Minister of Police, Mr. NPT Nhleko and all Colleagues,
Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Mr. F. Beukman,
Honourable Members of Parliament,
All MECs present,
A/National Commissioner of Police, Lt. Gen Phahlane & all SAPS members,
All National Heads of SAPS Entities (IPID, PSIRA and Civilian Secretariat)
Our Youth and Children,
This year is the 40th Anniversary of the Youth Uprising, which should be a very special and auspicious commemoration to us all as a nation.
But, the recent research results by STAT SA might have dampened the mood a little bit.
Admittedly though, it did not come as a total surprise or shock, when the STAT SA’s newly released report on Vulnerable Groups Survey Report 2016, indicated that young South Africans are more susceptible than any other age group to violence and crime; unemployment and poverty.
As the Ministry of Police, we have had already indications since 2014 that there was a significant rise in crime among the youth in South Africa.
Nevertheless, at the backdrop of this bleak report, which is of great concern us as the nation, the Department of Police had proactively given ethos to youth development by establishing internship and learnership programmes to help curb unemployment amongst the youth.
And indeed, at our last Budget Vote 2015, we even announced that the Ministry of Police would specifically recommend the Department to approve a further intake of 20 funded interns for the Financial Year 2015/2016.
The Ministry of Police is today pleased and proud to announce that this promise was fulfilled, and we have taken an additional 21 interns and they have been placed at the various units in the Division of Visible Policing.
Ultimately, the intention is to fill some of the vacant entry-level posts with these interns. The Ministry of Police is also continuing engaging with other SAPS Divisions, such as the HAWKS, to consider the pool of these interns for their entry level posts. The objective is to retain these young interns as full-time employees within the SAPS.
This is part of the “Back-to-Basics” approach to policing in South Africa. We must not misinterpret this approach as only aspiring to clean living and moral upstanding.
This approach is greatly inspired by the zeal to combine all our efforts to channel our youth in the right direction.
The re-launch of the SAPS Women’s Network and Men for Change (to be re-launched on 9th May 2016), as part of the 44th Anniversary celebrations of Women in Policing, is part of the Back-to-Basics approach to policing.
These are the two networks in SAPS that also continue to champion the rights of the most vulnerable groups in our society, especially in the rural areas.
The SAPS Women’s Network has been involved in visionary programmes in our rural areas, that show an extraordinary duty beyond policing, bringing a unique dynamic to community policing.
This network has supported the elderly victims of brutal rape, ensuring that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are apprehended and convicted.
Furthermore, the SAPS Women’s Network and Men for Change will be embarking on community outreach programme that will be addressing the problem of ukuthwala of young children, in our rural areas, especially in the Eastern Cape.
We want to say, we respect a tradition that builds a nation, but we abhor a so-called culture that oppresses, abuses, abduct, and rape our children in the name of tradition. We will arrest those children abusers who abduct our children in the name of “customary marriage”. They are nothing more than pedophiles!
The long-standing Inter-Governmental Relations Framework Act must help all our National Departments and three-spheres of Government to revive the basic principle of collaboration for efficient and impactful basic service delivery to our children, the future of this country.
This Act did help us in establishing a working protocol with the Department of Basic Education. Probably.
What is now needed is to monitor and evaluate the impact of this Schools Safety Programme.
It is a fact that today’s youth faces a host of challenges that often lead to an abnormal psyche.
Incidents of child-on-child rape; bullying; substance abuse; gangsterism; and sheer violence have become very common in our schools.
Parents, Teachers, Faith-Based Fraternity, Government and Business, must all come together to fight for the betterment of our youth’s future.
We are again urging our Department of Education to actively partner with us as we embark on our monitoring programme for ensuring that all schools have functional and effective school safety committees.
Going back to basics is also about active citizenry to mobilize and organize themselves against criminals and help the police.
It is about encouraging the culture of initiative and proactiveness from all sectors and stakeholders of our society.
For instance, last year, the community of Masiphumelele brought to our attention that there was an acute lack of police visibility in their area. We promptly responded and intervened by delivering a mobile police station last year in November 2015.
We acknowledge that Masiphumelele is not the only area with this problem. We have visited Lavender Hill, Cite C, Nyanga, and other areas, and it is the same problem.
In this instance, the Mobile Police Station Project has been established. This project is all about enhanced police visibility, this is about responsive investigation, this is about utilization of resources.
We can announce that the launch and subsequent roll-out of mobile police stations will start in earnest in May 2016, starting with Khayelitsha Cit C, proceeding to Lavender Hill, Crossroads village in Peddie, Botshabelo in the Free State, and other crime hot spots, across the nine Provinces.
The Funding of these police stations will be from the SAPS National Budget and not from Provincial Budgets.
The initiative of mobile police station is putting emphasis on desirability for a high police visibility and using it as a problem-solving tool.
It will provide comforting reassurance and public confidence in police, and allows more tangible approach to community policing.
We must understand that the logistics of building a police station involves a lot of departments, and thus takes a lot of time to complete.
Also, the terrain of most of South African rural areas obligates mobile police stations. This was made vivid to me, when we held a community outreach programme in Ngqushwa, at Crossroads Village a week ago.
This visit was to continue raising the profile and importance of policing in rural communities. We must ensure that the rural communities do not feel as if they are receiving second rate policing service when compared to the urban areas.
We must continue dismantling organized criminals who are bent to steal valuable live- stock of the rural communities.
But, our visit to Crossroads village in Peddie proved to me that, crime in rural communities is not only about stock theft, it also about teen pregnancy, gender-based violence, gangsterism, violence; and substance abuse in these rural schools.
Policing in rural areas presents very unique challenges. The sheer distances involved between villages, and isolated nature of many communities can lead to a sense of vulnerability and heightened fear of crime.
The mobile police station project will strengthen the Department’s Front Line Service Delivery (FSD) Programme.
This FSD Programme is a dedicated programme that encapsulates the professional police member that the people of South Africa require to service them; community-accessible and receptive police service delivery points; a professional and accountable service that the police should render; and establishment of effective stakeholder relations and involvement in the delivery of policing services.
Frontline Service Delivery Programme is unapologetically biased to our still disadvantaged communities, and is thus pro-poor service delivery.
The FSD is leveling the field, by closing the gap between the poorly developed police station infrastructural capacities (scarce resources, skills, and isolated support), and those that are already developed, as found in affluent areas.
A well-equipped police station is the first line for the community’s safety, their complaint, and their ultimate justice.
However, it is a glaring fact that there is a growing frustration in the community about service delivery from other front- line Departments at a local level.
And, this has put a lot of additional pressure on the police and their allocated resources.
We must then understand that conventional policing is being consistently negatively affected due to high number of these violent service delivery protests, which have inevitably diverted core policing human, financial and material resources.
Police killings have also been very detrimental to effective policing.
Therefore, as the South African Police Service, we are expected and obligated to change our basic methods, procedures, and structures of policing to align with these added constraints.
The Farlam Commission had issued strong recommendations to do just that. The Minister of Police has already appointed the Panel of Experts to provide technical best practices to transform the organization.
The Ministerial Transformation Task Team, will in turn complement this Panel, by reviewing all the policies, national instructions, standing orders and operational standards that detriment and negate the police officers’ working environment, their living conditions, their career progression, and their dependants’ livelihood, when the police officers either retire or pass on.
The police officer health and wellness is an emerging priority, and these are principles that must not be lost from policing the nation. We do hope then that our Department will not be adversely affected by the cost containment measures as introduced by National Treasury.
We are pleased to inform this House that the Transformation Terms of Reference are completed, and will be consolidated with the Panel of Experts, which will be launched on 29th April 2016.
But of course when this ANC-led government listens and promptly intervenes on the plight of our people and our police officers, we are being accused of “misdirected and political grandstanding”.
We unapologetically insist that, the security of our country must always be premised on the vision of the National Development Plan, which aims to counter the destructive legacy that was left by colonialism, apartheid, and a segregated economy.
And this seems to be conveniently forgotten by the so-called liberalists who cynically claim that some of our transformative legislation will hasten investors to leave South Africa in their droves.
An example of this is the PSIRA bill as Amended. It is alleged that the Bill in its current form as Amended, is “unconstitutional”, “xenophobic”, and a “threat to job creation and economy”.
The bone of contention is “ownership”, [Clause 20 (2) (c)] and sadly, has nothing to do with the behavior, conduct ad compliance of owners of these security companies and their respective customers, who also don’t obey the law.
For instance, these skeptical critics avoid transformational issues such as equitable wage for the thousands security guards in the industry.
As the SAPS Executive, we urge the PSIRA Council to advise the Ministry of Police in doing away with the issue of classification of areas with regard to Illustrative Contract Pricing Structure.
Currently, this system truly smacks of the ‘Old Apartheid’ Group Areas Act, where pricing structure for a security guard is dictated according to three Areas, Area 1 (e.g.: Magisterial Districts of Germiston, Kempton Park, Pretoria Simonstown, etc), Area 2 (e.g.: Magisterial Districts of Mangaung, Kimberly, Somerset West, Stellenbosch, etc) and Area 3 (all other areas such as Umthatha, Umlazi, Polokwane, Galeshewe, etc), with different monthly salaries for the security guard as per area employed.
PSIRA, anivakali ngalendlela sifuna ngayo. You must bite harder against non-compliance. Why are you still using such outdated contract pricing structures?
We will anticipate the PSIRA Council to sort this out urgently and to report to us within the next six months, as every policy must be in line with our Constitution.
Another transformational issue conveniently forgotten is the matter of bouncers who are mostly armed at most of the establishments of their posting.
I am sure no one is keen to know or to monitor if these bouncers are actually registered with PSIRA, as legislation dictates. Again, the skeptics seem to overlook this matter. All they care about is “ownership” as opposed to “compliance”.
In no way do we say, multi-national private security companies operating here pose threat to the country’s national security and sovereignty. However, they must obey our Laws and our Constitution.
But, we would rather loose our global trading partners, break our international trade agreement obligations, rather than compromise our own transformation laws for our national security and the betterment of our workers. And, this is not a xenophobic stance, as hypocrites lead to believe.
As I conclude, we want to reiterate that, our back-to-basics approach strive for a policing that will contribute to the national agenda of freeing our people from want and fear.
We want to see a policing that secures our people from fear of poverty, unemployment, disease, violence and crime.
We all have a duty to go deeper and analyze the root causes of and consequences of insecurities, which undermine and devalue people’s lives.
We will continue moving forward towards a safer South Africa, but we will never follow hypocrites, skeptics and pessimists, who are hell-bent to move our country backwards.
I thank you all.