Police Minister Bheki Cele said this year’s budget vote for the police service is dedicated to rebuilding and strengthening inter-community ties in the fight against crime.
Part of rebuilding and strengthening involves providing adequate Resources and manpower Police stations to ensure crime control is effective and efficient to build public confidence in the police.
In addition to welcoming 10,000 new trainees this year, the police will spend on the police prioritize public order in order to be able to respond effectively by adding 4,000 members.
Cele made the comments in Parliament on Tuesday as he voted the budget for this fiscal year for the SA Police Service (R100.695bn) submitted Independent Police Investigation Directorate (R357m). and the Civil Secretariat Department for the Police Service (R150m).
Expenditure is expected to increase at a compound annual rate of 1.3%, from R100.5bn in 2021/22 to R104bn .4 billion in 2024/25.
Comp Hiring accounts for an estimated 78.3% of the department’s total spending over the coming period.
Cele said the death of more than 300 people during the riots in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July last year has called for clear reforms to security services while exposing the divide between the police force and the communities it serves.
“ The police needed the community and the community needed the police. But it was clear that the community police were the weakest and there was little to no trust between the police and the communities,” Cele said.
He said the police service had R10 million to support community outreach programs provided.
“Izimbizo’s robust and progressive community engagements will continue to gain priority and momentum,” said Cele.
“R150M has been allocated to the operational response environment as part of one-time allocations allocated a three-year period for capital modernization, including procurement of armored vehicles and aircraft; and an additional R9 million has been set aside for the procurement of protective equipment for POP members,” Cele said.
Cele said the Treasury has allocated additional funds to recruit 12,000 new police trainees over time, according to the Framework for long-term spending with an allocation of R5.8 billion to rejuvenate and improve police capacity.
Cele said the largest intake of 10,000 trainees for the current financial year aims to fill the gap of the last two years close where training has been suspended due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
In response to the budget vote, DA Police Shadow Minister Andrew Whitfield said the police budget would increase by 65% between 2012 and 2022 from R62bn .raised to R100 billion. He said that during the same period the police service had six national police commissioners and homicides increased by almost 40%.
“So the budget has gone up and the output has gone down, which proves there’s more money going into it Problems are not a solution to the challenges faced by SAPS,” said Whitfield.
Whitfield said the new National Police Commissioner, Gen. Fannie Masemola, must avoid going from crime scene to crime scene from Cele being towed across the country.
“He’d better devote his time to fixing the internal deficiencies of SAPS that have caused declining performance and morale among its ranks.”
Too flaws include DNA residues, gun license chaos, criminal record overload, high crime rates, low conviction rates, corruption and lack of discipline, Whitfield said.