Parliament's police portfolio committee welcomes additional funding for SAPS visible policing unit
CAPE TOWN - Parliament's police portfolio committee has welcomed the additional R3.7 billion adjustments budget allocation for the South African Police Service (SAPS) visible policing unit, which plays a critical role in enforcing the coronavirus (Covid-19) Disaster Management Act regulations.
"The additional allocation will go a long way in ensuring increased visibility of police, something which is a major deterrent to crime," the committee said in a statement.
The increased allocation would also strengthen the fight against contact crimes, especially gender-based violence (GBV), which had been increasing since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown. Despite this, the committee called on the SAPS to review its targets in the fight against GBV to intensify efforts in this regard.
The committee was, however, disappointed that there was no increase in allocation for the detective service and crime intelligence units. The committee had always emphasised the centrality of intelligence-led crime prevention, as well as the importance of crime detection in resolving crimes.
There was appreciation that the reprioritisation of the budget would have an impact on the attainment of some of the targets. In line with this, the committee noted that the "capital works project" will be impacted the most within the SAPS. Despite this, the committee urged the SAPS management to put in place a plan on how to roll-out the projects post-Covid-19.
"In relation to the rural safety strategy, the committee welcomes assurances from the SAPS that rural safety remains a priority which will be enhanced by the increase in allocation for the visible policing environment. This assurance will also deal with the issue of farm murders," the statement said.
In terms of recruitment of new trainees into the SAPS, the committee welcomed the announcement that a process to enlist 3000 reservists was well under way and would be completed by the end of October. Furthermore, the re-enlistment of 500 former police officers, 350 forensic analysts, and 326 officers who would be added to the family violence, child protection, and sexual offences (FCS) units was welcomed.
"The committee is concerned about the number of 6391 cases of Covid-19 within the SAPS. Furthermore, the committee is saddened that 36 members have passed on from this invisible disease. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of those members who sacrificed their lives in protection of the lives of South Africans.
"Regarding the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), the committee also welcomes the information that Ipid has concluded its investigation on the Collins Khosa case and has forwarded its recommendations to both the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) and SAPS for action. The committee will await the implementation of the recommendations from the JMPD and SAPS," the statement said.
- African News Agency (ANA)