Nene rejects Public Order Police budget request

2015-10-20 14:22
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. (Pic: : Leanne Stander, Photo24)

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. (Pic: : Leanne Stander, Photo24)

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Parliament - A request for an extra R3bn for the Public Order Police has been turned down.

In September, now suspended national police commissioner Riah Phiyega had asked the committee on police in Parliament to ask the Treasury for the money for the unit, known on the street as the "riot police".

It was argued that it was needed to ensure stability in the country and to motivate the members of the unit.

But, in a draft report on the police's audit for 2014/15, the committee noted that Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene had said it would not be possible.

Instead, it was argued, the quality of training to current POP units had to be improved.

The draft report was adopted by the committee as students in many university cities in South Africa fanned out of campuses and on to public roads in protest over fee increases next year.

On Monday, a bakkie driver was injured and his vehicle was overturned during a "the #feesmustfall" protest near the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

"The Minister indicated that owing to the tight fiscal framework and government-wide expenditure ceiling, the request could not be accommodated," the draft report read.

"The Department was advised to [reprioritise] funds within its baselines or to consider other interim arrangements, such as specialised training for existing police personnel," the report said.

The SAPS received a main appropriation of R76.3b for the 2015/16 financial year for units staffed by around 193 000 people.

At September's presentation, the committee was told that last year there were over 13 000 protests, with 1 907 classified as violent unrest.

Police wanted the money to increase staff in the unit from 4 721 to 4 038 extra members over four years, which would cost around R2b. The rest would be needed for vehicles, accommodation, teargas and stun grenades.

Read more on:    saps  |  nhlanhla nene  |  police

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