SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE UNION
POLICE AND PRISONS CIVIL RIGHTS UNION
JOINT LABOUR PRESENTATION TO PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE Ė SAFETY AND SECURITY IN CAPE TOWN SOUTH AFRICA: 05 APRIL 2005
BUDGET: VOTE 24: SAFETY AND SECURITY
INTRODUCTION AND FOREWORD
The Chairperson, portfolio committee on Safety and Security, the members of the committee from different political parties, Ladies and Gentlemen.
This presentation is historic in its nature in that it is the first joint organized labour presentation to the portfolio committee. Its ownership rests with both POPCRU and SAPU.
Itís a pleasure to be invited by this prestigious structure of Government to make a presentation. This serves as an indication to us that we voted for a Government that is able to engineer issues of protocol to its entire constituency irrespective of where they are situated.
In all probability we are in agreement with most of the issues that are raised here except that some are very vague to us. It is not our intention to be obstructionist for issues of this nature because they are destined to put South Africa on Global Map, but only if they are handled correctly.
Strategic priorities of the employer as outlined in their document does not seemed to pose any great danger as they deal with operational and policy issues of the SAPS but we are reserved to comment or endorse the employerís key initiative and deliverables noble aspects.
INTERNAL DEMOCRATIC VALUES
The South African Police Services is the cornerstone among the components constituting the Department for safety and security. As the vanguard of democracy in the country the Department of safety and security has to play a leading role in making sure that the democracy is deepened in both government institutions and the private sector. It is for that reason we appreciate to observe that for the past years there has been a decisive movement towards inculcation of democratic values in both the administration and the management of Safety and Security.
The internalization of the democratic culture has resulted in amongst others, improved relations and interaction between the police and society. These approaches auger well for the running of the police and the protection of the human rights of the people of SA, labour rights and recognition of responsibilities by all involved.
There will always be room for improvement on this matter. The extent to which improvement is made in internalizing this value will determine the extent to which democracy is exercised in both the public and private sector.
MEMBER PERFORMANCE / SERVICE DELIVERY
From organized labourís point of view, there has been improvement on service delivery in general in the department of safety and security and this is indicative of the collective efforts from members of the service as a result of sound labour relations as well as the labour peace that exists within the sector.
While there will always be a room for improvement in the delivery of service, it is common knowledge that these members should be appreciated taking into account the difficult conditions under which they work in the light added international security responsibilities that have been increasing.
We welcome the intention to increase the current `fleet of vehicles. This intended increase of the fleet must see the introduction of a more user-friendly vehicles as well as taking into account other factors relating to security aspect of members.
We appreciate all efforts made by all stakeholders in the final realization of the allocation of the salary dispensation for the employees. While it is public knowledge that the employees of this sector are underpaid as compared to other law enforcement agencies in our scope of operation, it is envisaged that this initiative will eventually improve the salary of all members in the sector.
This should be seen also as part and parcel of the government initiative to eradicate poverty and bring better life for all. All effort should not be lost to ensure that this initiative for better life is not undermined in this initiative.
We note that in the previous financial year an amount of just over 6 hundred million for salary adjustment could not be utilized and we hope that the new allocation for the coming three years together with the previous one will be utilized for the purpose for which it has been intended.
DEPARTMENTAL BUDGETARY PROCESSES AND STRATEGIC PLANNING
It is common knowledge that a budget is an enablement to implementing internal strategies as defined in the strategic plan. While as organized labour believe in collaborative effort to ensure efficiency in service delivery it is common knowledge that the Department has never involved organized labour in the development of both the budget and the strategic plan.
The unfortunate and deliberate non-involvement of organized labour on these fundamental processes to the strategic direction of the department will naturally suffer unintended negative impact on the intention of government.
The non-exposure of organized labour from the initial development of these issues may lead to amongst others envisaged priorities and timeframes tampered with unwittingly. These practices mark the black spot in the running of the department. It should be remembered that members as implementation machinery on the cold face of issues need to have a full knowledge of the direction the department is taking, the rational for strategies in order to ensure commitment for smooth compliance.
It is our strong held view that these unfortunate practices have to be done away with for the good of the sector.
RECRUITMENT OF PERSONNEL
We appreciate the envisaged staff establishment target of 156 060. Our historic observation on enlistment of personnel is that, in the department some of this enlistments are done towards the tail end of the financial year.
Taking into account the scale of national attrition, resignation, dismissals and retirement in a financial year, serving members always are faced with increased operational pressure while the personnel expenditure for that period is reduced.
There is no indication of a virement process entered into in the event of these eventualities. The current staff establishment is not commensurate favourably taking into account the following: there are only 161 social workers, 52 psychologists and 164 chaplains. It is therefore common knowledge that the Employee Assistance Program of the department is grossly incapacitated hence the extent of post-traumatic prevalences in the sector.
It is out strong held view that this neglected area should be given adequate attention taking into account the need for the infusions of other denominations and cultural belief, particularly of the majority of the personnel.
The allocation made of above 13 billion rand above other categories is noted and therefore appreciated. It has always been our view that the operational methodology applied in preventing crime has not always assisted. In the interest of ensuring reduced crime there is in our view a huge room for improvement in the policing methodologies applied.
The ability to fight crime is dependant on all role players in this country including us as Labour Organisations. We donít want to have a convenient relationship with the employer only to be consulted if and when they feel like it. It is our submission that in future, we should be having an understanding on these critical issues and we will continue to be critical because we represent the workers. ALUTA CONTINUA!
COMPILED BY: SAPU AND POPCRU
084 811 1338 082 557 3958
General Secretary General Secretary
084 212 0022 082 820 6078