Source: The Department of Police
Title: SA: Mthethwa: Public lecture by the Minister of Police, on crime and its impact on business, Durban
Vice Chancellor of UKZN, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba;
Head of Graduate School of Business, Professor Anesh Singh;
Business Leaders present;
Staff and Students of the University of KwaZulu-Natal;
Members of the Media;
We are indeed honoured and privileged to have been invited by this prestigious institution of higher learning to take part in this event of great significance. An event that seeks to add impetus in our efforts to build a thriving economy.
This assembly of academics, business fraternity and ourselves is underpinned by the common understanding that successful societies are built on the foundation of common purpose.
We are gathering under the theme: The Big Debate – Crime and its Impact on Business.
Perhaps in dealing with the matter we should start from the beginning and make the obvious point that all societies bear the imprint, the birth-marks of their own past.
The dark days of apartheid bestowed on us a legacy of crime and corruption. We inherited a criminal justice system which itself was pervaded with lawlessness and criminality of that era. However, the essence of our approach is not to mourn this treacherous past; but to find solutions to a complex reality.
The winning of war against crime, corruption and white collar crime demands more than just passion. It demands a systematic understanding and implementation of detailed plans and techniques in the actual conditions facing us. It demands a sober assessment of the obstacles in our way. It demands dominance in our thinking of achievement over drama.
In dealing with issues of crime, the Government proceeds from the premise that a rising quality of life also means improvement in the safety and security of citizens in their homes and environs where they live, work and engage in business and in extramural activity.
The national struggle for freedom was the critical over-arching vehicle to bring about peace, security and stability to our society.
In developing our strategy to tackle crime and give expression to government’s prioritisation, we have adopted a multi facetted approach which includes:
* The review of the criminal justice system
This review is borne out of a recognition of the inter relationship between all aspects of the criminal justice system (CJS). This speaks to tightening the roles of all players, whether one looks at this value-chain from police, justice, home affairs right up to corrections.
* It is for this reason that, as the CJS cluster, we have developed and signed a service delivery agreement which gives concrete expression to key areas of delivery required within this criminal justice review process.
* Improving policing and systems of policing within the country
In improving policing and our policing systems, we have a clear vision of the kind of Police Service we envisage. This then informs measures we are putting in place to achieve this vision.
In any policing system, our intelligence is a nerve centre and plays a crucial role. It is for this reason we have prioritised the need to revitalise the intelligence component of SAPS and ensure the integration of intelligence into all aspects of policing.
* A strengthened detective arm in fighting crime
Equally we continue to upskill and capacitate our detective services. This includes not only increasing the number of detectives but also the quality of those we recruit.
The establishment of the Hawks to address organised crime and corruption has already yielded significant successes. However, we must now put more energy into the areas of general detective service.
* Capacitating our forensics – a key priority
Recently there have been a number of reports about our forensics capacity and problems related to this. We are well aware that we cannot strengthen our detective services without equally addressing our forensic capacity.
Addressing our forensic capacity is not just about purchasing new equipment or employing new staff. Such an approach would imply reinventing a broken wheel. Instead, we developed a clear plan with clear monitoring evaluation processes.
This plan is looking at both international experiences as well as tangible outcomes to help us achieve our targets, over the next five years. In this regard we have been engaging with local and international experts who are assisting us with the development of such a plan.
* Our triple-C approach
In achieving our vision we need to address service delivery within the police. Lazy cops will have no place or space in the SAPS. To achieve this we are now placing a concerted focus on what we have termed the triple-C approach. This methodology speaks to the following aspects:
1. The need for greater command and control within the police. Part of command and control must address how we are managing our members at a provincial and national level.
Management is not only about issuing instructions but also managing the how part of these instructions are implemented. It does not require a station commander to manage a police station, at a comfort of his laptop, from home!
He or she must be on the ground, overseeing a station daily, being in touch with the communities, CPFs and importantly, leading by example. We are emphasising the need for management to be held accountable and to reassert discipline within the police.
2. The need for greater co-ordination also requires our focus. All our different components of the police need to be working together and supporting each other. We shall be adopting an adage that says: an injury to one is an injury to all. We are in this together, not as individuals.
3. The final C refers to both internal and external communication. We are improving communication within the police as well as how we communicate with the society we are policing. Police must ensure that once they arrest criminals, communicate to society that such scoundrels are now behind bars. Failure to do so, leads to anxiety and perceptions that police are ineffective, when in fact they are effective.
* Fostering partnerships with various stakeholders
Over the past two years we have established a specific partnership unit within the Secretariat for Police, we have sought to deepen our approach to partnership with communities.
We took this approach because we recognised that effective, contemporary crime prevention relies heavily on partnerships and multi-agency approaches. These approaches involve using different resources, skills and capacity, some of which may not necessarily be available within the police themselves.
They are crucial in also in helping us find ways of maximising our strength and at the same time minimising our weaknesses. To a large degree, during the recent crime statistics release, we were satisfied to learn that in categories where crime has decreased, such partnerships were strong and effective.
* Addressing the most vulnerable in society
A major responsibility of the police is to address the security needs of the most vulnerable in society. Most of you should by now be aware of the reintroduction of the Family Violence, Child Protection, Sexual Offences (FCS) unit as well as our new focus on children through the Child Justice Act.
* Protecting the rural communities
We now have in place a rural safety strategic plan, which gives impetus to our commitment to maintaining rural safety. Over the last year we have been engaging different rural communities regarding safety issues.
Another aspect of service delivery is improving how our local police stations operate as well as ensuring that sector policing which has been on our agenda for some time, is effectively implemented.
Partnership policing has been and still remains a priority for visible policing. This does not refer only to communities, but to a variety of role players within government, business, municipalities, interests groups. The creation of partnerships has to occur at all levels, from national level right down to local level.
Improving the police response is an objective that remains a priority for the department. The equitable distribution of police stations is essential in ensuring that the services provided by SAPS in support of safe and secured communities is to be realised by all our people.
The mobilisation of communities to participate in combating crime through establishing street committees and community courts, amongst others remains cardinal in our efforts to eliminate crime.
A national democratic society we are constructing should be founded on a thriving economy the structure of which should reflect the natural endowments of the country and the creativity that South African population can offer.
Today`s event also signifies the important partnership that exists between academics, business and government; and the role that business is playing in the economic development of our country.
Our actions as this collective should communicate a message that encourages a value-system that is based on human solidarity that include pride in social activism and respect for an honest day's work. They should include social dissuasion against conspicuous consumption, brazen display of wealth and corruption.
Role of Intelligentsia
This segment of society is highly critical in conceiving, espousing new ideas, researching, and dissemination of such ideas and finding new ways of doing things.
In defining the role of intellectuals, Comrade Jeremy Cronin best articulates it, when paying tribute to the late Comrade Jabulani “Mzala” Nxumalo, quote:
* “The fundamental objective of being an intellectual is to develop a concrete analysis of the concrete situation. There is a popular misconception that all that is needed to be an intellectual is to lie back on a couch and dream. This is not true. You are charged with responsibility to lead society in finding new ways.
* Intellectuals are activists – All serious intellectuals (progressive or conservative) understand that intellectual work requires research, study, disciplined effort.
* Intellectuals are part of a collective that includes members of society as individuals and as groups that work to find solutions to the challenges of the day.
* Intellectuals are objective and are also critical.”
Having defined these characteristics, this group of people must be seen in the realm of the battle of ideas, raising sharply issues that affect society and the country at large. However, in raising those challenges we need to propose possible solutions to them.
We must dirty our hands to these challenges. We should not be like those Philosophers who interpreted the world; we should be seen to be doing something to change the world.
The ANC-government has identified crime as among the top five priorities of this current term of government. Let us all make a contribution in the reconstruction of this new society which crime and criminality seek to destroy.
The most important current defining feature of the South African democratic state is that it champions the aspirations of the majority who have been disadvantaged by many decades of undemocratic rule. Its primary task is to work for the emancipation of the black majority, the working people, the urban poor, the rural poor, the women, the youth and the disabled.
It is the task of this democratic state to champion the course of these people in such a way that the most basic aspirations of this majority assume the status of hegemony which informs and guides policy and practice of all the institutions of government and state.
The empowerment of the people to participate in the process of governance, expressed in the concepts of a people-centred society and people-driven processes of transformation, speaks to the fundamental significance of popular and participatory democracy.
It is about the commitment to the proclamation in the Freedom Charter that 'The People Shall Govern.’
The people - the true constructors, beneficiaries of the democratic order and its attendant processes of development and social transformation, themselves share an objective interest in securing their own safety and security.
Since 1994, we have been making steady progress in the fight against crime. This period has been characterised by growing unity in action against crime, a period focused on improving life conditions for all, especially the poor.
This has been confirmed by the recent statistics that we released to the public on 8th September 2011. The statistics amongst others reflect the following:
* The murder rate decreased by 6.5%;
* The attempted murder decreased by 12.2%;
* The sexual offences have decrease by of 4.4%;
* We are seriously concern with the increase in rape cases by 2.1%;
* Assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm cases decrease by 4.5%,
* The common assault ratio decreased by 7.1%;
* Common robbery ratio decreased by 5.9%;
* Robbery with aggravating circumstances ration indicate a decrease of 12%;
* Robbery at residential premises decrease by 10.1%;
* Burglary at residential premises has decreased by 4.8%;
* Burglary at non-residential premises has decreased by 5%;
* Theft of motor vehicle and motorcycle has decreased by 11.3%;
* Car hijacking is indicating a decrease of 23.6%;
* Truck hijacking has decreased by 29.2%;
* Stock-theft is indicating a decrease of 8.2%;
* Shoplifting has indicated a decrease of 12.7%;
* Cash in transit has decrease by 18.7%;
* The bank robberies has decreased by 58.1% and,
* ATM blast has increased drastically by 61.5%.
The increase in ATM bombings can mainly be associated with the heat that the criminals are feeling in bank robberies and cash-in-transit heists.
The progress that is reflected by the crime stats did not happen on its own. It came about through working smartly, toughly and within the confines of the law. Intelligence being at the centre of our policing work.
These successes together with other initiatives, such as more focused approach to community engagements and cooperation, have played a significant role in stabilising crime. Both our crime statistics and those of organised business are a testimony to the successes achieved so far.
Co-operation with police services in the region and further afield will be intensified and border control will be continually tightened. In introducing these measures, we proceed from the premise that crime is a scourge that does not respect borders, with syndicates that have made the entire globe the theatre of their operations.
This is particularly relevant to Southern Africa, given its background of apartheid destabilisation, popular resistance and the ensuing social dislocation.
The networks of crime have grown in their reach and sophistication across national boundaries. These include syndicates that deal with money laundering, human smuggling as well as drug trafficking and abuse.
Over the past seventeen years, after centuries of colonialism and apartheid, a new era has dawned for South Africa. The journey that we have thus far travelled gives us confidence that we shall reach our goal of a society that is free from crime, a society that cares.
The overall programme of transformation will gradually eliminate some of the conditions that breed crime. So shall our contribution to creating an environment of peace, stability, economic growth and social development in the SADC Region, the continent and the rest of the world.
At the core of the government programme is the obligation to improve the quality of life of all the citizens, for them to exercise their freedoms and use their talents to help our society flourish.
The progress we have made, the victories we continue to score are reflective of the vision of the South African Citizens’ commitment and determination to the cause of peace and social progress.
We are turning the tide against crime. We are not there yet, but with the participation of all sectors of society, we will reach our goal, which is People of our country are and feel safe.
This assembly is called upon never to forget that practice is greener than all theory, and that the true test of patriotic practice, is to be found in the ability to narrow to the minimum the gap between theory and reality.
I thank you.