Source: Department of Community Safety, Gauteng Provincial Government
Title: GP: Mosunkutu: Budget speech by the MEC for Community Safety
Speaker and Deputy Speaker
Members of the Executive Council
Leaders of Political parties
Members of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature
Members of Mayoral Committees responsible for Public Safety
The Head of Department
The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service
Chiefs of Metropolitan Police Departments
Comrades and friends
Citizens of Gauteng
The Gauteng Provincial Government's determination and commitment to promoting public safety is underpinned by the ANC Manifesto as endorsed by millions of our people during 22 April 2009 elections. It was a resounding confirmation of the liberation movement as the only credible agent to lead South Africans in deepening and defending the gains of our National Democratic Revolution. Our people have put to rest sceptics' hopes and wishes for a movement split down the middle, infamous amongst their historical constituencies and for a tripartite alliance that was all but being lowered in its coffin into a grave.
Yet an important element to deepening these gains is freedom to move unhindered. This means freedom for citizens to occupy their homes without the fear of being invaded and violated by heartless thugs, business owners operating their outlets without the fear of being robbed violently by marauding gangs, women and children crowding and journeying our public spaces without fearing being violated by men and boys espousing ancient patriarchal tendencies, public transport passengers enjoying their journeys without the fear of falling victim to route conflicts, thus rendering public transport a less enjoyable experience.
Indeed this also means boarding one's or public transport vehicle fully confident that you are part of a responsible road user movement that adheres to speed limits, respects other road users and acts with responsibility, are fully competent to use our public roads, convey a roadworthy vehicle and respect our law enforcement agencies.
A safe and secure Gauteng is thus an embodiment of all the above aspirations, and to which the Gauteng Provincial Government aspires. In 2006, the provincial government adopted two strategies aimed at promoting public safety in the province.
The Gauteng Safety Strategy and the Gauteng Road Safety Strategy
We will build upon the gains made in implementing these strategies. I would therefore like to acknowledge and appreciate the firm foundation laid by my predecessor, the Honourable Firoz Cachalia, in ensuring that Gauteng is indeed on a path to being safe and secure.
The linkages between crime, road safety and development are well documented. Economic growth and development, a safe environment and improved road safety are all intertwined in a triangle and feeding off each other. A lack of economic growth can contribute to conditions facilitating criminality; a crime infested environment is less conducive to economic investment and poor road safety impacts growth adversely.
Accordingly, the achievement of our provincial priorities as set out by the Premier in her State of the Province Address, requires that all state organs and resources are leveraged as the achievement of one priority will depend on the successful achievement of the next. In the two months that I have been Community Safety MEC, I have attended no less than two taxi violence scenes, addressing drivers and owners in Bree Street taxi rank and in Germiston. In the beginning of June, a policeman was slain in Tembisa while on official duty. These are just a few incidences which received coverage by our mainstream media. I am sure there are countless others equally concerning yet uncovered. All these underscore the huge challenge that must still be overcome in making ours a prosperous province we want it to be. It is against this background that we today table this budget of R345, 475 million to give effect to programmes and interventions we will implement in confronting the challenges above.
Madam Speaker, as we all know fighting crime and corruption is one of the priorities in the ANC Manifesto. Our people have conferred us the mandate to deal decisively with all forms of violent crime in the province, as well as improve conditions on our roads by impacting road user behaviour and uprooting corruption in the vehicle and driver testing stations.
The nine priorities below constitute areas of focus for this provincial government over the next five years, 2009 to 2014:
* setting provincial policing priorities
* strengthening social crime prevention, including at local government
* improve the co-ordination of the criminal justice system
* build a social movement against crime
* municipal courts
* focus on serious and violent crime
* improve police performance
* improving road safety, and
* tackling fraud and corruption
Setting provincial policing priorities
Section 206 (2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996, enjoins provincial governments to develop their policing needs and priorities. These then should inform the national policing policy as determined by the national Minister, which may make provision for different policies in respect of different provinces. Until now, this has not been the case and thus national and provincial efforts and interventions to fight crime have not been enhanced.
A methodology for setting these priorities in the province has already been developed and will be presented to the Provincial Executive soon for approval. In addition, and as alluded to by the Premier during her State of the Province Address, public izimbizo roadshow campaigns will be embarked upon to consult and solicit views from communities and citizens in finalising these priorities.
It is our belief that any policies aimed at preventing and combating crime that are reflective of community participation and inputs, are well poised to make a difference in the lives of those communities. We will of course draw lessons from those communities who have developed Community Safety Plans with a view to examining ways of improving and enriching those processes.
Strengthening Social Crime Prevention, including at Local Government
Tackling social conditions that create an environment conducive to the commission of crime is as important as dealing with crime itself. The involvement of local government is indispensable in this regard.
The department will continue to engage and involve local government in regard to Integrated Development Plan Safety Training and Analysis, assisting municipalities with integrating safety concerns during their IDP development processes and thereby ensuring that safety priorities are budgeted for and funded. Local government safety and IDP officials will be trained in July for this purpose.
Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) is the application of design principles aimed at making environments less conducive to crime. We often hear of nerve wrecking stories of young women accosted and raped in dark, unlit areas at night. We hear of commuters mugged of their personal possessions as they make their way to transport nodes in the morning to go to work, due to long, uncut grass that render them vulnerable to opportunist thugs.
The department has developed a manual and is working together with municipalities to ensure that these principles are applied so as to maintain an enabling environment for the promotion of public safety, whilst limiting opportunities for criminals. We are continuing to work with municipalities to establish Community Safety Forums. To date Metsweding, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane and the West are involved with the programme.
School safety continues to make headlines. Instances of violence between learners, learners and teachers, alcohol and drug abuse and learner abdication from school are some of the challenges facing us. As the Premier indicated, it is this level of youth development which if mishandled, will doom this province and country into a future of hopelessness and desperation. The department will thus contribute its bit in fulfilling the province's mandate to:
* transform schools into centres of excellence and national pride for the future
* support schools through infrastructure, safety programmes, and social support
* develop a social compact with all stakeholders to ensure quality learning and teaching, and
* support skills development for decent work
Together with the Gauteng Department of Education, we have rolled out the Hlayiseka School Safety Programme. This programme involves training of school safety teams to develop a safety plan addressing their safety needs as well as an early warning system. 317 schools have already been trained and an additional 180 will be trained in 2009/10. R700 000 has been set aside for this purpose.
The Youth Desk Support Programme plays a critical role in mobilising young people, often those out of school and idling in communities, to be involved in anti-crime initiatives. R1,2 million will be spent on Youth Desk programmes. This will include training 200 youth desk members on social crime prevention and conflict resolution, training that will equip them for other opportunities in the market. Support and funding will also be provided for the implementation of their POA and for local projects.
Alcohol and substance abuse ranks among our biggest social ills in all communities today, and this is regardless of class. To date, 7 000 learners have been on prison tours, 163 youth desk members trained on substance abuse awareness, 795 learners requested assistance for drug addiction problems and have been referred to SANCA. In 2009/10 over 19 000 learners will participate from over 300 schools and all youth desk members will participate. R500 000 has been set aside for this programme.
Men are critical partners in dealing with the scourge of violence against women and children. Increasing numbers of men are not only taking a stand against this form of crime, but actively doing something to prevent it. In 2008/09 the department established Men as Safety Promoters Programme (MASP) networks in Vaal, Krugersdorp, Mamelodi East, Eldorado Park, Cullinan, Lenasia, Kliptown, Honeydew and Orange Farm.
Victim Empowerment has emerged as one of our foremost programmes to mitigate the effects of crime and violence in victims, or prevent secondary victimization as it's called. Ikhaya Lethemba has now been in operation for five years, since March 2005. We have expanded the model through establishing regional offices to widen access. Today we have a presence in Ekurhuleni (Nigel) and the Vaal (Sharpeville) and are keen on ensuring a presence all over the province. This is in addition to Victim Empowerment Centres that we already have in all police stations.
To date Ikhaya Lethemba has accommodates more than 2 400 victims, and provided more than 15 000 victims with outpatient counselling services. Victim empowerment in the province has also generated a somewhat important virtue in this province. It has proven catalytic in the mobilisation of volunteers. In all our VEC's we have volunteers that assist victims. The department has trained all our volunteers in these VEC's. R14,3 million will be spent on Ikhaya Lethemba this financial year.
Improve coordination of the Criminal Justice System
Gauteng was selected as a pilot site for the Criminal Justice Review project that was led by the former Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development. The purpose of the project is to establish a multi-agency case screening mechanism at each regional court to ensure that bail is opposed where appropriate and that only 'trial ready' cases are brought before court with the intention of increasing the numbers of finalised cases each month
It is to also track each case of Aggravated Robbery (with a focus Trio robberies) from arrest to finalisation so as to provide a basis for assessing challenges faced by the CJS in addressing these types of crime and to monitor and evaluate the Gauteng CJS Co-ordination Project.
We are making contact with the Justice department with a view to taking forward this project. It remains a critical component of our efforts to fight crime as the President also mentioned in his State of the Nation Address.
Building a social movement against crime
In addition to involving our communities in determination of policing needs and priorities for the province, we also seek to make them active participants in the fight against crime. Arguably, this is something Gauteng has become accustomed to. Honourable Members must have witnessed our patrollers and Community Police Forums operational across the province.
Since April 2007, 8 566 patrollers have been recruited, screened and trained in 76 precincts of the province. All 8 666 patrollers have received SASSETA accredited training, which means they can also access employment opportunities in the security industry. In addition, the department has equipped them with reflective jackets, caps, pants, boots, torches, batteries, two way radios and pocket books. These are all critical to increase visibility in communities. Each of the patrollers are insured for a sum of R75 000 for permanent disability or death. Counselling is also provided as part of the package.
In 2009/10 the department will spend R26 million to recruit, train and equip a further 4020 patrollers, and a further 4020 in 2010/11, resulting in 12 586 patrollers operational in the province by March 2011. These patrollers have augmented policing, improved visibility and in some cases made important arrests of wanted criminals. In March 2009, the department held an awards ceremony for the patrollers and Mrs. Nonkuluseko Skhuphela from Sebokeng was voted the best patroller as she had made a number of arrests.
1083 of these patrollers were selected in March 2009 to undergo additional LOC stewardship training. They are providing a steward service during the FIFA 2009 Confederations Cup. More than 2 500 will be selected and trained to provide a similar service for the FIFA 2010 World Cup.
During 2008/09 the department sustained 127 Community Policing Forums, whilst 32 new ones were established in terms of minimum standards. In the current financial year, 124 CPFs will be sustained and six established in terms of minimum standards. 595 CPF members have been trained to date on a community leader's course.
During 2009/10 the department will spend a further R500 000 on CPF training and a further 100 computers will be delivered to CPFs this year. The department will continue mobilising and engaging all our sectors who are involved in anti crime initiatives. These include Labour, Faith Based Organisations, Celebrities, Hostel Izindunas, Youth and the Gender sector. For example, we have now established a patroller group in Jeppe Hostel, whilst patrollers in Alexandra and Meadowlands include hostel residents.
Madam Speaker, these are important volunteer initiatives as they demonstrate that our communities, many of whom maybe in less to do situations, are prepared to put shoulder to wheel in working together with government to improve their lot. It shows that they are not resting on their laurels waiting for government to deliver services.
These are important lessons as we continue seeking for ways to consolidate and strengthen social capital initiatives. Civil society groups in addition to our sectors will also be drawn in to perform important responsibilities. We are looking at getting lay assessors, friends of the courts and community members to serve in parole boards. The rights of the vulnerable must be affirmed in the justice system. Whilst modalities are still being finalised, we are looking at recruiting individuals within communities who will be trained to carry out lay assessorship and parole boards' responsibilities. This of course will be done in consultation with the relevant national departments.
The department will work together with local government and the national department to implement municipal courts across the province. These courts can reduce the burden currently faced by higher courts, particularly as it pertains to by-law enforcement.
It will also allow us to develop a strong focus on dealing with petty crimes, as these often lead to perpetrators graduating into hardened criminals. Municipal courts can effectively prosecute these types of crimes, which are often treated less seriously by higher courts who have to deal with serious crime.
Focus on serious and violent crime
The department and the South African Police Service (SAPS) jointly developed the Gauteng Aggravated Robbery Strategy to tackle violent trio crimes in the province. These are house robberies, business robberies and vehicle hijacking.
The strategy is underpinned by a Crime Management Centre located at the provincial office. The CMC is the hub of a province-wide programme to profile and arrest trio-crime suspects. In order to help achieve this, the CMC focuses on building the capability to profile networks of offenders, identify suspects and trace them, as well as building the capacity at station and cluster level to make these arrests.
The CMC has managed to achieve this goal and the Cluster Task Teams are established and functioning. The appointment of Cluster Commanders has enhanced the functioning of the Cluster Task Teams as there is a sustained focus on aggravated robbery and the apprehension of suspects. The CMC consists of 15 officers and members working at the CMC such as detectives, crime intelligence, Local Criminal Record Centre, Operational co-ordination and support and Technical support. The CMC is the first of its kind.
The Protocol has already been sent out to guide investigators. CMC personnel go out to Trio crime scenes and ensure that the scene is managed properly. The CMC manages and coordinates the various units that may need support for investigation of trio crimes.
In addition, a Rapid Response Unit was established to focus specifically on trio related crimes. The department resourced the unit with an initial 42 high performance vehicles, at a cost of R7 million. An additional 38 is to be made available during the current financial year. This unit is linked to the 10111 centre as well as to CCTVs deployed in strategic locations across the province.
Improving police performance
Central to having a safe and secure province is effective policing. All other interventions that are meant to compliment the policing effort can only succeed if policing itself is effective. The Gauteng Information on Police Performance System was formally implemented in November 2007. The system tracks police performance, station by station and the top 40 stations that have the highest crime contributions are called on a six months basis to assess whether strategies we put in place to improve their performance are yielding results.
To date, Vosloorus and Soshanguve police stations have been removed from the GIPPS list due to having recorded drastic reductions in trio crimes levels within their precincts. The remaining stations continue to be tracked through the GIPPS process, although they are beginning to show stabilization in crime levels. Quarterly Review Sessions with SAPS will also continue to be used as that gives us a broad provincial picture of crime levels.
Improving road safety
Road safety is one of the cornerstones of development in the province. The movement of goods, passengers and motorists all depend on a well managed road system whose law enforcement is beyond doubt. The Gauteng Traffic Police has over the years been at the forefront of co-ordinating traffic law enforcement in the province, together with other law enforcement agencies.
We will build on the achievements of the last five years, in which the provincial target of a 30% reduction in road accidents and fatalities was exceeded.
Road accidents and fatalities cost the provincial economy billions of rands. Families lose breadwinners, relatives and friends and the emotional costs are unquantifiable. Focusing on reducing accidents and fatalities on our roads is in the long term beneficial to the province. We will pay particular attention to our public transport safety. Taxi violence cannot, must not, and will not be tolerated. Instances where innocent passengers are subjected to terror occasioned by greed will not be tolerated. This administration is committed to rooting out unsavoury behaviour in the industry. The industry must be ready to suffer the consequences if it continues to mast innocent passengers at the altar of greed.
Our public transport inspection section will intensify its operations in both public transport and freight industry to ensure safe public transport across the province. Instances of heavy duty transport breaking on our highways during peak hour are a profound inconvenience to thousands of motorists and passengers using our roads. R23.7 million will be spent on this unit.
The Traffic Law Enforcement unit focuses on what we have come to refer to as zero-tolerance offences. These are excessive speeding, drunken driving and reckless and negligent driving. To tackle excessive speeding, we have a high speed unit in the department comprising 17 high performance vehicles that focuses on our national roads in the province.
The Anti-Hijack unit within the Gauteng Traffic Police, working together with the South African Police Service and the three Metropolitan Police Departments has made important arrests, particularly with regard to truck hijackings. It is crucial that we focus on truck hijackings as it is the one crime category that continuously shows an increase in the province. This unit recovers stolen trucks with cargo virtually on a weekly basis now. In the last month alone we recovered stolen and hijacked trucks in Alexandra, Alberton and Vosloorus.
Traffic Law Enforcement operations appropriates R82 million of the department's budget. The TRAFFSTATS unit in the department, together with other stakeholders, conducts road safety audits to determine the most hazardous areas on our provincial roads. This information is then fed to law enforcement agencies in the province with a view to assisting them deploy their resources effectively. An example is Moloto Road, which has recorded drastic decreases in accidents and fatalities. This road has been turned from a notorious to one of our safe roads in the province.
These audits also assist with discovering where there may be engineering design problems. These can be fixed together with the Infrastructure department.
Centralised Accident Capturing has enabled the province to have up to date, real-time information on accidents in the province. Baselines are now available on which to base future reduction targets of accidents and fatalities.
In our quest to make our Traffic Officers training college a centre of excellence, we will now also expose our incumbents to defensive driving and other refresher training. We hold the view that like all other professions, traffic officers should regularly be exposed to further training to enable innovation in the conduct of their work.
The college was recently accredited as a service provider by the Local Government SETA, as well as SASSETA. The college annually produces 120 graduates. Some proceed to become traffic officers on our roads, whilst others become Examiners of Vehicles and Drivers Licenses. R21.2 million will be spent on the college this financial year.
Tackling fraud and corruption
Fraud and corruption in society in general effectively reverses the gains that our revolution has made. It denies citizens what they are rightfully entitled to: housing, education, health, business opportunities, social security and other services. It is even more so in our law enforcement agencies.
Our anti corruption unit in the department effected 47 arrests last year for offences at Driver Licence Testing Stations (DLTCs) as well as Vehicle Licence Testing Stations (VLTCs). Six employees arrested in December 2008 at the Vanderbijlpark Registering Authority have all been found guilty of misconduct. One manager at the government garage was found guilty of being in possession of a fraudulent driver's license. The rest of the cases are still in courts.
Six notices of intention to deregister were issued to testing stations. These stations made the necessary corrections and were not deregistered. National regulations are being amended to allow for immediate closure of stations found to be contravening the law, without a notice period.
An investigation at the Gauteng Call Centre revealed that block bookings for learners and drivers licenses were sold to driving schools. Two managers were charged, found guilty and dismissed. Members will remember that we recently announced the recalling of 427 000 vehicles in the province that were not properly licensed. If we are serious about ensuring vehicle roadworthiness on our roads, we have to take such steps, onerous as they may seem. We will keep the public informed on progress we are making in this regard.
We are determined to tackle head on and win this battle against fraud and corruption in our testing stations. Corruption in the South African Police Service and our Metropolitan Police Departments undermine our efforts to effectively implement crime prevention and combating strategies.
Corruption is one of the worst things that any police officer can become involved in as it undermines the entire organisation and profession of policing. Corrupt police officials allow criminals to evade justice and continue terrorising and harming our communities. As a result public trust in the police is undermined and criminals gain the upper hand. We will not tolerate police corruption in Gauteng.
We will closely monitor the implementation of the South African Police Service Prevention of Corruption and Fraud Strategy. In addition we will strengthen our ability to assess the functioning of internal systems and structures that are there to deal with police criminality and misconduct. We will use our assessments to work towards improving these systems so that dishonest police officials can be identified and removed from the SAPS and honest police officials can get the public recognition and support that they deserve.
The department continues to implement the Enterprise Risk Management Strategy. The Risk Management Committee Chaired by the Head of Department meets monthly to discuss the department's risk profile and to evaluate the various action plans put in place to deal with the various high level risks.
The Fraud Prevention Plan was reviewed with the assistance of the GSSC. Regular awareness and training sessions took place to create awareness of fraud and corruption. All marked vehicles of the Gauteng Traffic Police were also branded with the 24 hour hotline number 0800 701 701.
The department has recently finalised its new values crafting process. If we are to project a public image and service offering consistent with Batho Pele principles, our value proposition should position the department as a caring, humane and responsive department. It is our belief that through this exercise, the public will indeed experience a different service be it from a Gauteng Traffic Police officer, a Service Delivery Officer attached to a police station, a Community Police Relations practitioner from the department and all other functionaries in the department interacting with the public.
Create a safe and secure Gauteng will take painstaking effort and collaboration by all stakeholders, ranging from the police, who are central in this battle. The department, provincial departments, national departments, local government, civil society and communities will all have to put shoulder on wheel to realise it.
It is only through effective provision of public safety services that the province will also achieve its other stated goals of economic development, job creation, safer schools, quality health, safer roads, competent road users and roadworthy vehicles.
I would like to thanks the Head of Department and her staffs for ensuring the department continues to implement the programme of the provincial government.