MEC Dan Plato: Western Cape Community Safety budget speech 2018/19

Speech by the Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Dan Plato during a sitting in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament Vote 4 � Community Safety � Western Cape Appropriation Bill

TOTAL BUDGET

Honourable Speaker, the Department of Community safety’s budget for the 2018/19 financial year totals R316.617 million � a nominal increase of R12.261 million from the previous year.

Included in this overall increase of 4% is the

Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) conditional grant allocation of R7.975 million;

R1 million provided by Provincial Treasury for a crime reduction conference involving Provincial, National and International experts later in the year; and

R1.5 million for the further development of a provincial response to the National Anti-Gangsterism strategy.

Overall, the Department’s budget is allocated towards:

Compensation of Employees, 47.69% (R150.990 million),

Goods and Services, 28.74% (R90.989 million),

Transfer payments, 21.38% (R67.699 million), and

Capital Assets, 2.01% (R6.939 million).

Our expenditure highlights, per programme, are as follows:

PROGRAMME 1: Administration is allocated R92.966 million to ensure process excellence within the Department. The bulk of the spending in programme one are for the compensation of employees and transfer payments to the Western Cape Liquor Authority, the latter receives a budget of R39.882 million this year.

Honourable Speaker, PROGRAMME 2: Civilian Oversight promotes professional policing through effective oversight and receives a budget of R74.092 million for 2018/19. Other than the EPWP conditional grant, the Crime Reduction Conference , the National Anti-Gang Strategy implementation and R1.011 million for the After School Game Changer that can be found in Programme 2, the Expanded Partnership Programme (EPP) which benefits CPFs, also resides in this Programme and is allocated R3.2 million in 2018/19.

The sub-programme Monitoring and Evaluation receives R13.092 million for compliance monitoring and evaluation of policing as well as the, now well established, Court Watching Briefs unit.

Honourable Speaker, PROGRAMME 3: Provincial Policing Functions promotes better relations between the police and communities through our ‘whole-of-society’ approach and receives R45.310 in 2018/19.

Included in this programme is the R5.670 million for the Youth Safety and Religion Partnership (YSRP) programme and a R3.938 million transfer to the City of Cape Town’s Community Stabilisation Unit which money shall be used to maintain and expand the safe zones in areas identified as crime hot-spots as a result mainly of gang activities.

The bulk of our equitable share of the EPWP falls within Programme 3. It amounts to R10.720 million and will allow for the 1000 youth work opportunities to be created with our safety partners. Here I wish to acknowledge the contribution of National Government who has increased the EPWP allocation to the Department of Community Safety with 139% , in recognition of the success of our Chrysalis and Youth Work Programme which guarantees that every young person who completes the Chrysalis training, is given a work placement of at least 12 months,

PROGRAMME 4: Security Risk Management receives R99.715 million which relates mainly to the deployment of security at government buildings providing safety to all who work and visit such government facilities. This money is furthermore earmarked for the implementation of Section 6 of the Western Cape Community Safety Act (WCCSA) � namely the formal accreditation, training and resourcing of Neighbourhood Watches (NHWs) in the Province.

Honourable Speaker, the Department’s own Revenue Budget for the coming financial year is R32.099 million. The projected increase of R1.759 million for the 2018/19 originates from increased liquor licenses to be paid over by the WCLA. Let me then also take this opportunity to congratulate the WCLA, in partnership with my department, for the significant progress made this year in the collection of revenue. They have succeeded to increase the revenue by a total of R12.5 million in one year which includes an increase of more than 100% in the amount of fines collected. In 2018/2019 we shall continue to strengthen the enforcement capability of the WCLA to clamp down on those legal outlets that are deliberately and knowingly selling and supplying the illegal outlets. Speaker the Alcohol Harms Reduction Game Changer is now fully sustained by the additional moneys collected in fines and revenue by the WCLA.

PRIORITIES

Honourable Speaker, the Department of Community Safety has secured its 8th consecutive clean audit outcome from the Auditor General. We have also for the third consecutive year received the best in province and country Management Performance Assessment (MPAT) scores as adjudicated by the Monitoring and Evaluation Department within the Presidency for 2017/18.

Our commitment to good governance and effectiveness was also recognised in our National Batho Pele Awards nomination as Best Performing Provincial Department, spearheaded by our Head of Department who took the Bronze award for the Best Provincial Head of Department.

Honourable Speaker, in 2012 I said in this house that senior police officers is involved with crime and gangsters. I said that it is one of the main reasons why policing is not succeeding and why we cannot get an upper hand on the gangsters and druglords.

I was bitterly criticised, even in this House.

But during February this year, our former Provincial Police Commissioner pleaded guilty in court to charges of corruption and with him another general and a brigadier.

There are more corrupt officers that must leave the service. They give the good cops a bad name.

One of our biggest problems in most of our communities is the lack of police visibility, as well as a lack of police intelligence to deal with the gun shooters and killers in our communities. These situations provide the breeding ground for lawlessness to take flight if we do not deal with the criminals decisively in a united front. Careless political statements and calls to illegal action cannot be tolerated.

Intelligence must deal with the suppliers of the guns and the drugs. I cannot understand why our security forces cannot deal with the shooters and killers, gang bosses and drug lords decisively.

How many more youngsters and people must die by the hand of a gangster gun? And we cannot stop them � why not?

It was a major mistake to let go of thousands of well-trained police reservists. It left a massive void. The current police force cannot cope without the reservists as a force multiplier. Bring them back.

Speaker, the department has made an official proposal to SAPS to pay a stipend to those fully trained and equipped police reservist who are underutilised mostly sitting at home. We must succeed to mobilise these trained men and women to work for safety especially within priority projects such as the safety of train and bus commuters, safety at schools and for the prevention of gang activities. I know that our proposal is still under consideration and that we require approval at National SAPS level. We need more police officers and I wish to make an urgent appeal to the newly appointed National Minister to ensure a speedily and positive response to this unique partnership opportunity between the WC Government and SAPS.

In the same way, we ask for the reinstatement of the specialised gang and drug unit. We disband what work in the fight against gangsters and drug lords � as if we give and want to give a safe passage to these evil forces.

We disband what work well, and still believe we can win the fight against these evil forces.

We must relook the bail system and opposing of bail for serious crimes.

Many community groupings visiting me at my offices claim that they cannot understand why alleged criminals with more than one serious case or charge such as murder and attempted murder against their name, walk out of court more than once � and just walk back into the community and just continue to shoot and threaten and rob people again.

I applaud Angus Buchan and his team for a successful prayer service in Mitchells Plain on Saturday and for addressing the gangster problem.

Interpersonal violence in the Western Cape, remains one of the biggest threats to a safer province. This needs to be understood in its occurrence, its impact and in its origins.

Honourable Speaker, I fully support the work done by the dedicated and hard-working men and women in blue who relentlessly serve our communities under the expert and committed guidance of our Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt Gen Jula. I thank you and each and every police officer in the province for your service.

Honourable Speaker, I remain concerned about the low conviction rates for gang and drug related crimes in the province, especially when confronted with the statistical evidence showing how rife these crimes are in our province:

For 40 instances of taxi violence, the system has only been able to secure one conviction.

The Western Cape still accounts for more than 36% of all drug-related crime in the country at 107 379 counts in 2016/17.

An average of 294 drug-related crime counts per day and an average of 8 counts of illegal firearms and ammunition per day.

An average of 9 counts murders; 19 counts sexual offences; 9 counts attempted murder, 66 counts assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm and 109 counts of common assault is reported every day in the province

We know, through the crime statistics, that ten police precincts in the province account for 47.4% (1 570) of the total number of reported murders and that seven (7) of these precincts are also on the list of 10 police stations across the country where the highest number of murders have been recorded.

The Western Cape Community Safety Act, which is now fully implemented – guiding our oversight, intervention and partnerships � were drafted to strengthen the ability of the WC to respond to these issues.

I have recently accepted the nominations to establish the Western Cape Safety Advisory Committee as per Section 25 of the Community Safety Act. Their aim is to strategically guide and enable the Province and the Department and other role players to perform their functions optimally. The Safety Advisory Committee, consists of:

Judge Ntlupheko James Yekiso, as a member of the judiciary, is appointed Chairperson;

Mr Crispin Sonn, representative of the business community;

Professor Clifford Shearing, as a senior member of an academic institution with experience in the field of criminology;

Ms Clare Ballard, as a representative from the non-governmental organisations involved in policing or related areas; and

Mr Gideon Morris, our Head of Department, as ex officio member of the committee.

I welcome the Committee; thank them for their willingness to serve the people of the province. I remain confident that this committee shall, as was envisaged by this house, when they passed the WC Community Safety Act, increase the intellectual muscle of the province to effectively build safer communities.

Honourable Speaker, the work of the Western Cape Police Ombudsman, as set out in the Community Safety Act, is going from strength to strength. Since inception the Ombudsman has received 1445 complaints, of which 883 investigations have been finalised.

The Policing Needs and Priorities (PNP) report for 2017/18, as directed by the Act, will be released in April 2018. Last year we focused our attention for the PNP determination to five areas � Manenberg, Gunya, Saldanha, Khayelitsha and Paarl East, to better align to the Provincial Joint Planning Initiative with participating municipalities entering into Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with the Department to formalise co-operation and implementation of the safety plans.

Our support to and relationship with Community Policing Forums continue to improve. The R3.2 million allocated to CPFs through the EPP for 2018/19 is our biggest investment and support to CPFs to date.

Thus far, 133 of the 150 CPFs which translate to 88% have agreed to participate on the Expanded Partnership Programme (EPP) as a structured approach to measure and build functional community based structures under the legal mandate governing CPFs. I am especially encourage by the confirmation that SAPS has now given their full support to the EPP III tool which were developed to enhance both CPF functionality and the partnership between the communities, CPF and the SAPS. I also wish to thank the Provincial CPF Board for its proclaimed support to the EPP programme in the 2018/2019 financial year.

Speaker, almost two-thirds of the Matching Grants funded projects (63%) for CPFs during 2017/18 were launched in non-metro communities, confirming our support to rural areas across the province � including Oudtshoorn, Ladismith, Struisbaai, Tulbagh, Porterville and Saldanha.

For the 2017/18 financial year the Department is making available a minimum amount of R400 000 for similar Matching Grants projects and I urge our CPFs to make use of this opportunity.

Speaker, our CPFs, CPF Boards and NHWs will also benefit from 16 consultative workshops during 2018/19 to be held in each cluster across the province.

To date, 200 Neighbourhood Watches (NHWs) across the province have been formally accredited, with the bulk of 161 receiving accreditation in 2017/18. We were able to train 71 NHW structures in 2017/18. For the new financial year we are aiming at accrediting at least another 100 NHW formations, we are setting aside R1.225 million for training, as well as R1.3 million to adequately equip our NHWs with a starter kit upon accreditation.

The accreditation of NHW structures as per section 6 of the WC Community Act paves the way for increased and direct funding of such structures. We plan to increase the direct spend to NHW structures and will especially look at the additional revenue collected by the Liquor Authority to fund safety initiatives ensuring that some of the cost of liquor trading is invested back into the safety of those communities.

Honourable Speaker, this past Monday evening we honoured the selfless service of our NHW volunteers in the City of Cape Town with the first bilateral NHW awards ceremony with the City and congratulate all the winners, especially the three Gold NHWs of the Year: Tygerdal and Glenwood in third place; Summer Greens in as runners up; and Table View Neighbourhood Watch as the winners. I welcome some of their members in the gallery today.

Going forward, the Department plans on replicating the awards for NHWs with District Municipalities across the province and in accordance with the new regulations implemented under Section 29 of the Community Safety Act.

Part of our oversight work includes the work done by the Court Watching Briefs unit who is now operational at 42 district courts throughout the province and has won the 2017 Impumelelo Star Awards for innovation. The unit has grown in its scope and output and has monitored in excess of 3 768 cases since inception in 2014/15. This relates to a more than 2000% increase in work load from the 134 cases monitored which was struck off the roll in 2014/15 to 2768 cases monitored which was struck off the court roll in 2016/17.

I thank Adv Gerber and Adv Khan and her team for this essential oversight. The department is now also formally engaging the National Prosecuting Authority via its Criminal Proceedings Co-ordinating Committee monthly meeting reporting back on the systemic failure identified at the various courts by the Watching Briefs Unit.

Honourable Speaker, to further inform our future actions based on empirical evidence other than the PNP, the Department will be hosting a Crime Conference in the third quarter of 2018/19 to tackle some of the key safety concerns throughout the province, such as gang violence, farm violence, poaching and drug offences; as well as compile a provincial crime and safety analysis report and one report on municipal safety.

In the same sense, the Department has ongoing responses, interventions and participation on various safety related issues. The good intergovernmental work done by my department and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism has seen great strides made to help address ATM fraud in the inner City. Similarly, my Department is aware of the continued threats people experience while making use of the greater Table Mountain area. Adequate responses to these types of threats require all agencies, role players and interest holders to work better together � not in pocketed silos, or splinter factions. My department remains a willing partner to any person or organisation who wishes to improve safety in our communities.

We remain as committed as ever to see the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry process through with the community. All the recommendations are being implemented. For the year ahead, the particular focus of the Priorities Committee in close cooperation with the SAPS will be on coordinating the strategies and services of provincial departments with the City of Cape Town and Ward Councillors. The Department has allocated R482 000 to assist with the implementation of community projects in this regard.

Honourable Speaker, the Department is Chairing the ProvJoints Anti-Gangsterism Committee aimed at coordinating and implement the Provincial Response to the National Anti-Gangsterism Strategy (NAGS) adopted by National Cabinet. We have also, as is required by the National Strategy, established a provincial Inter-Ministerial Committee comprising the MEC’s for Community Safety, Education, Social Development and Arts, Sports and Culture. As well as the senior representation of the National Prosecuting Authority, SAPS, Departments of Justice and Correctional Services and the heads of various provincial departments. This Inter-Ministerial Committee has the mandate to coordinate the implementation of the four pillars of the national anti-gang strategy, namely: Human Development with focus on school safety and Social Cohesion, Social Partnerships with focus on functional CPF structure and sustainable partnership, Spatial Design focusing on building safer spaces for communities and Combating Gangsterism through effective law enforcement.

The Department was able to secure the help of Professor Don Pinnock, to lead a series of engagements with criminal justice officials and external role players to articulate and further develop our action plan with R1.5 million budgeted for implementation.

Honourable Speaker, during the 2017/18 financial year, the Department of Community Safety already shows an increased collection of R12.5 million by the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) calculated against the actual revenue collected during the previous financial year. This was as a result of not only an increase in license fees but also efficiencies achieved by the WCLA in the collection of fines. From a governance perspective, the entity also now obtained the accolade of a clean audit for 2016/17.

I thank the work done by the Western Cape Liquor Authority in this regard and welcome the new Liquor Board, Chaired by Adv Sidaki as a valuable partner in our aim of not only effectively regulating the retail sale and micro manufacturing of liquor in the province but also for their role in addressing the scourge of alcohol in the province.

Honourable Speaker, Alcohol Harms Reduction Game Changer implementation and activities are ongoing and we, together with our partners in the SAPS, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), and other law enforcement agencies continue to improve the effectiveness to enforce laws related to illegal liquor trading. The enforcement of Section 76 (e) of the national Liquor Act will this year focus on quality monitoring of premises to obtain the necessary evidence to clamp down on legal sellers providing to illegal and unregulated outlets.

We have to ensure that where problems arise in communities which have a direct safety implication or threat to communities, that we explore the options available to the Western Cape Government through legislation, regulation or improved working relationships to compliment the intention of National legislation for effective and efficient intergovernmental cooperation. This is particularly true for the impact illegal poaching activities as well as the illegal trade in second hand goods, specifically copper, is having on the safety of communities in the province. I have instructed my Department to explore all avenues in 2018/19 to derive at a workable response.

The Youth Safety and Religion Partnership (YSRP) programme is currently in its 6th year of implementation and has reached more than 108 000 youths during school holidays since its inception. An independent review of the programme in 2017/18 has revealed valuable insights which we need to consider going forward. Most notably what was seen as a criticism was that the programme attracts far more children under the age of 14 than it does for the target market of youths aged 14 � 25.

This, Honourable Speaker, is a great opportunity for my Department to make further inroads into an age grouping which are all the more confronted with the scourge of gangsterism and drugs. Community members complain about children as young as 9 running around with guns or being used by gangsters and drug lords in their criminal activity.

The Department will continue with the YSRP implementation this year and have increased the budget available with more than R1 million to total R5.670 million in 2018/19. Though the Department will be prioritising high risk areas in the coming year, the programme remains open for applications across the province. In 2017/18 we had an almost 20% uptake in rural areas who received 22.5% of the available funding. We will continue to measure the success of the programme.

Our support and partnership with the Chrysalis Academy and FET Colleges continue. In total, we have reached 6000 youth through our FET College outreach activities in 2017/18, of which more than 1000 have been afforded the opportunity to study towards a better life through a tertiary education bursary.

We have managed to increase our funding to Chrysalis with R2 million in 2018/19 to total R13.327 million, which will see the training of 640 Chrysalis Academy youth graduates and work placements for all graduates at safety partners for a full 12 months after graduation.

The Department will also partner with the Chrysalis Academy this year for Youth Month. The Department’s youth month activities will be launched on 9 June 2018 at Athlone Stadium with youth in excess of 2500 expected to attend and followed up with a number of activities and events for the duration of June 2018.

Honourable Speaker, since the start of our Walking Bus project in 2016, the Department has been able to launch Walking Busses in 75 areas, with 222 schools participating and in excess of more than 2000 walking bus volunteers.

Further to the weekly monitoring and daily flagging of problems, I am happy to announce that the Walking Bus project are also receiving support and monitoring via the City of Cape Town Camera Control room in conjunction with Metro Police and the SAPS to allow for quicker response times and coordinated law enforcement support. We have embarked on providing the necessary road safety training to our Walking Bus structures and the results of the project and appreciation for the Walking Busses are streaming in from communities. In the year to come we will be launching an additional 25 new Walking Busses in communities across the province including Harare, Makhaza, Marikana, Wallacedene, Zwelethemba, De Doorns, Vredendal, Lutzville, Vredenburg, St. Helena Bay, Klapmuts, Vissershok and Heideveld.

It is our vision to capacitate community volunteers in the Walking Bus as a viable and sustainable activity under the Neighbourhood Watch model to formalise our support and assistance to our trusted safety volunteers.

Honourable Speaker, other outreach activities aimed at the youth to be launched in 2018/19 will see the introduction of a peer mentorship programme in communities, as well as the roll out of our annual Women’s Month and 16 Days of Activism campaigns.

School safety remains a priority for the Department and we continue to engage with our safety partners in government, law enforcement and communities on the threats to school safety.. We conclude the transfer payment to the City of Cape Town of R6.5 million for the establishment of 10 Safe Zones in and around 14 priority schools in areas, including Manenberg, Lingelethu-West, Belhar, Delft, Ravensmead, Hanover Park and Bonteheuwel. It will see the deployment of four School Resource Officers (SROs) and Neighbourhood Safety Officers (NSOs) at high risk schools between 07:00 and 22:00 daily.

The establishment of such safe zones is done in close consultation with all law enforcement agents including SAPS via the structures of the ProvJoints under the co-chairman ship of the SANDF and SAPS. The safe zones once fully established and integrated within the command and control structures of law enforcement, shall provide a critical and safe access point to essential government services such as Emergency Medical Services, Social Development and Education.

Honourable Speaker, none of our interventions or partnerships can ever replace the crucial role to be played by a functioning, well-resourced and equipped police service in our communities.

This budget will allow us to continue forging the partnerships between police and communities where a breakdown in trust exists. It will provide us the opportunity to build on existing partnerships to improve safety in communities across the province.

I thank the Department and those in my office and in the outreach team who work in support of our shared goal of safer communities.

I thank you.

Source: Government of South Africa