Vote 28, 24 & 21: Police (includes Independent Police Investigative Directorate and Civilian Secretariat for the Police Service)

Hon. Z Majozi

Honourable Speaker,

The pandemic has accentuated the role of the SAPS in ensuring that government policy, aimed at securing and protecting the people of this country, is implemented. The IFP remains concerned by the thinly-stretched budget allocation for this critical agency, beyond the pandemic.

The IFP welcomes the more frequent reporting on crime statistics in the country, despite the worrying trends that were announced by the Police Minister last week. The country’s murder rate continues its climb, despite the lockdown regulations, with murders increasing exponentially across the nation. The IFP urges the SAPS to investigate and take appropriate action in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, where a dramatic rise in killings has been recorded. Addressing the murder rate in general requires a more effective approach from all agents in our justice system. Regarding this, the IFP believes that improved collaboration between all crucial actors will mitigate violent crime, including gender-based violence and femicide, and work on restoring public trust in our police service.

The IFP notes, with concern, the continued leadership issues that are affecting the Department’s ability to effectively fulfil its mandate. There is a desperate need for corrupt officials, at all levels, to be visibly held accountable and removed from positions of influence. This is another factor in the public’s distrust in the police.

The IFP wishes to express its disappointment at the state of the Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL), which remains a source of discontent amongst victims of crime. The FSL is unable to efficiently deal with its backlogs, resulting in delayed justice for far too many victims of violent, and other crimes. Further, this backlog is testament to the poor resourcing of the SAPS and the agencies that support its work, all to the detriment of the South African people.

The appointment of the Executive Director has provided IPID with the opportunity to regain lost ground and set the Department right. That being said, the IFP supports the request for a report into why the process of appointment took almost two years, particularly for such a crucial leadership role.

The inadequate resourcing of the IPID is a serious concern that has been raised by Parliament over the years. This poor resourcing has hampered the effectiveness of IPID and has led to a significant reduction in its geographic footprint, with numerous satellite offices across South Africa being forced to close. This means there are less boots on the ground to hold SAPS officers accountable, and more unscrupulous officers will operate with impunity in the face of misconduct. IPID cannot be allowed to fail due to a lack of resources.

The IFP urges SAPS to use all its available resources to ensure that crime rates decrease, that IPID can fulfil its mandate, and so that the public can know that SAPS is capable of meeting its constitutional mandate to guarantee the safety and security of all who live in this country.

The IFP supports the Budget.

I thank you.