Department of Community Safety budget vote speech for 2021/22
“We will do whatever it takes to make the province safer for all”
Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker,
Honourable Premier and Cabinet Colleagues,
Honourable Leader of the Opposition,
Honourable Members of the Provincial Parliament,
Mayors, Councilors and Municipal officials,
Residents of the Western Cape,
Honourable Speaker, I rise to present the Western Cape Department of Community Safety’s (DOCS) 2021/22 budget.
I am part of a caring government which has committed itself to halving the murder rate over the next ten years. For this reason, my Department goes above and beyond its Constitutional mandate to ensure that we bring the Western Cape Safety Plan to life. We do this despite working within the context of a constrained fiscus and the ANC-led national government being a complete failure. We’ve stepped up because we will do whatever it takes to make the province safer for all who live in it.
Speaker, yesterday in the Honourable America tried to sing us a song. I’m not sure whether he successed in doing so but I would like to read a poem to the House by S.V. Pieterson called “Bede”.
Laat dit dan wees, o Heer, dat ek
‘n duisend jaar gelee teen God
en mens gesondig het …
Dan weet ek nou, op u bevel
is hierdie skurfte blootgestel:
In watter dieptes, stankbesmet
en met verrotte slym besmeer,
het ek nie daar versleg,
dat selfs U, Heer, van my moes wyk …
my nie wou reinig van die slyk?
Laat my dan maar soos Lasarus
tevrede wees met streling van
elk honger hondetong;
dan weet ek tog, dis u besluit,
die vloekstraf van ‘n donker huid.
As dit u straf is, dat ek so
moet ly, dan wil ek swyg, o Heer;
leer my berusting dan;
laat my dan maar my kruisweg gaan,
tot waar ek voor die donker staan …
This poem is indicative of how the ANC-led national government has failed this province and country. Their inability to govern has had spillover consequences in the SAPS, with top management running amok. We see good people within SAPS being targeted and side-lined. This is truly concerning given that the purpose of the SAPS is to serve and protect.
In total, R350 million has been allocated to the LEAP programme for the 2021/22 financial year. In fact, the Western Cape Government has prioritized the safety of its residents and will allocate R2.35 billion for safety over the medium term. We are taking this approach because we will do whatever it takes to ensure that we achieve our ambitious goal of halving the murder rate.
Speaker, I will now outline how the Department’s budget has and will be used to achieve the objectives of the Western Cape Safety Plan. Implementing the Safety Plan requires an integrated approach which combines Law Enforcement and addresses the underlying causes of violence, with a focus on violence prevention.
Through our Area Base Team (ABT) approach, we have now established integrated Law Enforcement Technical Committees in six focus areas including Delft, Bishop Lavis, Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Philippi and Mitchells Plain. I am confident that they will contribute to halving the murder rate and prevent violence in these communities.
Having transferred most of the operational and start-up capital costs for the Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) programme to the City of Cape Town in the previous two financial years, the Department’s budget allocation has decreased for the 2021/22 financial year by 5.79%. This brings our total budget to seven hundred and thirty-nine million, and forty-nine thousand Rands (R739 049 000) for 2021/22 financial year. Make no mistake, our next tranche of LEAP officers is on the way!
I am pleased to announce that this month, we deployed a new cohort to Mitchells Plain who will be topped up with additional officers at a later stage. Our next tranche of 500 law enforcement officers will come online by October 2021 as officers complete their training. This tranche will benefit Kraaifontein, Harare, Mfuleni and Gugulethu. Going forward, we will request that Provincial Treasury continue to provide additional funding for the LEAP programme.
Speaker, ABTs are central to the implementation of the Safety Plan at a local level. They will integrate law enforcement and violence prevention processes through a whole-of-government approach. This will ensure that we prevent service delivery bottlenecks in the safety sphere. To achieve this, an amount of R13 million has been allocated towards evidence-based interventions for the 2021/22 financial year. We will do whatever it takes to make the province safer for all by ensuring that we include the community voice.
Speaker, I am very pleased with the progress being made in the appointment and deployment of 1000 young people as Youth Safety Ambassadors. In total, R20 million has been allocated to the programme for the 2021/22 financial year.
Speaker, I have often said that if we had the resources, I would work towards establishing more Chrysalis campuses across the Province. While this is not currently possible, we have made additional funding available to Chrysalis Academy for their expansion over the 2020 medium term. To this end, R7.336 million of Chrysalis’ R25.810 million budget has been earmarked for the growth of its modular programme.
For the 2021/22 financial year, we have earmarked R5.665 million for the professionalization, accreditation and resourcing of NHWS structures.
To date, 322 NHW structures across the province have been formally accredited, of which 107 have been approved in the 2020/21 financial year. My Department has also facilitated 41 training sessions for Basic Training, First Aid Level 1, Basic Fire Fighting, Meeting Skills, Finance for Non-financial managers and Conflict Management and Mediation training with accredited NHWs.
Wehighly value the contributions of our CPFs in making our communities safer. We are engaging with our CPFs at their electoral AGMs on the restructuring of our Department’s programmes. The Department’s operational focus will be on capacitating and supporting CPFs in the ABT areas. They will form part of the R13 million allocation to ABTs.
Speaker, we are making progress on the completion of the CPF electoral AGMs since the moratorium on CPF elections was lifted by SAPS. Currently 128 of the 151 CPF AGMs have been completed. I look forward to the completion of AGMs and working closely with our new CPF partners.
In exercising our constitutional mandate to conduct oversight over SAPS, we continue to support the Western Cape Police Ombudsman (WCPO). Having said that, the WCPO remains an independent entity, which plays a crucial role in addressing police inefficiencies and promoting positive relationships between the SAPS and the communities they serve. In total, R10.3 million has been allocated to the WCPO for the 2021/22 financial year.
- Amendments to the Western Cape Liquor Act
Speaker, we are amending the Western Cape Liquor Act because we know that there is a significant correlation between alcohol abuse and violence. I am pleased to announce that we are further making steady progress in finalizing the alcohol harms reduction strategy.
The amendments are informed by the key objectives. The first is to reduce alcohol related harms and the second is to ensure the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) can regulate the industry. This will be done by introducing processes within the WCLA to enforce greater compliance on the part of the license holders.
The amendments will include a focus on:
- Preventing the sale of liquor or minors;
- Forfeiting confiscated alcohol;
- Providing for a public participation process to alter existing licenses; and
- Pursuing license condition contraventions.
The amendments are being driven by the Department’s alcohol harms reduction task team who aim to ensure that those amendments which can be fast-tracked, are fast-tracked. I am please to announce that these amendments will now be processed in a formal submission to Provincial Cabinet.
I am deeply concerned that those responsible for the recent spate of so-called service delivery protests are not being held to account. Nine were arrested last week on charges of public violence last week, which I welcomed. I am informed that all charges were dropped. We cannot allow for violent protest, which are politically motivated, to undermine the stability of our province.
Honourable Speaker, as I conclude I want recognise my Department, under the leadership of our HOD, Advocate Yashina Pillay, SAPS, the City of Cape Town, our NHWs and CPFs. Each give of themselves tirelessly to make this province safer. I look forward to working closer still with these partners because we will do whatever it takes to make the province safer for all.
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