Welcome to the Mpumalanga Provincial Government

Budget Vote speech of the Department of Safety, Security and Liaison, presented by MEC S Manana

21 May 2010

Mr Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Mpumalanga Legislature
Honourable Premier, Mr DD Mabuza
Members of the Executive Council
Honourable Members of the Mpumalanga Legislature and Members of Parliament
Councillors from different Municipalities
Head of Department: Mr IN Khoza
Lieutenant General TR Ntobela for SAPS
Mr ES Mndawe Area Commissioner for the Correctional Services
Mr RSS Zitha for the Home Affairs
Major Nxumalo for the SANDF
Mr M Tsimane: Provincial Head of ICD
Mr M Mphuthi : Provincial Chairperson of the CPF Board and CPF members
Leadership of the South African Council of Churches
Leadership of the Traditional Healers Organisation
Government officials
Ladies and gentlemen
Comrades and friends

It is an honour for me to be given this opportunity to present the Policy and Budget Speech of the Department of Safety, Security and Liaison for the 2010/11 financial year. Mr Speaker, 2010 is A Year of Action: Ensuring That All People in South Africa Are and Feel safe. As declared by the President of South Africa, His Excellency Jacob Zuma on the occasion of the State of the Nation Address, “government shall accelerate service delivery”. He further made a commitment that the work of government will be measured according to defined outcomes. It was not by mistake that the current administration made the fight against crime and corruption amongst its major priorities.

The fight against crime and corruption should not be the sole responsibility of government. There is a need to galvanise all stakeholders to be active participants in the fight against crime. We have to do this because crime like HIV and AIDS does not discriminate. It affects young and old, rich and poor, educated and illiterate, politicians and business people.

Mr Speaker, crime is a social problem and its presence destabilise community settings, it also affect the economy such that funds which could be used to develop our communities will now have to be diverted to other factors which arise as a consequence of crime. This means that crime threatens the social welfare of South Africa as a developmental state.

Crime, more especially its violent nature present one of the paramount challenges to development because beyond the direct effect on victims, violent crime inflict widespread costs, generating a climate of fear for all citizens and diminishing economic growth.

As a result of this and other factors, some scholars and researchers have argued that crime is number one social problem. It is very correct that the high level of violent crime remains our most challenge.  There are a number of contributing factors to the current state of affairs. The fact that Mpumalanga share borders with Mozambique and Swaziland present a challenge to the resources we have and the implementation plan.

The Honourable Premier, Mr DD Mabuza said during the State of the Province Address, “We are informed that the areas bordering Mozambique and Swaziland have become a safe haven for criminals. This trend extends to the Nkomazi area and the entire belt that runs from Matsulu to Barberton, especially along the mining areas”.

This is caused by the high number of people entering or exiting the province through the Lebombo and Oshoek Border Posts. We are working with other stakeholders in all our border post to make sure that criminal activities are eliminated. Equally in order to ensure that our members at all ports of entry are not found participating in these criminal activities, an anti-corruption strategy was developed and is being implemented. 

This initiative will continue to be the focus during the 2010/11 financial year to ensure effective service delivery and improved integrity of our officials at the ports of entry through co-ordinated law enforcement. We want to ensure that our members are not caught with their pants down. Our mandate is to fight crime and as we do that, we do not expect law enforcers to be found wanting. Should that happen; we are not going to hesitate in arresting them and ensuring that we hand them over the orange uniform.

It is therefore necessary that as we implement the anti-corruption strategy at the ports of entry, we have all our officials deployed there, vetted and screened.

We have improved the infrastructural facilities in some of our ports prioritising Lebombo, Jeppes Reef, Oshoek and Mahamba ports of entry. The Lebombo border post will be having a new pedestrian facility and by-pass freight routes with canopies. This project is already 60% complete. The main objective for this overhaul is to ensure that our infrastructure responds to the challenges faced by officials at ports and we hope the canopies will improve the working conditions at this particular port of entry. 

The South African Police Service deploys an average of 350 police officers at a time at the borders as well as 100 reservists. 11 illegal firearms were confiscated, 35 stolen vehicles recovered, 243kg of dagga seized, 10 900 illegal goods including cigarettes, cattle and copper cable confiscated and 1 030 arrests effected in 2009/10 financial year.

Last year I led a delegation consisting of officials from the department, SAPS leadership as well as members of the Border Control Operational and Coordination Committee on a visit to some of our ports of entry and border lines in the province. The intention was to assess the challenges faced by our officials and determine how best can we intervene to improve the situation.

Mr Speaker, it became evident during our visit that the deployment of SAPS to look after the border lines was not yielding the desired results. The prevailing conditions demand additional inputs if we are to ensure an effective management and monitoring of our border lines. I should assume that working together with different stakeholders, we were able to make the appropriate noise because just before the end of last year, the National Cabinet announced the redeployment of the South African National Defence Force in the border lines.

Mr Speaker, as I am presenting this Policy and Budget Speech, the SANDF has already taken site. The handover of the Macadamia Base was done on 9 to 12 May 2010 and both the advance team and main force have reported. Honourable Members, I would like to indicate that highly mobile operations will be conducted during the day and night with the main focus on night operations. A composite force is employed with all necessary resources for a successful Border Line Control. 200 SANDF members have been deployed to operate the border lines in the province.

This whole operation is called Operation CORONA and will be conducted in 3 phases. Phase 1 will focus on Macadamia and be responsible for the border area from Mbuzini to Crocodile River, while Phase 2 focuses on Sand River (Kruger National Park) border line and Phase 3 will focus on the Swaziland Border. We hope that this new development will go a long way in ensuring adequate security in our border lines. The SAPS will continue to operate the ports of entry.

 Section 206 (3) of the Constitution of South Africa read with Section 5 of the White Paper on Safety and Security stipulates that we have to monitor the police conduct, oversee its effectiveness and efficiency, including receiving reports on the police service, assess the effectiveness of visible policing and mostly to link the communities with the police service.

In order to achieve these milestones and at the same time ensure that we do not deviate from our mandate, it was necessary that adequate systems and structures such as the strategic plans and organogram talk directly to the mandate. Further, the department has adopted a seven Point Plan for the 2010/2013 Medium Term Expenditure Framework period.

The Seven Point Plan comprises of Improvement of the Human and Finance Resource capacity, Monitoring and Evaluation of the SAPS, Improving the provision of security services, Reduction of contact crime by 7-10% per annum, Implementation of the 2010 Integrated Safety and Security Plan, Development of Community and Institutional structures and Mobilization as well as the Development and Management of Departmental Systems and Structures.

Mr Speaker, we have set for ourselves this plan so that new strategic goals and objectives for the department find expression to our daily work. Later on I will indicate the exact programmes the department will be engaged on to achieve the Seven Point Plan.

The current government administration has put the fight against crime and corruption amongst its top priorities. Government has made an undertaking to transform the Criminal Justice System so that delivery of services can be done in a much quicker way.

This is done so that we ensure that our fight against crime is not in vain. Criminals need to be arrested and the courts need to ensure that those found guilty receive the necessary punishment. Accordingly, I have on repeated occasions emphasized the need to ensure that thorough investigation precede any arrest so that all cases taken to the courts are won. This means that we should investigate to make an arrest and avoid arresting in order to conduct an investigation.

Mr Speaker, cases are thrown out of the courts because of poor investigation, failure by witnesses to present themselves to testify during courts proceedings and as a result create animosity between community members and police because suspects arrested today will be seen loitering the streets the following day.

We have noticed that most crimes committed are characterised by violence and sometimes it is difficult to understand that trend. It is not easy to understand why the criminals would decide to kill their victims when the only thing they want is just a mere cellular phone or a hand bag. This means that in dealing with the criminals, we need not to be soft. We should be frontal and uncompromising.

We cannot allow the criminal to keep us hostage in our own communities. Working together we must reclaim all our streets and make the lives of criminals difficult such that any would-be criminal get discouraged by the manner in which we respond to any criminal activity.

Last month two police officers and a police reservist in Amersfoort were shot dead whilst on patrol. We made a commitment that we were not going to rest until those criminals were brought to book and face the wrath of law.

Mr Speaker, today I am glad to report that eight suspects linked to the crime were arrested in Gauteng two weeks ago.

Mr Speaker, the crime statistics for 2008/09 was released last year by the National Minister of Police. There is an apparent increase in property related crime, with burglary at residential premises and burglary at business premises showing an increase. Burglary at residential premises recorded 19,839 cases in 2008/2009 against 18,855 cases in 2007/2008 and burglary at business premises recording 5,329 cases in 2008/09 against 4,273 cases in 2007/08. Business robberies increased from 305 cases in 2007/08 to 818 cases in 2008/09.

Generally, the crime rate in the province increased in terms of the crime statistics for 2008/09 as released. A closer look to this kind of a situation presents different pictures. Others can argue that this means an increased in a number of criminal activities taking place, whilst others can argue that the increased is as a result of the increased in access hence people are able to report criminal activities. Whatever argument is put on the table, there is still much to be done and as government we will continue to mobilise all stakeholders to partner with us in the fight against crime. We have to turn the tide and take the heat right to the criminals’ doorsteps.

Mr Speaker, the above illustration and interpretation of the statistics does not in any way mean that the South African Police Service in the province has failed to do its work. During the period under review the SAPS in its endeavour to fight crime and corruption have achieved a number of milestones. The Detectives service received an excellent rating of 53.74%, putting them in the fifth place in the country. This is a great achievement considering the fact that they started the financial year with an overall rating of 45%. More than 50% of sexual offences were detected indicating that the SAPS Mpumalanga is in line with national priorities regarding crimes against women and children. There is still room for further improvement to ensure that the fight against women and children abuse set them free from this scourge.

The following successes were also achieved during the 2009/2010 financial year:
  • 22 687 dangerous weapons and 2 929 illegal firearms were confiscated;
  • 1 125kg of dagga was seized and 1 113 units of mandrax and other drugs were confiscated
  • 1 422 stolen vehicles recovered

Overall the South African Police Service arrested 61 073 suspects for all crime categories. 

Mr Speaker, the need to continue to reduce the number of firearms in circulation must be sustained as part of the strategy to combat violent crime. In November 2009, the Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa declared a firearms amnesty which took place between 11 January and 11 April 2010. 

The aims of the amnesty were to amongst others; advocate the voluntary surrender for destruction of licensed firearms through the process prescribed in the Firearms Control Act and to allow for people who missed the cut off date for licensing to as well license their weapons. In total 2 503 firearms and 23 183 rounds of ammunition were surrendered in Mpumalanga. I would like to take this opportunity and appreciate the people of this province for their positive response.

Mr Speaker, in keeping with the undertaking we made in the past in this august house, I would like to indicate that during the 2010/2011 financial year the following new police stations will be opened:

  • SAPS Hazyview
  • SAPS Mbuzini
  • SAPS Tweefontein and
  • SAPS Pienaar

As we continue to improve the face of the South African Police Service and also deliver the necessary services to our people, the following new stations will be built during 2010 - 2014:

  • SAPS Bushbuckridge
  • SAPS Mmamethlake
  • SAPS Balfour
  • SAPS Grootvlei
  • SAPS Masoyi

The fight against crime demands a multi-pronged approach because whilst criminal activities are becoming complicated, our response as well must be advanced. Sector Policing remains relevant and central in our strategy to fight crime and also improve the reaction time to complaints.

A  Four Months Intervention Plan was developed and implemented late in 2009 with clearly identified quick-wins, to turn the situation for the better. The quick-wins included issues such as improved proper command and control in different levels of management and increase the level of discipline. Over and above this, additional resources were given to the police stations that are the most crime contributors in the province (Witbank, Middelburg, Ermelo, Vosman, Kanyamazane, Tonga and Kabokweni). This was done to ensure adequate visibility and speedily attendance of the crime scenes.   There is currently a noticeable improvement and quantified report with details shall be released in due course.

Our determination and commitment to fight crime is unwavering. We will continue to do more to fight crime. As we do that, we are guided by the objectives of transforming the criminal justice system. During the 2009/10 financial year, the South African Police Service recruited 659 officers and procured 391 new vehicles. 382 vehicles were delivered in the same financial year and the rest are going to be delivered in the 2010/11 financial year. We are convinced that by continuously allocating additional resources to the SAPS, more positive impact will be realised in Visible Policing, Detectives and Crime Intelligence.

Mr Speaker and Honourable Members, the Province was without a permanent Provincial Commissioner for some time. In one way or the other, this situation might have had an effect on the operations of SAPS in the Province. I am happy to formally inform the House that in November 2009, Lieutenant General Ntobela was appointed as the new Provincial Commissioner for SAPS Mpumalanga.

Part of our objectives for transforming the criminal justice system is to ensure gender parity in the top echelons of SAPS. Consequently we have appointed Major General Hadebe as Deputy Provincial Commissioner responsible for Support Services. She is a woman. Over and above this, a total number of 4 female Cluster Commanders were appointed. We currently have 25 female Station Commanders in the Province. We are committed to gender equality and we will not rest until parity is achieved.

During the 2010/11 financial year the SAPS Mpumalanga will establish a WAR room for Mpumalanga. The Provincial Command Centre will be in Head Office in Nelspruit and seven Cluster Operational Centres will be established in Piet Retief, Pienaar, Witbank, KwaMhlanga, Ermelo, Mbuzini and Hazyview. The Operational Centres will be responsible for gathering information on all serious crime and known offenders as well as mobilizing relevant role players with the occurrence of serious crime in the cluster.

As we move with speed in providing necessary services to our people and as we endeavour to increase access to government services, a 10111 hotline based in White River was launched last year. We have taken interest to monitor the performance of the hotline and indications are that our people have seized the opportunity and reported matters and cases. The plan for this kind of service will be extended to Secunda in Gert Sibande during the 2010/2011 financial year.

There is a need to warn those of our communities who abuse the system and make hoax calls. We would like, however, to appeal to our communities to utilize this service optimally.

Additional to these and other strategies of involving all and sundry in the fight against crime, we remain committed to ensure that all community policing forums and the Provincial Board are functional. During the 2009/10 financial year, 161 project plans were received from Community Policing Forums and were all implemented. These projects included community outreach projects as well as requests for management assistance. The 61 active Victim Friendly Facilities in the Province are managed by the Community Policing Forums.

For the greater part of the 2009/10 financial year the province was characterised by protests. We have observed during this period that the majority of these protests were violent. The SAPS Mpumalanga attended to a total of 258 unrest situations in the Province. As a result of these unrest protests, 1 027 people were arrested.

Participating in a protest is a Constitutional right of our citizens and government will always support people’s right to democratically express views on issues they feel strongly about. As well, government will continue to strike a balance between everyone’s right, the rights of citizens to protest with the rights of lawful business and its employees to continue working without unlawful disruption or intimidation and the rights of other members of community to continue their daily lives without excessive disruption.

Whilst the Constitution grants people the right to lawful demonstration, this right comes with limitations. This means that in some cases the SAPS may find it necessary to place limitations on protests if there is a reasonable belief that the route applied for may result in serious public disorder, serious damage to property and serious disruptions to the life of the community.

Honourable Members our mandate in this regard is to prevent crime and disorder, illegal protests and as a result police officials will always strive to be even handed and proportionate in any response to protest.

In order to find a uniform way of responding to unrest protests, a Summit was convened in March 2010, attended by different stakeholders. Key issues discussed during the Summit were good governance, law enforcement and prosecution. Resolutions taken during the Summit are going to be integrated to the resolutions taken during the Service Delivery Summit for an integrated response to this challenge.

Stock theft remains a challenge. 66% of the cases recorded are stock taken from the grazing camps and 3% is stock slaughtered on the premises from where it was stolen. Stock theft is mostly occurring but not limited to the Gert Sibande Region. This is due to the fact that most of the stock farmers in the province are from Gert Sibande. There is a need to review the location of the stock theft units such that they are closer to areas where there is stock farming and where the theft is prevalent.

Mr Speaker, we continuously received complaints against the conduct of police officers whilst conducting their duties. The Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) derives its mandate from the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. The SAPS Act, Act 68 of 1995 also makes provision on the mandate of the ICD. Currently there is a new legislative framework that is being envisaged.

It is envisaged that this piece of legislation will be promulgated later this year, with the aim of strengthening the ICD and provide more powers to execute its legislative mandate and ensure full independence from the SAPS. When the new law is promulgated, the ICD will also be able to investigate serious crimes such as alleged rape by a police officer (irrespective of whether the police officer was on or off duty) and alleged rape of a complainant by other detainees while the complainant is in police custody.

The ICD remain not easily accessible to the rural communities. We are committed to improve the situation and make sure that services are also provided to the neediest. We would also like to take this opportunity and request witnesses to co-operate with the ICD so that opened cases can be investigated and concluded.

Mr Speaker, we have evidence that the youth dominate the prisoners population in the province. The future of any country is its youth and if the majority of our young people are languishing in different jails, the future may look bleak. Currently most of our prisons are overcrowded. Barberton Maximum is 175% overcrowded because it is the only Maximum Centre in Mpumalanga.  The approved accommodation is 845 and the total lockup is 1 477.

Nelspruit Correctional Centre is the only centre which detains adult awaiting trials in the Management Area and is 133% overcrowded. The approved accommodation is 828; the number of offenders sentenced is 357 and 756 unsentenced. Should all be sentenced, there will be challenges with accommodation.  Honourable Members we have a serious social problem and all stakeholders will have to join hands and make sure that young people are encouraged to occupy themselves with social cohesion programmes.

Mr Speaker, there is a total number of 30 district courts and 7 branch courts in the Province. In addition, we also have a total of 32 Periodical Courts which deal only with criminal work and customers have to go to the main courts for other services like domestic violence, estates and maintenance. The seat of the Divorce Courts is stationed in Durban with a circuit court in Nelspruit. All the courts in the province will be aligned according to the municipal boundaries. This process is being finalised with the Demarcation Board.

Mpumalanga Province does not have a High Court of its own; all magisterial districts are served by the Northern Gauteng Division of the High Court. In line with the Polokwane resolutions, processes for the establishment of a High Court in Mpumalanga are underway. Litigants will no longer have to travel to Pretoria or Johannesburg for their cases. Automatically, this will cut down the costs of litigations.

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has secured a land for the building of the High Court in Nelspruit and Mbombela Municipality has approved. It is envisaged that once construction starts, completion should be completed in 3 to 5 years. Currently the process is to get an existing structure for purposes of an Interim High Court at Emalahleni Municipality.

The move to place the interim High Court at Emalahleni is strategic in that once the main High Court is constructed in Mbombela, the High Court in Emalahleni will continue to operate as the branch High Court to ensure easy access to justice to communities around KwaMhlanga, Delmas areas etc, who have been enjoying access to justice from Southern Gauteng High Court. These communities might find it difficult to travel to Mbombela to access justice services. We are committed in ensuring that access to justice for all becomes the reality

I would also like to announce that the Department of Home Affairs launched a campaign to register all children born of South African parents, who were not registered in time. All children with birth certificates, who have attained the age of 15 and above, are encouraged to apply for ID books. The registration period will be up to 31 December 2011. All people claiming to be SA citizens, who never registered before should come forward and register. This process will greatly assist in combating fraud, theft of ID as well as bogus marriages. This process also ends on 31 December 2010. All citizens are encouraged to register their marriages either customary or by civil rights. Customary marriage registration of all unregistered marriages will elapse on 31 December 2010.

Mr Speaker, as we transform the Criminal Justice System, we should ensure that we also incorporate other complimentary approaches such as the consideration of the environmental design of our areas. This approach requires effective functioning Multi Agency Mechanism (MAM) structures located in our municipalities. Municipalities have got a responsibility to ensure that the design of the environment encourages desirable behaviour and discourage anti social behaviour. This can have a significant potential to generate rapid decreases in property crime and some forms of inter- personal violence.

Mr Speaker, our obligation would be to ensure that all MAM structures in the province are functional. Linked to this will be continuous support through training that is offered to both MAM structures and all Community Policing Forums in the province.

Our multi-sectoral approach in the fight against crime will continue to guide the format and nature of interventions we employ. This is informed by the Crime Prevention Strategy. During the 2010/2011 we will continue to offer assistance to municipalities to develop safety plans. The Dipaleseng and Mbombela municipal safety plans were developed during the previous financial year. The municipal safety plans for both Nkomazi and Emalahleni Municipalities are planned for this financial year.

Community mobilization and engagement shall dominate our activities and programmes in the 2010/2011 financial year. We have defined our objectives and have decided on a path. This decision is informed by the six izimbizo coordinated by the department during the previous financial year. Mr Speaker, we decided to afford our communities a space and voice, not only to lament about their daily challenges and tribulations but also to assume their central role in the fight against crime and corruption.

Our people are raising issues and will continue to do so because of the trust they have on the government of the day, to intervene and address their challenges. All issues raised during the six izimbizo will be packaged per department and referred to those departments to address the issues as raised. Additional to that, we have as a department, in terms of our departmental objective of coordinating and facilitating programmes aimed at reducing contact crime, set aside programmes and projects aimed at responding to the challenges faced by our communities.

Mr Speaker, the strategy is to engage and work together with the communities so that they become active participants in the fight against crime. This will make them to embrace these programmes, their successes and failures. These social crime prevention measures will include campaigns such as human trafficking campaigns; awareness campaigns on assault GBH and assault common, anti-rape campaigns, stock theft, anti-illegal mining, gender based violence as well as moral regeneration campaigns.

Honourable Members, as a department we have resolved to pay special attention to human trafficking as a challenge. Human trafficking occurs when people, more especially women and children, are recruited, harboured or transported by any means for labour or services such as forced labour, slavery or servitude such as forced marriage, domestic service or prostitution.

Although victims of traffickers can be of either gender, an overwhelming majority of the victims are women and children. Gender discrimination, poverty and abuse drive people to run away and escape to untenable situations. Millions of people are trafficked throughout the world and Mpumalanga cannot be an exception.  

Human trafficking is barbaric and need to be fought from all angles. We need to encourage and provide the necessary support to all organisations fighting human trafficking. We have noted that whilst government in partnership with community organisation is doing something about this challenge, the majority take no action or worse, condone, tolerate or participate in this trade in human lives. 

Our role is to galvanize all sectors of our society to unite in the fight against human trafficking. We must however agree that the road ahead is not going to be an easy one. The eradication of this scourge demands from all of us to be resolute and dedicated soldiers. Let me indicate that government together with FIFA World Cup Organizing Committee will be launching the “Red Card Campaign against human trafficking on the 24th May 2010 at the Mbombela Stadium.

During the 2009/2010 financial year border security campaigns were conducted with the view to educate our communities about border policing and crime related to the borders. We will continue to roll-out community awareness programmes in our endeavour to ensure that there is community mobilisation in the fight against crime; we will conduct awareness programmes to deal with community values as well. Mr Speaker, we continue to be challenged by issues of morality in our societies. Morality and ethics have a close relationship.

Whilst we will be trying to encourage and motivate our people to uphold the highest moral standard and values, we will also expect public representatives and government officials to act in an ethical manner in the conduct of government business. The fight against crime and corruption cannot be over emphasised.

The process of signing a Memorandum of Understanding between our department and the Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation is about to be completed. This memorandum will ensure integrated implementation of programmes and campaigns aimed at involving the youth and at the same time take them away from the street.

In order to give more impetus to our crime prevention initiatives as well as to ensure that tourists visiting the province feel safe and secure, we have decided to increase the number of the Tourists Safety Monitors from 250 to 500. We have picked up information that Hazyview is hardly hit by criminal activities targeting the tourists. This is a result of the fact that Hazyview is situated in the main road to the Kruger National Park. The SAPS has been engaged and we are going to strengthen our intervention to make sure that tourists in that part of the province are safe and secure as well.

Mr Speaker, let me reiterate the fact that evidence have indicated that the majority of criminal activities in the province are taking place as a consequence of alcohol abuse. As part of our intervention to deal with this challenge, the department hosted a Tavern and Shebeen Indaba. This Indaba was attended by different stakeholders and the aim was to ensure that tavern operators comply with the conditions of liquor licences as issued by the Liquor Board and also for the SAPS to monitor and inspect adherence thereafter.

There is also a need for municipalities to ensure the availability of requisite by-laws so that when the SAPS is out enforcing the conditions of the licence, it is not prevented by the unavailability of some by-laws. This matter has been raised with municipalities during the MUNIMEC meeting.

Honourable Members, there is a need to begin to approach the issue of alcohol abuse differently. The situation in our community is out of hand. We had an Imbizo in Vaalbank in March 2010. This is an area in Dr JS Moroka Municipality consisting of 14 villages but there are more than 115 liquor outlets operating. This cannot be a normal situation. There is a need for the Liquor Board to consider reviewing some of the conditions for the operating licence. We may have to consider cutting down the business hours for both bottle stores and taverns.

The School Safety Indaba was held in Witbank and as a result the Integrated School Safety Strategy was developed. This strategy addresses the following pillars: environment or physical pillar, behavioural pillar and systems pillar. The involvement of all stakeholders in the provision of safety for our children should remain a priority.

Young people are expected to occupy the centre stage in the fight against crime. The Youth Crime Prevention Summit was convened during the last financial year to give young people a platform to engage and dialogue on issues of common interest as we seek solutions to the fight against crime. We are excited with the success of the Summit and we hope the resolutions and the declaration adopted by young people will finally define the path they should take in working together with government.

Mr Speaker, we are constitutionally obligated to monitor the performance of the South African Police Service. The monitoring and evaluation for effectiveness and efficiency of the police was conducted in all police stations in the province.

The evaluation results revealed that 15 stations out of 85 stations were performing below average while the majority were performing at a satisfactory level and only a few at an exceptional level. The overall Best Station was Schoemansdal, headed by a women followed by Amsterdam Police Station. Other police stations were also awarded in different categories.

The performance of police stations was acknowledged through the MEC’s Excellence Awards held in Secunda. The intention of this exercise is also to boost the morale of the police members. An intervention plan has been developed for the poor performing police stations so that they too improve their performance.  

Mr Speaker, the preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup are well on course. Let me take this opportunity and assure the communities that we are ready to ensure safety and security during this soccer spectacular. The SAPS is ready to provide its services and make sure that everyone is safe. More than a thousand (1400) police officials will be deployed at the different venues such as the Mbombela Stadium, FIFA Fan Park, Public Viewing Areas, Hotels and the Base Camp of the visiting team, Chile. The South African National Defence Force will also be deployed to assist the SAPS during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Mr Speaker, a total of 553 bed space is reserved at Nelspruit Correctional Centre for all those who will be found on the wrong side of law. 505 bed spaces are reserved for male offenders and 48 bed spaces are reserved for female offenders. All detention space will be separated according to prescribed categories of incarceration such as juveniles, females and males and isolation for special circumstances act. To create the space, we have transferred sentenced offenders from Nelspruit Correctional Centre to other correctional centres within the province.

In terms of ensuring that justice is seen to be done and law prevails, a regional 2010 FIFA World Cup committee is in place to deal among other things the smooth running of the dedicated courts that will be operating at the Host City. Two dedicated courts have been established at the magistrates court in Nelspruit which will be operational two weeks before, during and two weeks after the event. One dedicated court has been established at Nsikazi for this purpose as well.

The department of Home Affairs is ready to clear all people coming for the soccer tournament. The following are the identified FIFA Ports of Entry in Mpumalanga: Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, Lebombo Border Post, Mananga Port, Oshoek, Mahamba, Emahlathini and Jeppes Reef Ports of Entry.  

Allow me to take this opportunity and wish our province a safe and secure 2010 FIFA World Cup. Over and above as we witness Bafana Bafana lifting the trophy, the appeal is to all our people to behave and enjoy themselves. Indeed, we are determined that at the end of the games, we will be the winners.

Mr Speaker, allow me to take this opportunity and present the budget allocation for the Department of Safety, Security and Liaison for the 2010/2011 financial year. The Department has been allocated an amount of R111 438 million.  

Mr Speaker we have set milestones for ourselves for the 2010/2011 financial year. We have given reasons for setting these milestones. We are now required to gear ourselves towards ensuring that these milestones are achieved.

In conclusion, I would like to take this opportunity and extend my gratitude to the Premier of the Province, Honourable DD Mabuza and his Executive Council, the Provincial Legislature and Members of the Portfolio Committee for their continued support to the department and the advices they also offer in assisting the department achieving the provincial objectives.

The dedication by departmental officials led by the Head of Department, Mr Isaiah Khoza, gives hope that if we continue to work together as a team, we can succeed to maximise our performance as we seek to ensure safer and secured communities. The unwavering commitment by members of the Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster is encouraging. Importantly let me take this opportunity and extend my appreciation to my family for being the pillar of strength to all the challenges encountered during the course of my work and the staff in the Office of the MEC for their undivided support. 

I thank you.

Issued by: Department of Safety, Security and Liaison; Mpumalanga Provincial Government

Go back | Print current page Print this page | Return to top