File photo: Reuters

Durban - The government is working on a new ministerial handbook which is expected to be finalised soon. The process of amending the handbook, which regulates the benefits and perks of public office bearers, has taken more than four years.

According to the last published handbook, public office bearers are entitled to security measures at their private residences. The cabinet agreed in June 2003 that the minister of public works may approve a state contribution of a non-recoverable maximum amount of R100 000, or the total cost of security measures not exceeding R100 000.

The handbook states that should the cost be more than R100 000, the difference shall be borne by the public office bearer.

“The state’s contribution of R100 000 should be reviewed every five years to match the changing costs of security systems,” reads the book.

The following procedure should be followed:

* SAPS Protection and Security Service should conduct a security evaluation at the private residence.

* SAPS would discuss the office bearer’s personal circumstances with him/her.

* SAPS should submit the security evaluation report to public works for consideration by the Interdepartmental Security Co-ordinating Committee. The directorate will provide the cost estimate.

* Upon receipt of the report and cost estimate, the office bearer may submit a formal request to the minister of public works for this department to make a contribution towards the security measures.

* Once the minister of public works has approved the contribution, the public office bearer should obtain quotations for the work to be executed and forward the preferred quote to the relevant regional office of the department for technical scrutiny.

If approved, these are the permitted standard security measures, recommended by the SAPS, for the private residences of office bearers:

* Bullet-proof guard hut.

* Perimeter fencing, 2.1m high.

* Vehicle and pedestrian gates, 2.1m high.

* Security gates for external doors.

* Burglar-proofing for windows.

* Window glazing to prevent spalling in case of an explosion.

* Illumination (security lights).

* Intercom system.

* Alarm system.

* Fire extinguishers.

The handbook states that the state does not accept responsibility for the maintenance and running costs of the above security measures.

Sunday Independent