PSC recommends that WCape SAPS drafts plan for equitable resource allocation

2018-07-04 22:38
Police are hunting a man accused of child rape. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

Police are hunting a man accused of child rape. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

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The Western Cape police commissioner should draft a plan on the equitable allocation of resources in the province, specifically those of police stations reported to be seriously constrained, the Public Service Commission has recommended.

The plan should then be presented to the relevant portfolio committee.

In addition, the constitutional entity has advised that critical vacant funded posts be filled within six months.

It said the national police commissioner should monitor and evaluate the implementation of the provincial commissioner's plan to ensure compliance.

The recommendations come after the Western Cape provincial parliament's Standing Committee on Community Safety chairperson, Mireille Wenger, requested the PSC to investigate police under-resourcing in the province.

The call for the investigation was made after Wenger and her committee held several public hearings into police resourcing.

According to the PSC's report, a central issue to all investigations and research into resource allocation in the province was dissatisfaction regarding theoretical human resource requirements (THRR), which determines the ideal resources that should be placed at a police station to allow it to perform its functions.

The THRR calculates the ideal resources that should be allocated per police station "as if funds were unlimited".

The PSC said it took cognisance of the concern surrounding the province's police-to-population ratio, specifically in high-crime areas within the city.

Financial constraints 

In terms of the SAPS Act, the report reads, the provincial commissioner has command and control over the service under his or her jurisdiction and is empowered to establish and maintain police stations and units.

"Furthermore, a provincial commissioner is empowered to determine the strength of the service under his/her jurisdiction, which would include the allocation of resources."

The PSC did not have access to information on the methodology in terms of the allocation of resources, but said it was clear from research conducted by the Department of Community Safety that "there is a gap between the number of funded posts on the fixed establishment [posts created for normal or regular requirements] and the number of posts determined in terms of the THRR".

Financial constraints and the adverse effect on the public service were also acknowledged.

It also referred to pending litigation in the Equality Court over the alleged unfair discrimination against black and poor people on the basis of race and poverty, saying that scrutiny of the court application indicated that the police's resource allocation system was being disputed.

It advised that the outcome of the litigation should be awaited as it "would have a major impact" on resource allocation within the police service.

The PSC nevertheless recommended that the Western Cape police commissioner should draft a plan for presentation of the Portfolio Committee on the equitable allocation of resources in the province within six months; that the plan be submitted to the national commissioner; that critical posts be filled, also within six months; that the national commissioner monitors and evaluates the implementation of the plan to ensure compliance and that feedback of the plan be provided to the portfolio committee biannually.

Read more on:    saps  |  cape town
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