Speeches

2016/2017 Department of Community Safety Budget Speech

30 March 2016

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,
Pastor Errol and Pastor Jack from the Ark,
Mr Thornton and Annalise Abrahams from Northlink College and Graduates,
Chrysalis Graduates, and
Distinguished guests.

Introduction

My observation from our many community engagements and outreaches with the people of the Province makes it clear that to realise our National Outcome for “every person to be and feels safe” as well as our Provincial Strategic Goal (PSG 3) of ‘Increasing wellness, safety and tackling social ills’, we have to do what we are mandated to do better and we have to do more if everyone in this Province is to enjoy their constitutional freedoms. Police at national level must be more responsive to the needs of the people in our communities and at provincial level must be a capable safety partner with communities and government.

Honourable Speaker, the Department of Community Safety has a solid track record of success, innovation and service delivery. For the sixth consecutive year, we have received a clean audit outcome. This Department and its programmes have also won the Gold Award in the regional SA Productivity Awards; we were recognised by the National Department of Public Service as the “Best-Run Provincial Department” in the country; and we won Silver in the Provincial Excellence Award for the category Best Implemented Programme or Project.

Reaching our goals and our past success is a worthy recognition of the work we do and a motivator to continue our work. However, the work is not done just because we administer well or only because we have innovative projects. Our work will only be done when our communities are safe environments for all.

Total budget

Honourable Speaker, the Department of Community Safety’s total budget for the 2016/17 financial year is two hundred and ninety-two million and sixteen thousand rand (R292 016 000). This represents a real terms increase of 6.25% when compared to the adjusted budget estimate at the end of last year.

Compared to last year’s budget, the department sees an increase of 24% due to the announcement by the Premier in her State of the Province address that the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) is to be placed under the Department of Community Safety as from Friday (1 April 2016). We welcome the Liquor Authority into the department as it will be a key player in one of our priority focus areas for 2016/17.

The additional funding received is directed to the Alcohol Harms Reduction (AHR) Game Changer, our role in the After Schools Games Changer as well as the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) grant allocation. The latter will ensure that every young person who successfully completes our Chrysalis programme is given a nine months’ work placement while being paid an EPWP stipend by the department.

Honourable Speaker, the budget allows the department to help increase safety in our communities with targeted interventions through effective partnerships in our Whole-of-Society approach to safety in the Province. This year we will spend:

  • R132.8 million on compensating our dedicated employees who work tirelessly in our communities on a daily basis.
  • R91.3 million on goods and services.
  • R63.3 million on transfer payments to our safety partners - a R15.9 million increase from 2010. As our safety partners and partnerships in communities keep growing, the Western Cape Government is able to be more responsive to the safety needs of the people in this Province. And
  • R4.6 million will be used for capital assets.

The Community Safety Improvement Partnership (CSIP) is the framework the department uses to ensure that our projects and programmes are integrated between departments and spheres of government and includes:

  • The promotion of professional policing through effective oversight;
  • The promotion of safety at all public buildings and spaces; and
  • Building safer communities through sustainable and viable partnerships.

Honourable Speaker, let me be clear: the Department of Community safety has no operational authority over the SAPS in this Province. But we launch initiatives to help reduce crime, prevent crime and create safe environments for everyone in this Province.

Priorities

Key priorities in the 2016/17 financial year are based on the interventions the Department will be spearheading to help address the scourge of gangsterism, drugs and illegal guns; help prevent crime and prevent people from becoming involved with crime; and help create safer environments. The priority areas are:

  • Leading government in the Alcohol Harms Reduction Game Changer.
  • Full implementation of the Community Safety Act.
  • Youth interventions and alternative opportunities.
  • Expansion of the Stabilisation Unit within the City of Cape Town.
  • Addressing the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry Recommendations.

Leading government in the Alcohol Harms Reduction Game Changer

Research confirms that alcohol abuse causes serious problems in the Western Cape.  Not only does excessive alcohol use and abuse have very serious medical implications for users and their unborn babies but alcohol is also among the primary drivers behind many violent crimes, fatalities on our roads, as well as domestic violence and abuse.

The Department of Community Safety has been mandated by Cabinet to take the lead in the Alcohol Harms Reduction (AHR) Game Changer in PSG 3 which will see interventions based at both community level and policy level simultaneously introduced to bring about change. The aim is to reduce violent injuries and fatalities caused by alcohol in targeted areas through effective and efficient government partnerships and a whole-of-society approach. We cannot do this without the cooperation and support from our communities.

The Western Cape Government’s main partners are the Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrade (VPUU), the South African Police Service (SAPS), the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) and the City of Cape Town. Within the Western Cape Government we have the full support and inputs of the Departments of Health, Social Development, Cultural Affairs and Sport, Economic Development and Tourism as well as the Delivery Support Unit.

The project will be rolled out within the 2016/17 financial year with the three locations for the first phase being Khayelitsha (Lingelethu-West), Gugulethu and Nyanga (Ward 39) and Drakenstein, Paarl East (Smartie Town and Fairyland).

The AHR Game Changer is based on recommendations made by the World Health Organisations and focusses on 3 levers:

  • Reduction in the number of liquor outlets.
  • Creating alternative opportunities.
  • Awareness and availability of treatment.

Part of the project aims to direct patrons to non-alcoholic recreational alternatives, such as cultural and sporting initiatives to promote healthy life styles, and includes education and development initiatives. These activities will be carried out in partnership with the VPUU, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport. Linkages will also be formed with the MOD Centres which offer after school sporting and cultural events to learners. We shall, in partnership with the City of Cape Town, roll-out our successful Nyanga Yethu programme to support harms reduction initiative in other communities.

Another major consideration in the AHR Game Changer will be the accessibility to alcohol, including to underage children and through the unregulated/unlicensed liquor outlets in the Provinces, especially in informal settlement and disadvantaged areas

Full implementation of the Community Safety Act

Honourable Speaker, the final regulations pertaining to the Community Safety Act will be printed in the government gazette by the end of June 2016. The final set of regulations makes provision for:

  • the regulated monitoring, oversight and assessment of policing,
  • accreditation and the support of Neighbourhood Watches (NHWs),
  • database of and partnerships with community organisations (including security service providers), and
  • regular reporting on crime statistics by the Provincial Commissioner and the Executive Head of the Municipal Police.

Honourable Speaker, this is the first time that NHWs are provided for in any legislation.

The accreditation and professionalization of the NHWs envisaged in the CSA Act will help standardise the activities of, reporting by, and support provided to the dedicated volunteers who constitute our Neighbourhood Watches and who selflessly stand in service of their communities to help make them safer through visible crime deterrence activities.

The application period for existing Neighbourhood Watch structures to apply for accreditation will commence when the final regulations are gazetted at the end of June 2016. I urge our Neighbourhood Watches to work with us through this transition period towards professionalisation.

The provincial NHW model aims to align training, funding and equipment to enable citizens to become capable partners in safety. This requires closer partnerships with other provincial departments, the City of Cape Town, interested local authorities, stakeholders and communities.

Honourable Speaker, the regular reporting of crime statistics by the Provincial Commissioner will see crime stats being better used to inform the public of safety risks in their communities and empower strategic action from the entire safety fraternity.

The sharing of reliable information is considered a best-practice model by many international cities as the availability of more regular crime stats can enable the law enforcement entities to speed up their resource responses to crime and empower communities, safety structures and government to adapt with quicker responses. The National Police leadership unfortunately has not been as supportive of the regular release of crime statistics yet, despite support from local authorities.

The full implementation of the Western Cape Community Safety Act, can help increase safety in the Province through targeted interventions based on sound information and operations driven by the entire safety fraternity.

Youth interventions and alternative opportunities

Honourable Speaker, throughout 2015 and continuing this year, the Department of Community Safety has conducted numerous youth focused safety outreaches. This type of outreach has become one of the flagship programmes of the Department.

We have heard from our youth time and again that they do not want to be gangsters but many fall victim to the scourge of gangsterism, drugs and illegal guns. One of the reasons is because they were either unaware of the opportunities available to them or unable to access opportunities.

Our partnership with Northlink College has seen great success in bringing together youth who want to study and a college who has the bursaries available to make this happen. In 2014 alone over 3000 youth attended the community gatherings of which almost half (1 231) ended up studying through Northlink.

In 2015, applications received in Khayelitsha topped 334, in Elsies River 180, in Nyanga 336, in Gugulethu 440. Even in our rural areas our Province’s youth are eager to use these opportunities with 297 youths applying in Beaufort West, 272 in Laingsburg and 458 in Bredasdorp and 273 in Ravensmead.

With the first outreaches of 2016, we have already seen 612 youths apply for studies to Northlink College. Due to its success, these outreaches will continue. At this point I would like to take a moment and make a special mention of one of the Northlink Graduates who was assisted by the Department and who was one of my guests last year. Unfortunately Elroy Peters was tragically killed in January this year – may your soul rest in peace.

One of the Department’s flagship youth orientated programmes, the Youth Safety and Religious Partnership (YSRP) programme provides fun, recreational and educational opportunities to our youth in a safe space during the school holidays when they are most vulnerable to negative social behaviours such as alcohol, drugs and gangsterism. In 2015 we managed to partner with 143 institutions and reach more than 22 000 youth during the school holiday periods. Over the MTEF period, we have set aside funding to the tune of R17.9 million for the YSRP.

Other achievements on youth-focussed programmes include 1670 youth work opportunities created and 540 youth trained at Chrysalis Academy. In the 2016/17 financial year we aim to see these successes replicated and approved upon.

Expansion of the Stabilisation Unit within the City of Cape Town

The crime reality in the Province is a serious concern. It is a reality in which the National SAPS needs to ensure adequate policing resources and the proper training of officers. Most importantly, Honourable Speaker, the SAPS need to partner more effectively with communities and the Western Cape Government if we are to see a turnaround in the current situation. This is the only way to reassure the people of the Western Cape that their safety is a priority. I am glad to see the progress we are making from our recent, combined engagements with the public and I appreciate Provincial Commissioner Jula’s willingness and commitment in this regard.

In our efforts to establish safety partnerships aimed at increasing safety during 2015, the Department initiated the Stabilisation Units partnership with and under the auspice of the City of Cape Town Law Enforcement.

As a result of the successful implementation of these Community Stabilisation Units, more than R10 million will be allocated towards the project over the 2016 MTEF period.

Though National Government has listened to our call for the re-instatement of the specialised SAPS units, the gun and drug units to combat the scourge of drugs and gangs in our communities, we still believe National Government has to equip and empower the SAPS, especially in this Province, to increase visible policing efforts. We hope these specialised units will be in full operation very soon.

Honourable Speaker, other than the priority areas, the Department will deliver on its core functions with exciting developments and expansions as captured in the following breakdown of the Department’s per-programme expenditure:

Programme 1: Administration will continue to support the Offices of the Ministry, Head of Department and other related entities in providing strategic leadership and ensuring effective good-governance principles.

This programme has largely been responsible for the consecutive clean audits and sees a nominal increase of 0.01% to R80.9 million budgeted for 2016/17.

The bulk of this programme’s spending relates to the compensation of employees and transfer payments relating the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) which is housed in Programme 1. The WCLA will be an important role player in the Alcohol Harms Reduction Game Changer.

Programme 2: Civilian Oversight has the objective to exercise oversight over the conduct, effectiveness and efficacy of law enforcement agencies in the Province.

The programme shows an increase of 16.82% to R68.8 million for 2016/17. The increase is largely attributed to the ring-fenced allocation received for the AHR Game Changer, as well as the After School Game Changer. R3.1 million has also been received for the Social Sector EPWP Incentive National Conditional Grant.

The innovative Court Watching Briefs unit falls within this programme. During 2015/16 reports were forwarded to the Provincial Commissioner on more than 117 serious cases which were removed from the court rolls largely due to police inefficiencies. These cases include murder, attempted murder, rape and possession of drugs and fire-arms.

Honourable Speaker, I am excited to announce that the Department’s expansion of the programme is on track.

During January and February 2016, the Watching Briefs unit was rolled out to courts in: Cape Town; Goodwood; Bellville; Blue Downs; Bishop Lavis; Wynberg; Simon’s Town; Paarl; Athlone; Worcester; Caledon; Hermanus; Stellenbosch; Malmesbury; Atlantis; Somerset West; Strand; Clanwilliam; Van Rhynsdorp; Vredenburg; and Vredendal.

The unit will be rolled out to the following courts in the near future: George, Mossel Bay; Oudtshoorn; Beaufort West; Laingsburg; Knysna; Mitchell’s Plain and Swellendam.

Honourable Speaker, Community Policing Forums (CPFs) play an extremely important role when it comes to keeping the police accountable to the people and communities they are supposed to serve.

The Department and the SAPS have successfully concluded the elections of CPF structures at CPF and Cluster Board level. The Provincial CPF Board was recently elected. I wish to congratulate Mr Andrew Lyon of Beaufort West on his election as the new chairperson of the Western Cape CPF Board.

The Department will continue to work closely and train the newly-elected CPF members on their roles and statutory mandate as set out in the SAPS Act, as well as on how to participate on the Expanded Partnership Programme (EPP).

The EPP is a very important instrument that enables the CPFs to execute their statutory functions. Through this programme each CPF is assigned with a dedicated budget linked to a performance and cost benefit model recommended in the National Development Plan (NDP). CPFs can use the funding to cover their overheads and to promote community-police relations and community safety.

The EPP will be expanded to the Cluster Board level with effect from the new financial year. An amount of R10.5 million is budgeted to support CPF structures over the MTEF period. The law regulating CPFs is very clear on what the objectives of CPFs are. We will not fund CPFs who continue to play politics and who are refusing to perform their important tasks as envisaged in the SA Police Services Act.

The provisional results on a piloted model of support to CPFs - assisting their communities besieged by high crime levels - are encouraging and we hope to expand on this.

The Department aims to improve the impact of available policing and safety resources within the Province, by determining the Provincial Policing Needs and Priorities (PNPs) accurately through consultative workshops per police cluster in the Province.

The 2016/17 PNP determination process will kick off in May 2016 and will be concluded before November 2016 to allow for the adequate dissemination of information to better effect budget consideration and will include assisting CPFs on the implementation of community safety plans, updating the plans  accordingly., and training on their roles and functions.

Implementation of the recommendations made by Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry has seen progress. In August of 2015, the National Commissioner of Police and the Premier of the Western Cape agreed to establish a Task Team consisting of senior representatives of SAPS and the Department to review the implementation of the recommendations and to develop a Memorandum of Understanding between the SAPS and the Department. The task team met several times in the last year and we are looking forward to imminent engagements and renewed progress under the new leadership of Lieutenant General Jula. The department participates in the various forums created in Khayelitsha with the SAPS and is taking the lead in the alcohol harms reduction forum.

Programme 3: Provincial Policing Functions gives effect to the Department’s constitutional mandate to promote good relations between communities and the police including that service delivery complaints about policing in the Province is dealt with independently and effectively.

The budget for this programme is R53.8 million.

The roll out of the Safety Kiosks under the new Safety Partnership launched in 2015 will see an additional 10 kiosks handed over to capable partners who share the dedication to improve safety in their immediate areas. Some of the priority areas set to receive safety kiosks within the first quarter of the 2016/17 financial year includes, Nyanga, Khayelitsha and SANParks. These Safety Kiosks continue to provide communities with a visible access point to law enforcement, provide basic services and reliable communication systems with emergency services and law enforcement.

Funding for the Wolwekloof project, through donor funding from the European Union via the Government Budget Support programme, will come to an end at the end of the 2016/17 financial year. However the Department of Community Safety has every intention to ensure that the invaluable training and development of our youth at Wolwekloof will continue beyond the new financial year and we are looking at various funding options to enable this.

The office of the Western Cape Police Ombudsman is now fully operational with a total budget of R10.4 million for the new financial year. The office strives to reach all communities within the Western Cape ensuring that people understand and know the mandate of the office and how to access the services. To this extent, the Ombudsman has even made information brochures available in braille.

Its main purpose is to investigate complaints by community members about poor service delivery from police in the province or any breakdown in relations between the police and the community in an impartial manner. Between January 2015 and January 2016, the Ombudsman has received 286 complaints for investigation.

Programme 4: Security Risk Management institutes a ‘whole of government’ approach towards building more resilient institutions and empowers communities to promote greater safety.

The budget for this programme is R88.3 million for the 2016/17 financial year.

During the current financial year, the Department trained 1382 Neighbourhood Watch Volunteers from 46 Structures and equipped 32 Neighbourhood Watch Structures. In the year ahead we want to see the NHW structures capacitated and supported in terms of Section 6 of the Community Safety Act.

Revenue budget

The Department’s own revenue budget estimate for 2016/17 amounts to R42 595 million and because the revenue generated by the WCLA from liquor licence fees, the Department will now have tax receipts as a revenue item. An estimated R28.431 million is included in the 2016/17 budget of the Department in this regard. 

Part of the revenue budget of departmental receipts is R13.7 million, relating to the General Budget Support (GBS) donor funding received for the Wolwekloof Community Safety Academy.

R464 000 is budgeted in 2016/17 for own revenue sources for the Department including security access cards, commission on insurance, interest and debt recovered from staff.

Conclusion

Honourable Speaker, I wish to thank every member of the DoCS family, the staff, Directors and Chief Directors for their service to communities, as well as inputs and assistance in making the Department of Community Safety the best functioning Department in the country. A special thanks to the HOD, Gideon Morris, for your support over the last year.

I thank the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Community Safety and her entire committee for their role in helping to ensure that the Department delivers on our mandate and to help increase safety in our communities through their oversight functions.

I want to thank the staff in my Ministry for your dedication and support, including the protection unit assigned to me for their friendly and professional service to me and in their interactions with communities.

Honourable Speaker, we remain in service of every person residing in the Western Cape because we realise no one can do it alone. We will continue to partner with the SAPS in the province. We will continue to build partnerships to help increase safety in our communities. We need our communities to work with us towards safety in this province.

Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Safety starts where you are.  Safety starts with everyone.

Thank you.

Media Enquiries: 

Ewald Botha
Spokesperson for Minister Plato
Email: ewald.botha@westerncape.gov.za 
Cell: 079 694 1113