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SONA 2023

Funding boost for NPA, SIU, SAPS and courts, Ramaphosa announces in delayed address

Funding boost for NPA, SIU, SAPS and courts, Ramaphosa announces in delayed address
The South African Police Service at a parade at the Castle Of Good Hope prior to the 2023 State Of The Nation Address in Cape Town on 9 February 2023. (Photo: Gallo Images / Brenton Geach) | Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg via Getty Images | NPA logo. (Image: Supplied)

President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised ‘significant funding’ for the South African Police Service, the National Prosecuting Authority, the courts and the Special Investigating Unit.

In his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on 9 February, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government would strengthen the South African Police Service (SAPS) “to prevent crime” as well as improve “the capacity of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and courts to ensure perpetrators are brought to justice”.

The SAPS has a budget of R96-billion which it underspent by R4-billion in 2021, which nearly equals the NPA’s total annual budget.

In May 2022, the NPA was allocated R4.9-billion including R243.6-million for the Investigating Directorate (ID) located within the NPA, while the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) received R452-million.

On Thursday, Ramaphosa announced that the ID would be a permanent feature of the NPA.

NPA deputy director for strategy, operations and compliance, Anton du Plessis, has told Parliament that the authority needs R715-million a year over the next three years and that it has already exceeded its allocation for the 2021/22 financial year by R89-million.

The SIU is funded through a hybrid of government funding and income generated from work with government entities and departments. This was unsustainable, according to SIU CEO Andy Mothibi

The President did not elaborate on how much the “significant funding” would be, and where it would come from.

In his Sona last year, Ramaphosa announced the recruitment of 12,000 new officers to the SAPS and on Thursday said funding had been secured.

Read more in Daily Maverick: The good people of SAPS operate in the shadow of corrupt seniors

In this year’s Sona, he said that more than 10,000 recruits had graduated from police academies and a further 10,000 would be recruited and trained this year.

Specialised police teams investigating serious crimes such as kidnapping, extortion and illegal mining “have had several breakthroughs, arresting dozens of suspects and achieving several convictions”.

Economic sabotage and “related crimes” that were “causing great damage to the economy” would be “dealt with and multi-disciplinary Economic Infrastructure Task Teams were operational in 20 identified hotspots”.

Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations

On copper theft and the damage to public infrastructure, the President said that in December, the government introduced a temporary ban on the export of scrap copper cable and other metals “to disrupt criminal syndicates and enable a new trading system to be put in place”.

The proper functioning of the emergency 10111 line would be enhanced by a partnership with the private sector, said the President.

Ramaphosa announces National State of Disaster, new Minister of Electricity to deal with power crisis

“This is to ensure that when people call the police, their calls are answered and their emergencies are attended to. We will also use data driven methods in a more sophisticated way to identify and target crime hotspots”.

Crimes against women and children “remain a deeply disturbing feature of our national life” while in November at a conference to assess the National Strategic Plan, “a comprehensive, effective and united response” was adopted.

“In January last year, I signed into law three key pieces of legislation that afford greater protection to survivors of gender-based violence and ensure that perpetrators are no longer able to use legislative loopholes to evade prosecution”. DM


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