Debate on Annual Report 2016/17

BY
HON MB GWALA MPL, KZN LEGISLATURE, 2018

Hon Speaker,

The IFP noted that the Department received unqualified audit opinion but it is of the opinion that more impetus is needed so that the Department of Community Safety and Liaison fulfil its core mandates in a satisfactory manner.

First and foremost, the Auditor General highlighted that the department needs to implement effective systems in terms of irregular expenditure and steps must be taken to ensure effective revenue collection. The AG recommended in the report that the lack of compliance in terms of regulations in line with supply chain management is very concerning. Now we want a comprehensive report on what progress has been made so far? We deserve to know.


IRREGULAR EXPENDITURE AND UNDER EXPENDITURE

We are concerned about the failure by some of the departments that are failing to address the issue of irregular expenditure. Both the Administration and the Provincial Secretariat for Police service incurred irregular expenditure. In addition, the budget was slightly underspent and the department incurred irregular expenditure of R7.3 million.

Goods and services of a transaction of R500 000 were procured without inviting competitive bids as required by Treasury Regulation 16A16.1. Deviations were approved by the accounting officer even though it was not impractical to invite competitive bids, in contravention of Treasury Regulation 16A6.4

Effective steps were not taken to prevent irregular expenditure of R7.3 million as disclosed in note 31 of the financial statements, as required by section 38(1)(c)(2) of the PFMA and TR 9.1.1

We challenge the MEC to ensure that the budget is spent accordingly and targets are met. The IFP will not accept such irregular expenditure from department. There must be justifiable reasons for department to incur irregular expenditure.


FAILURE TO MEET TARGETS

We would like to condemn the underachievement of the Department of Community Safety and Liaison as it has failed to meet some of its targets. Although, we have noted that some challenges in meeting those targets were beyond the Department like the establishment of Community Safety Forums due to the challenges of proper interpretation of CSF policy. The MEC must present a detailed plan on how his department intends to achieve those targets that were not met.


INVESTIGATIONS

The other concerns are the delay in finalising investigations. There were 3 forensic investigations from 2009 to date, relating to alleged procurement irregularities, mismanagement of funds and human resource regularities. Two have been completed and 1 is currently under investigation by the SAPS. Investigations must be expedited. We don’t tolerate the tendency of delaying the investigations because those who are alleged to be corrupt they must face the full might of the law.


EPWP PROGRAMMES

Although we welcome the EPWP incentive Grant to R10.321m for the appointment of 325 additional volunteers in the Volunteer Social Crime Prevention Program. But it is an undisputed fact that such programmes only benefit ANC volunteers. The ANC is using EPWP programme as its own tool to reward its volunteers so that they continue campaigning for the party during elections. All people must benefit in such programmes and we call for their visibility in our communities.


ILLEGAL GUNS, EXPLOSIVES AND TAXI VIOLENCE

The department has failed dismally in eradicating the scourge of illegal guns in our society. The fight against illegal guns must be a 365 days project not only during Safety Month as stated by the department. The IFP calls for a thorough investigation of where and how people get these illegal guns which are used in the killings whenever there are incidents of political assassinations, taxi violence and other killing sprees by criminals. Armed security companies are being employed to defend the leadership of some taxi associations and that is exacerbating the violence. We don’t hear anything from the MEC on this matter.

Also, a thorough investigation must be executed on how dangerous explosives used in Cash-In-Transit robberies and ATM bombings get to the hands of criminals. All explosives manufacturing companies, mining companies, Justice and Police Department employees and every one involved in this industry must be fully interrogated. The MEC must treat the issue of these illegal firearms and explosives as a matter of urgency.


VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN

The IFP emphasise that the need to curb violent crime must be a priority number one, especially when it is targeted against those who are society’s most vulnerable members, namely women and children.

The protection of women and children must be at heart of everyone including the MEC himself. We cannot talk about violence against women and children when the department only boast by saying it only wakes up from slumber during 16 Days of Activism to deal with violence against women and children. The Department must be in the forefront of dealing with monsters and ruthless killers who are terrorising our women and children. The fight against women and child abuse must be a 365 days project. This scourge must be eradicated in our society.


POLICE EFFECTIVENESS AND CORRUPT POLICE OFFICERS

As the IFP we want to see the MEC taking action against corrupt police officers. Persons of such low calibre should not be represented in the police force, which needs to have people of impeccable reputation, honesty, and those who abide by the law themselves. Police officers who are supplying firearms to criminals, protecting criminals and colluding with criminal’s car hijackings and cash-in-transits heists must be flushed out. We want to know what strategies the MEC has to deal with such criminals in the province? We are sick and tired of the establishment of task teams and commissions which are proved to be futile.

How can discipline be instilled in a police force which is headed by murderers and fugitives from justice? It is just not possible. And if the perception that such people should be protected or treated leniently because of their status takes root, we can forget about an effective police force.

We fully support the suggestion to be made in the National Assembly to call for an increase in the budget for IPID so that this directorate can fully implement its organisational structure and increase its human resource capacity especially directives. The IPID must act against any complaints against police misconduct. This agency must not become a “toothless tiger”. Once the investigation has been completed action must be taken against any police officer found to be in any transgression of the law.

We demand that the MEC must use his Constitutional powers to bring about change in this department. He must ensure that all challenges facing this department are attended too without any further delay.

I thank you