Govt increases allocation on public order and safety

2015-02-26 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The SA Police Service will receive close to half of government’s R171,2 billion allocation to the defence, public order and safety function, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said yesterday.

Tabling his first main Budget in the National Assembly for 2015/16, Nene said the bulk of the money would be used to tackle “the unacceptably high levels of crime in our country”.

About two-thirds of the SA National Defence Force and SAPS budgets would go to compensating soldiers, police officers and other employees.

“To cover a funding shortfall created by higher than anticipated remuneration costs, the Departments of Defence and Police have reprioritised R2,4 billion and R1,1 billion from their goods and services budgets,” according to the Budget Review document.

Over the medium term, the Defence Department would spend R2,8 billion of its budget on safeguarding the country’s borders. Another R4,5 billion would be spent on regional peacekeeping operations. Spending on courts and prisons would increase to R39,1 billion.

Over the medium term, a total amount of R492 million would be reprioritised towards improving access to justice, Nene said.

“Legal Aid South Africa will receive R126,8 million to increase the number of legal practitioners by 167, helping to clear a backlog in the courts,” the budget review stated.

“The National Prosecuting Authority will receive R81 million to appoint 41 additional prosecutors.”

The office of the chief justice, which would be established as a separate department on April 1, would receive R5,2 billion over the next three years.

The Public Protector and the Financial Intelligence Centre would receive additional funds to bolster their numbers. “Over the medium-term, R60 million has been reprioritised to the [office of the] public protector of South Africa to increase its investigative capacity and to retain trainee investigators.

“An additional R60 million is allocated to the Financial Intelligence Centre to employ additional permanent staff with investigative and analytical skills.”

The police watchdog, the Independent Police Investigate Directorate, would set aside R93,9 million over the next three years to establish a specialised investigative team to focus on “priority investigations”.

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