2015/2016 Department of Community Safety Budget Speech | Western Cape Government

Speeches

2015/2016 Department of Community Safety Budget Speech

26 March 2015

Honourable Speaker,
Premier,
Cabinet Colleagues,
Members of the Standing Committee on Community Safety,
Members of the Provincial Parliament,
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,
Director-General, Head of Department,
Department of Community Safety, and Ministry staff,
Members of the Provincial CPF Board, CPF and Neighbourhood Watch members, Non-Governmental Organisations,
Our partners in safety,
Distinguished guests.

The 2015/2016 Budget for the Department of Community Safety has, at its core, the focus of increasing safety in all of the Western Cape’s communities.  Our core philosophy, which Premier Zille referred to in her State of the Province Address, is the concept of the “Whole-of-Society.” Key to realising and giving meaning to the “Whole of society” concept is the shifting of programmes and activities towards an approach aimed at creating safety with communities instead of creating safety for communities. Our aim is to work with communities, in formal partnerships, to create safer environments and communities in which crime is less likely to occur.

When we talk about the society as a whole and how it relates to safety, it includes government, government entities such as the police, private sector, public sector, non-governmental organisations and most importantly the communities themselves.

The queries and complaints my office receives on a daily basis makes one thing very clear: we are all concerned about having safer communities.

The Department of Community Safety believes that meaningful partnerships are at the heart of our approach to increasing safety and all role-players involved need to constantly take one another’s hand as a united force against crime. It is meaningful partnerships that make a neighbourhood a community and which weaves a social fabric which cannot be torn by any obstacle or negative social behaviour.

Included in the problem statement which this government’s Strategic Goal 3 ‘Increase wellness, safety and tackle social ills,’ intends to address is the realisation that social dysfunction has serious and wide-ranging consequences. There exists a lack of sense of belonging and purpose amongst frustrated youth with increasing unsafe habits and behaviours. At the same time our communities as a whole are feeling more vulnerable.

These are the needs and fears that require us to transition from policy to practice with urgency.

The budget allocation for the Western Cape Department of Community Safety (DoCS) for the 2015/16 financial year is R234 574 000 (Two hundred and thirty four million). This represents an increase of R4.8 million (2.13%) when compared to the adjusted budget of R229 685 000 (Two hundred and twenty nine million).

If the additional once-off funds amounting to R5,9 million, which were received during the budget adjustments in 2014/15 are discounted, then the overall increase amounts to  4,8%, which remains  in line with inflationary increases. In this regard I thank the Honourable Minister of Finance, Dr Ivan Meyer, for his considered approach in his resource allocation which enables my Department to do its job.

53.9. % of the total budget is allocated to the Compensation of Employees, followed by 32.7% for Goods and Services, and Transfers and Capital Assets making up 11.4% and 2.0% respectively.

The 2015/16 Budget of the Department of Community Safety will empower our communities towards safer environments where we live, work and move about. This vision has given effect to the Community Safety Improvement Partnership (CSIP) with the key focus to improve safety for the people of the province, in a manner which is fully aligned to the recommendations made in chapter 12 of the National Development Plan on building safer communities and which is aligned to National Outcome 3: All people in South Africa are and feel safe.

With the 2015/16 Budget and through its Community Safety Improvement Plan, the Western Cape Government through the Department of Community Safety will work tirelessly to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Promote professional policing through systems of effective oversight;
  • Ensure that all public spaces and buildings are safer;
  • Build community resilience from within communities and in partnership with communities; and
  • Deal with safety concerns through viable safety partnerships and innovative safety programmes and interventions.

Further to this the Department will continue with its efforts to fully implement the recommendations made by the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry especially those relating to the Department and Western Cape Government.  Speaker, key to our success in giving effect to the recommendations of the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry is the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the Department and the South African Police Service (SAPS), which sadly remains pending as we eagerly await direction from the National Minister of Police.

The following breakdown of programmes highlights some of the exciting initiatives which will give effect to our shared vision of a safer province:

Programme 1: Administration will continue providing support services to the rest of the Department and will strive towards the attainment of our fifth consecutive clean audit outcome in 2015/16.

The Programme shows an average increase of 4.94% over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period. The increase is in line with inflationary increases and is mainly driven by personnel costs. The Goods and services budget for 2015/16 shows an increase of 22.14%, when measured against the 2014/15 revised estimate and the increase is attributed to the anticipated increase on spending on minor assets and audit costs.

Programme 2: Provincial Secretariat for Police Services.
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in its chapter 11, clearly states that policing is a national function. As the Western Cape Government we therefore have no operational control over the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the province.

We do, however, take our constitutional mandate of determining the policing needs and priorities, conducting oversight, dealing with service delivery complaints against the police and promoting good relationships between the police and communities very serious in this province.  That is why we will continue to hold the police to account but to also proactively work with communities to strengthen the capacity of community structures by means of formal partnerships.

We are mindful of the fact that this cannot be done in isolation and, as is set-out in the National Development Plan, requires an integrated approach.

I am pleased to report back, that the budget structure of Programme 2 is now fully aligned with the uniformed structure proposed by National Treasury and which is aligned with the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Act.

The effect of this, however, is that comparisons with previous budget and spending trends are not possible; suffice to say that the R 55.178 million investment made in this programme is in essence aimed at the promotion of professional policing as is envisaged by chapter 12 of the National Development Plan.

As Finance Minister, Dr Ivan Meyer, pointed out when he tabled the budget, behind these figures are very real people, with very real needs and challenges. This Department’s budget is about addressing those safety needs and challenges.

Policing Needs and Priorities

Section 206 (1) read with sub-section (2) calls on the provincial executive to determine the policing needs and priorities of people in that province and for the National Minister to formulate policing policies that are responsive to such needs and priorities.

It is for this reason that my Department aims to improve the impact of available policing and safety resources within the province, by accurately determining the provincial Policing Needs and Priorities (PNPs). This is done by means of a consultative processes and by influencing the allocation and deployment of such policing and safety resources aligned to the needs and priorities that exist within the various communities.

Following these consultative processes the department shall, during this year, facilitate community safety plans for communities, in close collaboration with community entities such as the Community Police Forum (CPF) and Neighbourhood Watch Structures supported by the Municipalities within their respective Integrated Development Plans (IDPs).

Allocated budgets furthermore provide for research projects aimed at the improved understanding of systemic failures within the policing and safety environment to be conducted in an effort to improve on government policies.

Expanded Public Partnership (EPP)

Speaker, key to our efforts to create capacity within communities is our Expanded Partnership Programme or EPP as it is commonly referred to. This programme gives strong recognition to the important statutory functions of Community Police Forums as set out in section 18 of the South African Police Services Act.

The EPP furthermore provides every CPF in the province with a dedicated budget and cost benefit analysis of the work that they perform. The benefits of this programme is now well documented as we are able to channel increasing amounts of funds to community structures, whilst at the same time ensuring high levels of functionality of such community structures.

Having said this, I must however, emphasise that the day to day monitoring and management of CPFs remains beyond the mandate of the Department. This is as a result of outdated interim regulations, which are now 14 years later in urgent need of updating so as to have clarity between the roles of province, the police and the secretariat as it pertains to the day to day operations of CPFs.

The total budget set aside for the support of CPFs and the EPP programme for 2015/2016 amounts to R14.1 million. I am also pleased to announce the appointment of the new director of the Community Police Relations directorate, Mr Thabo Shaku who will join the senior management team of the department as from 1 April 2015.

Mr Shaku who has a strong social work background with extensive community empowerment experience will undoubtedly add much value to our efforts to empower communities to build strong, sustainable and cost effective community structures.

Partnerships with the Neighbourhood Watches (NHWs) will be strengthened through a formal process of accreditation as is outlined in section 6 of the Community Safety Act.  Accreditation will be supplemented with training and equipment with priority given to high crime areas and poorer communities.

These measures, as described in the Community Safety Act, are crucial steps to the professionalization of the NHWs, to empower citizens to become responsive to  their own safety and the safety of their immediate communities.

My office is inundated with calls, comments and requests from the people of the Western Cape who have had enough of crime crippling their communities or holding their communities hostage. The professionalization of the NHW will see the NHW structures grow into the positive, supportive, community lead action against crime that is needed to rid our communities of crime.

Programme 3: Provincial Policing Functions

As mentioned before, the restructuring of the budget structure does not allow for meaningful comparisons to previous years’ spending patterns. This is a new programme created to give effect to the initiatives taken by the WCG which are not provided for in the legal framework of the Civilian Secretariat Act.

The Constitutional Court in its ruling on the matter of the National Minister of Police and the Premier of the Western Cape on the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry in its unanimous ruling stated and I quote, “The entitlements in Section 206(3) are recognition that, whilst a province has no control over the policing function, it has a legitimate interest that its residents are shielded from crime and that they enjoy the protection of effective, efficient and visible policing. That explains why the province has the authority and duty to raise its concerns on policing in the province with the Minister. Thus the entitlements accord with the province’s duty to respect, protect and promote fundamental rights of its residents”.

The Constitutional Court furthermore commented that nothing in the scheme of Chapter 11 suggests that the oversight and monitoring role of the province as envisaged in section 206(3) and (5) should be curtailed or supplanted by the role of a civilian secretariat under section 208 of the Constitution. To use the exact words of the Constitutional Court “Sections 206 and 208 serve different purposes which may not be unduly conflated.”

Western Cape Provincial Police Ombudsman

Thousands of people in the Western Cape receive excellent service from the men and woman in blue on a daily basis and we must acknowledge and celebrate our police for this. Yet, many serious crimes go unpunished because of poor policing service delivery by the few police officers who are not committed to serving the people of the Western Cape.

In October 2014, the Premier appointed Adv. Vusi Pikoli as the first Western Cape Police Ombudsman to deal with the complaints of all the people in the province relating to service delivery by members of the South African Police Service and or a breakdown of relations between any community in the province and the police. The powers, functions and duties of the Ombudsman are carefully articulated in sections 10 to 18 of the Western Cape Community Safety Act – which was yet another first for the Western Cape and South Africa.

During the 2015/16 financial year the necessary staffing will be finalised and the office space provided will be expanded. This will ensure that the office is fully capacitated to allow the Ombudsman to continuing giving power back to those who feel powerless and a voice to those who have suffered into silence.

This year the budget allocation made to the Ombudsman is increased by 32.8% amounting to a total of R10 million.

Speaker again I have noted the noise made by the opposition in that they argue that complaints against policing should be dealt with by structures such as the Secretariat or IPID. This position remains however, based on a lack of understanding of the statutory functions governing these institutions. Section 6 (1)(j) of the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Act clearly states that the Secretariat may only and I quote “assess and monitor the police service’s ability to receive and deal with complaints against its members” they have neither the capacity nor the legal mandate to deal with complaints, whereas the Constitutional Court confirmed the powers of the province to do so. Similarly, without discussing the challenges that have crippled the effective functioning of the IPID over recent years, their mandate as set out in section 28 clearly excludes them from dealing with service delivery complaints. It is for this reason that the Western Cape government regards it necessary to invest in the Western Cape Police Ombudsman.   

Watching Briefs Unit

The Constitutional duty assigned to provinces, namely to monitor police conduct, has been enhanced by the very innovative and successful Watching Briefs programme. This programme has resulted in significant numbers of serious crimes being placed back on the court roll and appropriate disciplinary steps being instituted against police officers who did not perform their duties as is required.

During the 2015/2016 financial year, this programme will become a permanent function of the Department of Community Safety and be extended to at least 25 courts in the province. I also wish to acknowledge the continued support for this project from the Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Arno Lamoer, who has demonstrated that if given verifiable facts shall act against those police officers who are negligent in the performance of their duties and by so doing have allowed criminals to side-step the criminal justice system. I also wish to acknowledge our strategic partner in this project the University of the Western Cape and Adv. JC Gerber for his specialised guidance of the project. Funding to the value of R816 000 is allocated for this project, which is to be increased over the MTEF period.

Safety Kiosks

Many communities in our country have historically not had reasonable access to the services of policing or law enforcement. In the Western Cape some of our communities still suffer under the same lack of policing services. In an effort to address this, the Western Cape Government started with the deployment of Safety Kiosks in various communities two years ago. Initially this was done mainly by means of the strategic partnership we have with the City Improvement Districts but last year we started extending this programme to other partners, including the VPUU in Khayelitsha and some municipalities.

Ultimately, we hope to ensure that these Safety Kiosks become safe zones in especially poorer communities that don’t yet have police stations and in areas affected by gang violence.

Due to the operational success of the Safety Kiosks and as a result of increasing demand, the Department of Community Safety will be deploying another 40 Safety Kiosks during the upcoming financial year. This will ensure that we deliver on the promise Premier Zille made to the people of the Western Cape in her State of the Province Address speech a couple of weeks ago..

Speaker, here again I wish to acknowledge the commitments received from the Provincial Commissioner to work with the department on this project. A joint task team has been established to negotiate the terms and conditions of such a partnership through a formal MOA to be concluded, I hope, very shortly.

 

Chrysalis and the Youth Work Programme

Two years ago the Department submitted a proposal to link the Chrysalis Development Programme with the EPWP work programme. As a direct result of this, the Department was able to secure significant additional funding from Provincial Treasury.

The Department of Community Safety will continue to focus on implementing the Youth Safety Work Programme (YSWP) with emphasis on youth and women. In partnership with different role-players, it will demonstrate the enabling opportunities provided to youth at risk through various voluntary community activities by the youth empowerment on the Department’s learning programmes.

Last year more than 1 450 young people were recruited from vulnerable communities, about 800 of them underwent an intensive 3 months training programme at the Chrysalis Academy after which more than 95% of them were successfully placed on a minimum work programme of 9 months, many having since been taken up in permanent work opportunities. All of them benefited from the EPWP  Youth Work programme established by the Department of Community Safety.

The Chrysalis Modular Programme will be rolled out from the Wolwekloof Academy in the 2015/16 financial year, with the aim to implement the best practices achieved by the Department through its Chrysalis Academy programme and thereby further expand the opportunities for youth in the Western Cape.

The Department will increase the opportunities to a minimum of 1 600 youth with R25,1 million provided for Wolwekloof Academy over the MTEF.

I wish to acknowledge the valuable work performed by the CEO of Chrysalis Ms Lucille Meyer, and her team.

Sadly, the EPWP projects undertaken by the department are not all good news. With a cut of 74% from the EPWP grant funds received from National government we are forced to reprioritise our EPWP spending. The effect of this is a reduction of about 41 school safety volunteers or Bambananies as they are often called, who have been deployed at some schools. This will not affect any of the crime hot spot areas and shall not reduce our collective investment in schools safety in partnership with the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Department of Education.

We hope that future national EPWP allocation will be restored.

To address the changing nature of crime, which has escalated beyond the capacity of the EPWP funded volunteers, we are in the process of deploying highly capacitated school safety officers trained in the City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement Auxiliary programme. These higher level Law Enforcement Auxiliary officers will be suitably equipped and mandated to respond to the threats in those communities. At the end of the day the safety of our school children is paramount.

Youth Safety and Religious Partnership Programme

We have for many years known about the valuable work performed, especially in poorer communities, by our Religious Leaders and the religious fraternity in their tireless efforts to rebuild moral fibre and make our communities safe in partnership with the communities.

It is for this reason that the Department entered into formal partnerships with 169 religious organisations during 2014 to run programmes aimed at keeping our youth off the streets during school holidays.

With R5.8 million benefiting 27 000 children and youth thus far we believe the value of this partnership between government and the religious fraternity has been demonstrated.

This year we plan to increase the spending on this programme to R6.5 million all of which will be spent in poorer communities who are most affected by crime.

Programme 4: Security Risk Management shows an increase of 11.38% for 2015/16 period when compared to the 2014/15 revised estimate of R72.634 million. Over the two outer years of the 2015 MTEF, the programme shows an average growth of 5.51% and this is brought about by the implementation of the Safety Security Strategy.

The Department remains intent on reducing opportunities for crime and anti-social behaviour, creating safer and more secure operating environments.  These include more effective access control strategies and operational deployment plans. Intelligent Access Control reports and surveillance footage will increasingly be used as tools to investigate losses and or breaches.  The efficiency of the system would in time also serve to be a deterrent and accordingly remove opportunities to commit crime, through early detection of malicious acts.  Two (2) contract positions have been created to assist with the implementation of the Western Cape Security Risk Management Strategy.

Conclusion

The provincial strategic plan provides the Department of Community Safety with the direction of what must be done. Budget 2015/16 provides the Department with the blueprint of how this will be done. None of our past successes or future aspirations will be possible, however, if it is not for the dedicated men and woman in the Department of Community Safety who ensure that the job gets done.

Every staff member in the Department deserves a special mention for the exceptional work they do and for being the face, voice and ears of government on the ground. I thank you for your dedication.

I wish to thank the Chief Directors, Mr Morris, Mr Frizlar and Mr George for your contributions, leadership and guidance to make this Department efficient, innovative and results-driven.  My appreciation is extended to each and every one of your Directors and Deputy Directors as well.

A special thanks to Adv Vusi Pikoli, the Western Cape Provincial Police Ombudsman, and his team for the dedication and vigour with which they have hit the ground running.

To the Head of Department, Dr Gilbert Lawrence, your retirement calls for reflection on your exemplary public service, your dedication to the position and Department, as well as your humility, wisdom and contribution which has steered this Department to new heights and four consecutive clean audits and I thank you for it. I thank you for your friendship and wish you well in your days of much deserved rest and relaxation. I believe that your successor, Mr Gideon Morris, will build on the good foundation you have laid.

I thank the staff in the Ministry together with those on my outreach team for the long hours you regularly put in.

To my family, thank you for their never-ending support.

I thank Premier, Helen Zille, and my cabinet colleagues, for their continued support, guidance and friendship. To my colleagues in the SAPS, the City, the Standing Committee on Safety – thank you for your contribution. Even though we may not always see eye-to-eye, our shared passion for a safer Western Cape needs to remain the focus in our service to the people of this province.

I want to thank our safety partners, namely the Religious Fraternity, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), NHWs, CPFs, Special Rating Areas with the City of Cape Town, Municipalities, Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrade (VPUU), and many others.

I want to close with a special word of thanks to the most important safety partner this province has ever had – each and every member of the public who realises that safety is everyone’s responsibility. I thank those who partner with the Department in whichever way, to help create safer areas where we all work, live and move about.

Safety starts where you are.  Safety starts with everyone.

Thank you.

Media Enquiries: 

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