 million.

Speaker, some of these youth, who are part of our Chrysalis Programme, and part of our FET partnership are here today, sitting in the gallery. I want to thank them for choosing to take advantage of the opportunities we have provided them. These youth could only change their lives because they were presented with the opportunities and chose to take advantage of them.

By providing our youth at risk with the relevant training, and following up with employment opportunities, we are making our communities safer from within. These youth become an inspiration to their peers who often believe that they have no hope in society, until they see their friends and family members prosper through the guidance provided by this government. This is Better Together in action.

Speaker, one of the most exciting developments that this Department will soon be rolling out, is the new Wolwekloof Youth Academy, which aims to replicate the successes we have seen at our Chrysalis Academy.

The Department last year took the initiative, in collaboration with the Safety Lab, to prepare and present its business plan to the National Treasury for European Union grant funding.

In January this year we were informed that we were successful in this application and that we were allocated R40 million, over the next three years. We shall use this funding to expand our reach on the Chrysalis Youth Development Programme to beyond the Cape Metro and reach more vulnerable youth and youth from poor communities across this Province.

Programme 3: Crime Prevention & Community Liaison

The third programme, which is Crime Prevention and Community Liaison, will continue with its functions of building partnerships with CPFs and community organisations to improve safety within our communities.

The Programme shows growth of 33.4% to R83,1 million for the 2014/15 year. 

The Sub-programmes Community Police Relations and Promotion of Safety shows a substantial increase of 39.5% and 222.8% respectively for the 2014/15 financial year if compared with the adjustments budget for 2013/14.  This increase is attributed to additional funding provided for Community Police Forums through the Expanded Partnership Programme as well as funding for the Wolwekloof project.

In line with section 206 (1) of the Constitution, CPFs support the Department in performing Civilian Oversight as co-producers of safety information required by the province to determine its Policing Needs and Priorities.

The Department implemented the Expanded Partnership Programme (EPP) to promote the activities and functions of CPFs and build strong civil society structures which are critical to the success of safer communities. To date 138 of the 150 CPFs have signed up for this programme, which is a clear indication that they see the value in producing this information.

We also hope to strengthen Neighbourhood Watch structures through an increased allocation of equipment, training and the deployment of youth as safety coordinators, in all 150 police precincts. This safety coordinator will assist the NHW structure with managing and maintaining equipment; reporting on the work of these NHWs, reporting on safety incidents and monitoring the implementation of Provincial Policing Needs and Priorities (PNPs).

In relation to enhancing oversight over policing activities in the Province, the Department conducted Policing Needs and Priorities (PNP) consultation sessions with the 25 clusters and drafted the 2013/2014 Policing Needs and Priorities report. 

Since taking office, we have produced the PnP report on an annual basis, as required of us by the Constitution. This report is informed by public opinion, real life cases, and expert research. To date, however, the national SAPS leadership have largely ignored our findings when determining policing priorities for this province, despite the Constitutional obligation that exists on the National Minister to consider the policing needs and priorities as determined by the Provincial Executive.

We shall continue to enhance our ability to determine the policing needs and priorities of all communities and to use this information to influence the alignment between the available resources to the needs that exist. A discussion of policing needs and priorities has become a standing item discussed with the National Minister during MINMEC meetings.

Speaker, the Safety Lab, which is an ideas lab with a mandate from the Department to identify and develop innovative safety and security solutions, was established in 2012. Their target market is primarily poorer areas – typically faced with higher levels of violence and less able to mobilise community and private sector responses.  We look forward to many more innovative and sustainable safety solutions from the Safety Lab in the coming year.

Programme  4 : Security Risk Management

The final programme is that of Security Risk Management. This Programme shows an increase of 11.26% to R72, 633 million for 2014/15 period. Over the MTEF period the Programme shows a growth of 9.27 % and this is brought about by the implementation of the Security Framework Strategy. 

The Transversal Safety Strategy approved by Cabinet, will be implemented over a three year period focussing on building capacity and creating an organisational structure that will assist the Western Cape Government to ensure that institutions, people and assets are protected.

The Safety and Security Strategy will challenge the old paradigm and thinking towards security and facilitate a process of change so that Departments realise that security is more than just a guard at the entrance. 

Implementation of the Strategy will better position the WCG as a whole to facilitate the improvement of wider social conditions by reflecting the kind of spaces we want to see within our communities.

Western Cape Traffic Services

In closing speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to thank and say farewell to all our traffic officers, and their chief director, Mr Kenny Africa. Mr Africa, his management team, and the hundreds of traffic officers and support staff, have proven to be the best run and most effective traffic service in the country, with many of their innovative approaches being adopted at a national level.

Let me now take the opportunity to proudly list some of the awards that our traffic Department has received from the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC).

The RTMC awarded our Traffic Department:

Best Provincial Authority with Alcohol Enforcement Plan - The Western Cape Government started a weekend alcohol blitz programme where 24 road blocks are set up every single weekend of the year, since 1st April 2010. We were awarded for being the only province in the country with such a programme.

Other awards include:

Best Traffic Training Centre: Gene Louw Traffic College

Best Education and Training Development (ETD) Practitioner: Ms JJ Tweedie

Most Promising New Facilitator: Mr K Pheiffer

Most Innovative Idea/s: Mr A Barnardo

Going the extra mile: Mr LP Van Oord, C Carelse, and J P Viviers

These awards are an indication to me that the staff in our Provincial Traffic Department have really delivered a quality service to the people of the Western Cape.

Speaker, combined with the Department of Transport’s Safely Home programme we believe that an integrated approach to increasing road safety in the Western Cape is going to produce even better results in the coming years. Our men and women of the Western Cape Traffic Department can be proud of the work they have done, and should push themselves to produce even better results with the new support that they will receive from their new colleagues. Thank you for making our roads a safer place for all the residents of this province and the many many visitors that come to our beautiful home.

I would like to thank my HOD, Dr Gilbert Lawrence for steering this Department into the streamlined and focused position that we are now in. Four consecutive clean audits is no small feat, especially in an environment as challenging as the one we find ourselves in.

This Department’s Chief Directors, Gideon Morris, Kenny Africa, Simeon George, the now retired as Chief Director, Douw Steyn, and Moegamat Frizlar, acting Chief Director, have been the captains under the HOD’s watch who have made this Department a success, and all the employees of this Department are essential in carrying out our mandate. I thank them for the excellent work that they have done and ask that they continue to stay motivated to make our communities a safer place for all.

I would like to thank the Standing Committee on Cultural Affairs and Sport and Community Safety, under the leadership of chairperson Mark Wiley. I would like to thank my counterpart in the City of Cape Town, Alderman JP Smith, all our Metro Police, and their chief, Wayne le Roux.

I would like to thank my ministry staff and my outreach team for the long hours they regularly put in.

My family have supported me without question during the last three years, and I thank them for this.

I thank the Premier, Helen Zille and my cabinet colleagues, for their continued support, guidance and friendship.

I would like to thank the Provincial Police Commissioner, General Arno Lamoer, his deputy police commissioners, and all those hard working and dedicated police officers in this province - the men and women in blue who risk their lives every day to protect the people of this province. We have seen the impact of effective visible policing, as applied in Manenberg, during the height of gang violence. We know that for the peace to be sustainable, it is not up to the police alone.

When children as young as 10 are running around the streets with guns, you need to acknowledge that this problem is bigger than the police and any government. Parents have a critical role to play in our communities. We can provide all the policing, and all the government interventions, but our interventions will not be sustainable if the communities do not work with us. Where the communities have taken up the challenge and worked with government, we have seen the impact, and I thank these brave men and women in our communities across the province. Thank you to those that volunteer their time for neighbourhood watches across the province and thank you to the CPF members, chairs, cluster chairpersons and the Provincial Board.

Speaker, it is my hope that the police patrolling our communities will receive the support that they need so that we can have the level of visible policing that this province deserves, and so that our police officers can do their work to the level that is expected by the public, and a level that they themselves strive towards. We need reservists, we need more officers - this is a fact. Officers are over worked and under supported by their national leadership.

This Department will not step back from its oversight role which is always aimed at fixing the future – aimed at making the police service of the Western Cape a better, more effective service for everyone. Together, with the whole of society playing their part, we can make our communities a safer place for all.

 

Thank you.

Media Enquiries: 

Greg Wagner
Spokesperson for Dan Plato, Minister of Community Safety
Cell: 072 623 4499