1 Nov 2003

November 2003 - Third and Fourth Term 2003

  • Foreword
  • The truth must not be compromised
  • National Social Security Agency Bill and the Social Assistance
    Bill
  • Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Bill
  • Anti-Terrorism Bill: Transforming the security apparatus
    of safety and security for all citizens
  • Firearms Control Act Turning the tide against violent
    crime
  • Policy on religion in education
  • Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill
  • Domestic violence: The scourge of our nation
  • Traditional leadership and governance framework bill
  • ANC Brings back people’s dignity through housing
    delivery
  • The tide has turned against crime

Mayihlome!!

“Despite our resources limitations, we are pleased to say that
the government has delivered services to our people in a way that has turned
the tide against many centuries of colonialism and apartheid characterized by
ever – increasing impoverishment of the majority.”


President of RSA, Thabo Mbeki,

11 November 2003, National Council of Provinces.

Foreword

The
end of November brings us to the conclusion of what has been a very tight and
short fourth quarter of plenaries. It has been a quarter characterised by intense
political activity, and has been both mentally and physically demanding, as
has been the year 2003.

This is the year in which we made further advances in the struggle to end racial
disparities in economy and society. In the context of our work, this effort
found expression in the specific form of the adoption of the Broad-Based Black
Economic Empowerment bill, which occasion represents a significant, though not
the only, step forward.

And also, as has been observed before in the Towards a Ten Year Review, our
crime prevention strategy has, since 1994, undergone radical transformation,
and as a country and people, we have succeeded to end political violence, dealt
with urban terror, and are succeeding in stabilising crime.

In this context, to consolidate and advance on the gains we have made in this
regard, we have also focussed, among other things, on strengthening our gun
control measures whilst respecting the rights of citizens to self-defence.

The year saw us dealing also, with a new policy for learning about religion.
This policy recognises that, South Africa has a rich diverse religious heritage,
however, the state in South Africa is not a religious organisation. It proceeds
from the understanding and recognition that South Africa is a secular state,
which is neither religious nor anti-religious.

These, and the very many other matters that we had to deal with, brought about
intense national debates. The resistance of old values to change, their struggle
to preserve themselves, found expression in the views of those who oppose the
objectives of Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment.

In the same vein they would oppose tighter and efficient gun ownership regulatory
measures, and similarly that was and continues to be their deportment toward
the provision of a free and open space in which learners can examine religion
and explore religious diversity.

In the midst of congested schedules and a heated political environment, organisational
and, family and all other social pressures, we kept perspective, worked hard
to create the framework necessary to address the needs of our people.

SEPHADI would like to convey our collective sympathies to the families and
friends of all the comrades our movement lost this year. We salute them.

And at the head of those heroes is the name of uTata Walter Sisulu, of whom
we said:“On Monday, 5 May, uBaba Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu passed away…

“This patriot spent all his life in the struggle, fighting for the South
Africa that all of us are today so proud of;

He, throughout his life, has been the rock that solidified and embodied the
courage and vision that characterize the majority of the people of our country
and continent;

In uBaba uSisulu, South Africa produced a leader of profound quality, disciplined
and responsible – a father to all;

His life represents all that is good and beautiful about our beloved country.
He remains our model hero; he remains our model father, he will always be our
model human being;

If we sing praises for uTata uSisulu, it is not because of our own choosing,
it is, however, because his life restricts us to saying only good things about
him.”

His life, is as much a monumental reminder to us of the heroic victories of
the national democratic revolution, as it is of the many challenges that still
confront us as we continue the process of reconstructing and developing our
country.

SEPHADI, on behalf of the Chair of Caucus, comrade Joyce Kgoali, and on behalf
of the Chief Whippery, wishes all our comrades and their families a safe and
happy festive season characterised by a robust voter registration drive.

The truth must not be compromised

Next year, 2004, South Africa will be celebrating its first decade
of freedom.

What we initially thought
is logical, has been questioned in certain quarters of our country. The question
posed is whether there is anything to celebrate.

Interestingly, those who pose the question do not wait for people to answer,
instead they answer on their behalf.

They conclude that there is nothing to celebrate.

At a distance, you may be confused by questioners as if they are a serious
section of the people of our country.

At closer look, only to discover that it’s a group of few privileged
elite that benefited from the apartheid era. Dissecting this group further,
one finds that it is very resourced and shout together with those who are supposed
to communicate to the public in a manner that is unbiased, fair, correct and
balanced. It is very difficult to differentiate between the questioners and
those whose duty is to report or communicate their messages to the public domain.
The perception they seek to create in the public mind is, ‘The ANC has
betrayed the people, and therefore, there is nothing to celebrate.’

Questioners seek to position themselves as an alternative to the ANC, and surprisingly,
they speak as if they, are actually the masses of our people. Hence they ask
questions and never wait for answers, instead they supply their negative responses
even as they reap the fruits of democracy and freedom. It is trite to state
here that the people do see through the wolf’s skin.

The people of South Africa overwhelmingly voted for the ANC in 1994 and 1999.
These people believed, as they do now, that the policies of the ANC are a correct
response to South Africa’s challenges. They believe that the Freedom Charter
is correct when it declares that South Africa belongs to all who live in it,
both Black and White. These South Africans believe in one human race, whose
dignity must be respected and protected. These people believe that the wealth
of the country must be shared.

Furthermore, they are committed to contribute to this SA and fight against
whatever that seeks to bring back apartheid even in disguised clothes of neo-liberalism.
Hence, they expect when asked a question to be given a right to answer. Their
answers will be in line with the above.

If our people were to be afforded an opportunity to answer for themselves,
amongst others, they would indicate the following as reasons for celebrating:
Political violence in KZN and Gauteng is no more. The country enjoys political
and economic stability. The rule of law has been restored. Corruption is being
dealt with by the government without fear or favour. Public servants are more
friendly and responsive than before 1994.

The public service is succeeding in transforming itself to reflect the gender
and demographic balances of our country (Blacks, women and disabled). Information
about government is more available and accessible today than at any other time
before. In 1994 only 2.6 million received social grants and today its 6.8 million.

These grants are no longer racially allocated, but are now equal for all our
people.

They would continue to indicate :

That the Public Works programmes have employed a total of 124 808 people since
1998. Matriculation pass rate is 69% compared to 54% of 1996. The number of
clinics that have been built nationally by this government is 701. Integrated
Nutrition Programme has increased from 89% of targeted learners in 1994 to 94%
.

Effectively this means that 4.58 million children are guaranteed a meal a day.

More schools have been built. Children are able to access education free if
they cannot afford to pay (Grade 1 – 10).

Illiteracy rate is improving. 9 million people enjoy clean water because of
the policies of this government. To date government has approved 1 985 545 subsidised
houses and transferred 481 373 houses built under apartheid era to their occupants.
Effectively, this means 6 million citizens received houses in the last ten years
of democratic rule.

The people would continue to indicate that conviction rates are on the increase.
The rates of murder, vehicle hijacking and bank related crimes are on the decrease.

Access to higher education by historically disadvantaged is on the increase.

They would conclude that, on the basis of what we have witnessed, there is
hope for more. They would not hesitate to indicate weakness. However, they would
conclude that, they themselves in partnership with government, want to make
South Africa work. They would commit to working together with their government
to conquer poverty, diseases and unemployment.

Without a few being given musical instruments to play the opposite tune, you
would not hear any other message from this narration of our people. The few
who long for the past continue to present themselves as the majority voice.
They do not respect the fact that the reason the people enjoy equality and dignity
today, is because of the work that we have continued to do during this decade
of freedom, which we are about to celebrate.

Surely, South Africans will celebrate through unity in action next year.

Premier of Gauteng, Mbazima Shilowa addressing the NCOP said : “While
there may be a few who refuse to acknowledge that we have made good progress
since 1994, the overwhelming majority of South Africans will say that South
Africa is now a better place in which to live. Having chosen the people as the
objective judges on our performance over nine years, we are not only going to
listen to the positive things that they say in their judgement. We will listen
carefully when they point to us areas in which they think we could have done
better”. We agree with the Gauteng Premier in this regard.

Those who question everything want us to behave in a manner contrary to the
laws of the country.

Everyone is innocent till proven guilty.

When it comes to the ANC, they figure, this must not be applicable. The President
of the RSA has been called upon to act as a court of law. All allegations must
be tested in courts not in the media.

They accuse the President of spending most of the time outside the country.

Firstly that is not true. Secondly, official trips outside the country are
meant to position SA as a global player. Thirdly, it is the citizens of this
country that benefit from government’s international engagements, and
this happens in all manner of ways not least economic or social. We are of the
view that such trips must be embarked upon more.

As long as these meant to uplift our economy and contribute to human solidarity.
South Africans understand clearly that we will not survive and develop in isolation.

What people want is material change in their living conditions. Their aspirations
are still very clear, housing, food, jobs and better life for all. The ANC knows
this and will continue to strive to achieve maximum within available resources.
Our people are not interested in the coalition for change.

Instead, they expect change in their life conditions. Truth must not be compromised
for expediency. Some of those who dominated the people in the past, not allowing
differing voices, even murdering those who expressed differing opinions, today
preach to us about some domination by a ruling party and its dangers. The coalition
for change is meant to cut this domination, so we are told.

The KZN coalition tells it all. Instability will occur and these forces want
to get a chance to delay delivery. The threat of dissolving KZN legislature
will be the daily play. The fact of the matter is that we want the KZN province
to be governed in a responsible way. People of KZN deserve a better life and
stability. In the NCOP address, the Premier of this province instead of talking
about what he has delivered like all other Premiers, he decided to excel in
what he is best known for.

South African were told about his position as a person. Last year it was the
same thing. The people in KZN must make a choice whether to remain slaves of
irresponsible leadership and instability for ever or not. The historic fact
is that the KZN Premier’s party is duty bound to loose more seats next
year. The people will reject all that is not helpful in their lives.

People of Western Cape voted the ANC as the biggest party in their legislature.

This was a realisation of the correctness of our policies. Citizens of Western
Cape prefer non-racial society and reject “swaartgevaar” strategy.
Next year people of Western Cape will definitely increase the delivery muscle
of the ANC in their province. We are committed to working with all people to
accelerate the fight against poverty and unemployment.

The truth must not be compromised.

No space should be given for the recycling of old lies.

Zimbabwe is a sovereign country and not a tenth province of South Africa.

The government’s responsibility is never to interfere in the domestic
affairs of other countries. Ours is the respect for international law. There
are those who left Zimbabwe when it attained its democracy with the hope that
SA will never be a democratic country where citizens will be treated equally.

To them, true democracy is bound to fail.

Hence they conclude that the government has failed masses of our people by
not interfering in Zimbabwe.

People of our country know what is the fundamental question in Zimbabwe.

Minister Trevor Manuel, addressing the National Assembly on 12 November 2003
said, “ South Africa is a great place to be in. A few weeks ago, Tom Ainsley,
the CEO of Elliot International, one of the larger removal companies in the
country, was speaking on a business radio show.

In discussing his company’s financial results, he commented that in the
1980s, the number of people that his company moved out of South Africa exceeded
the number of people moving in by about ten times. For the past two years however,
the number of people leaving the country has roughly equalled the number of
people being brought into the country. In September this year, for the first
time since his tenure began in 1979, the number of people being brought into
the country exceeds the number of people leaving. Skilled South Africans are
coming back, skilled professionals are choosing to move here.

While this may be anecdotal, it signals a realisation by people of good judgement
that this country is a great place to be in.

A realisation that if you take a serious look around, you soon recognise that
you’d rather be here than anywhere else.

Madam speaker, it is this confidence that we are here to speak about today.
We are here to talk about the way in which we have weathered the storm of global
uncertainty, the way in which we are standing tall … and about why this
country is a great place to be in. But more importantly, our confidence is driven
by our ability to give meaning to our vision of a better life for all South
Africans, especially the poor.

We are progressively realising the social and economic rights of our people,
we are building the foundations for stronger growth and employment creation,
we have a policy framework in place to bridge the divide between the first and
the second economies that is still such a pervasive feature of our society.”

This indicates to us that `South Africa is a country with a hope. The future
of our children is secured. What we do today, must be influenced by the fact
that our children will live with this legacy.

Only truth will set us free. We are convinced that our country is on the right
track. The truth must be told and not be compromised. The foundation has been
laid for our society to develop into a truly united, non-racial and non-sexist
nation. In conclusion let us say it loud and clear – ASINAMONA, ASINANZONDO,
SIDUMISA I – ANC ( We are not jealous, we do not have grudges, forward
with the ANC). Cadres against poverty Mayihlome. Editor

National Social Security Agency Bill and the
Social Assistance Bill.

Access to social
security in South Africa is a constitutional right of citizens and the delivery
of social assistance has been recognised as the ANC-led government’s most
effective poverty alleviation program.

Our government’s strategy is to work towards the creation of an integrated
social security system to improve the quality of social spending and to enhance
its positive impact on those who are in need.

Social security service delivery has been plagued by a number of problems such
as operational inefficiencies and the lack of a clear financing policy for social
services.

These problems are exacerbated by increased demands on the Department of Social
Development, such as dynamic socio-economic conditions, mounting stakeholder
expectations, new grants being added, increasing expectations on the responsible
authorities’ overall performance and enhanced service delivery.

This is the context within which one must see the introduction of the National
Social Security Agency and the Social Assistance Bills, i.e. in line with the
mission to “pay the right person, the right amount, at the right time.”

The Social Assistance Bill

Social assistance, in the form of monthly grants, plays an important role in
the alleviation of poverty and constitutes the largest direct income transfer
in the country to the poor. Social assistance grants are paid to close on 6
million citizens who often depend on the benefits as their only means of survival.
The number of beneficiaries will increase approximately to 9 million over the
next three years with the extension of the child support grant. However, the
severe existing weaknesses in the management and administration of social grants
often result in a failure on the part of government to ensure that those entitled
to the benefits are provided with the best possible service. This continues
to lead to ongoing litigation and substantial negative publicity in the press.

This Bill aims to consolidate the legal requirements and provisions for social
assistance in the Republic and its objectives of this Bill are to provide for
the administration and payment of social grants, make provision for social assistance
and determine the qualification requirements and, therefore, ensure that minimum
norms and standards are set for delivery of social assistance and provide for
the establishment of an Inspectorate for social assistance. Through these measures,
the Bill aims to promote the effective use of our country’s limited resources
available for social assistance and the promotion of equal access to government
services.

The Social Assistance Bill, if implemented properly, could have immense impact
on our society and is line with January 8th statement of the ANC, ANC-led government
must use the state budget to improve the quality of life of especially the poor,
while contributing to the expansion of the economy. Among other things, we must
ensure the proper functioning of our social welfare system and effective use
of poverty alleviation funds.

The National Social Security Agency Bill

It is common knowledge that the delivery of services to the poor has been beset
by problems and it is in this spirit that our government has committed itself
to establishing a National Social Security Agency in order to improve service
delivery to the most vulnerable sectors of our society, i.e. poor grant recipients.

The establishment of the Agency will mean that eventually provinces will no
longer have any responsibility with respect to the management and delivery of
the main social grants, but that provinces may be asked to play a role in poverty
intervention. Provinces will be in a better position to provide social relief
of distress and other relief programmes.

The provision of these programmes will form part of government’s enhanced
response to sustainable poverty relief as opposed to only providing transfer
benefits.

The main objective of the Agency will be to ensure the efficient and effective
management, administration and payment of social security grants in the country.

This will ensure that there is equal access to social security for all citizens,
implementation of uniform standards and norms across the country, reduced cost,
less duplication of expenditure, and consolidation of institutional capacity
in the formulation and implementation of policies related to social security.

We see the establishment of the Agency as our government’s definitive
response to the problems besetting social service delivery in our country.

The National Social Security Agency Bill and the Social Assistance Bill are
the cornerstones in our government’s mission to transform the delivery
of social services to the most vulnerable people in our country and will, if
implemented properly, be of great value in the fight to significantly decrease
poverty.

Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Bill

The fundamental
purpose of this article is to provide readers and the membership of the ANC
and the entire public with an understanding, relevance and importance of the
Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment(BEE).

The importance of BEE would be understood only if it is located into the broad
South African historical liberation context and the strategic objectives of
the ANC regarding economic transformation.

Central to our strategic objective is facilitate economic transformation for
better job opportunities and better investment for the economic growth.

Before 1994, the South African economic market was purely white-dominated.
It is against this, that the ANC felt that a policy framework is required to
address the racial imbalances of the past in the economic sector for the benefit
and development of black people.

The marginalization of the black majority in the economic participation meant
that only the white minority shall have access and control of the country’s
wealth.

The establishment of the BEE is in the context of undoing the racial economic
imbalances of the past and addressing property relations, as a step forward
towards the total economic emancipation of black people. The Broad Based Black
Economic Empowerment Bill seeks to deracialise and diversify the economy to
promote effective participation of the black majority in the centre stage of
the economic main stream and advance economic transformation, creating equal
opportunities and increased broad based and effective participation of black
people in the economy.

The establishment of this Bill also demonstrates the extent to which the ANC-led
government is committed towards the implementation of the resolutions of the
Growth and Development Summit because its resolutions find expression within
the BEE Bill.

The objectives of the Bill have been summarized as follows:

  • Promoting economic transformation in order to enable meaningful participation
    of black people in the economy
  • Achieving a substantial change in the racial composition of ownership and
    management structures and in the skilled occupations of existing and new enterprises
  • Increasing the extent to which black women own and manage existing and
    new enterprises and increasing their access to economic activities, infrastructure
    and skills training
  • Promoting investment programmes that lead to broad-based and meaningful
    participation in the economy by black people in order to achieve sustainable
    development and general prosperity
  • Empowering rural and local communities by enable access to economic activities,
    land, infrastructure, ownership and skills and
  • Promoting access to finance for black economic empowering

The objectives of the BEE Bill seek to refute all the alarmists and those whose
intentions are to taint the image of the ANC-led government suggesting that
the BEE is meant for the few. Surely, the BEE Bill clearly demonstrates that
the black majority of this country will be beneficiaries of the bill. We are
determined and confident that out of the Bill there exist opportunities for
black people to participate in the economy and have access to government services.

The introduction of the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Bill marks a
significant progress and advances economic transformation. This social transformation
is for the obliteration of racial economy. We should all say, the government
is making progress towards ensuring that all citizens of this country shall
benefit from the country’s wealth.

It is our sincere view that, the objective of the BEE is to change the living
conditions of the majority of black people, and will ensure that everybody has
got access to finances for the purpose of advancing and broadening business
opportunities and the creation of job opportunities. As we are optimistic that
this bill will bring about change to the millions of South Africans, we must
also indicate that such change will not come easily nor overnight because this
is a process not an event.

It would be incorrect for us not to reflect on the fact that the liberation
of black people means access to the wealth of this country, hence, the South
African economy has to be transformed in order to benefit all citizens of this
country regardless of colour, race, gender and political affiliation.

Surely, the establishment of this bill marks a significant epoch in the history
of our struggle and is a step forward for a better life for all. This bill has
not been without challenges, but due to the determination and commitment of
the ANC-led government we managed to walk tall from such challenges, as we are
certain that the BEE Bill will improve the living conditions of our people and
broaden access to government resources and services.

Anti-Terrorism Bill: Transforming the security
apparatus of safety and security for all citizens

South Africa condemns
terrorism without equivocation. Attacks against civilians cannot be justified.
This approach is integral to the humanitarian values that inspired our own struggle
and government’s conduct. These principles inform the core value of our
Constitution…”
(South African Government Statement after
9/11)

Since the events of 9/11, the Anti-Terrorism Bill (B12 – 2003) started
to receive a lot of attention from several sectors in South Africa. Several
critical comments from the media, communities/civil society, Human Rights NGO’s,
and academia, had started to pour in. Some of these criticisms were flabbergasting
if not ludicrous, and some were levelheaded.

Some criticisms included the sensational insinuations that, since 9/11, the
ANC-led Government was fast-tracking legislation on terrorism to fulfill the
American imperialist and self-interest aims of global security. These critics
went on to say that, the South African Anti-Terrorism Bill is aimed at targeting
a certain religious sector.

Terrorism legislation has always been deemed necessary by this democratic government
to protect both civilians and our hard-fought democracy against the heightened
urban terror bombings. In 1998, our Government had requested the South
African Law Commission to lead a project committee that would investigate South
Africa’s security legislation, a legislation that was previously abused
by the racist Apartheid regime, branding Freedom Fighters as “terrorists”
and as “enemies of the state”.

In the same vein, there have been rational and reasonable critical comments
that have challenged the necessity for an omnibus Anti-Terrorism legislation
for South Africa.

First, it was critically observed that the South African Police Service (SAPS)
effectively crushed the terrorist activities of a religious fundamentalist group,
and BOEREMAG, a right-wing extremist group, using “ordinary” legislation
and the common law. The accompanying argument was that, no new laws were necessary
because the South African statute books contain numerous laws that can be used
to fight terrorism and related activities.

The answer to the argument that no new legislation is necessary is that: South
Africa is not an island. South Africa is part of the global arena that also
seeks to combat international terrorism through international instruments/conventions.

The changing circumstances regarding terrorism in South Africa, in the continent
of Africa, and elsewhere in the world, had required our Government to acknowledge
that the existing legislation on state security had shortcomings when it had
to deal with international terrorism.

Kenya, for example, has yet to convict a suspect for the 1998 terrorist bombing
of the US-embassy in Nairobi that killed 219 people, mostly Kenyans. As witnessed
in Kenya, international threat of terrorism is often directed at foreign officials,
guests, embassies and the interests of foreign states. South Africa is wary
of this type of international terrorism where innocent civilians are often killed.

As member-state of the United Nations, South Africa is also obligated by the
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373/2001 which it is signatory to.
This Convention compels South Africa to formulate an Anti-Terrorism legislation
that would (1) provide for extra-territorial relating to terrorist activities.
Terrorist activities have been re-defined so as to distinguish between “intentional”
and “unplanned” support of terrorist activities.

This definition will also differentiate “terrorist activities”
as deliberate attacks on innocent civilians from “liberation struggles”
as legitimately fighting against colonialism and foreign aggression.

The section on “powers to investigate or prevent terrorist activities”
have been carefully re-formulated to align it with the spirit of the Bill of
Rights. It is now neither the judge nor the police to institute investigations.
Only the Director of Public Prosecutions have the power to do so.

The President has been tasked to make notice in the Gazette whenever the UN
Security Council proclaims/identifies a person/entity as committing terrorist
activities. The critical aspect though, is that the President will not solely
rely on a Security Council decision for seizure of assets/property. Instead,
all UN-listed terrorist entities will be submitted to Parliament for consideration
and decision

True to the spirit of our Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, the
Government is now ready to transform security legislation that would protect
the hard fought democracy of this country. Most importantly, though, is that,
this legislation will guarantee a sustained security freedom for all citizens
against deliberated and organized terrorist.

Firearms Control Act Turning the tide against
violent crime

The late Minister for Safety and Security, Steve Tshwete noted that,
firearms are almost without exception at the center of all instances involving
serious violence in South Africa.

The current Minister, Charles Nqakula in his recent media briefing, identified
drug/substances trafficking and abuse, domestic violence and rape, aggravated
robbery, and police killings as key focus areas in the war against violent crime.

These are violent crimes that are mostly carried out by the use of firearms.

The Firearms Control Act is hence aimed at strict and efficient gun control.
Its ultimate goal is to disarm criminals, stop illegal trafficking of firearms,
and to confiscate unlicensed guns.

However, there have been outcries that this Legislation has been one of the
most controversial policies Parliament has ever passed.

those claiming that, through a “gun quota system” the Government
is limiting the rights of South Africans to protect themselves, while it does
nothing to solve the spiralling crime.

These claims are not only highly irresponsible, but are also clouded with ignorance
and contempt of the major strides this Government had gone in formulating a
legislation that has demonstrated an unequivocal commitment to the values and
the spirit of our Constitution on which our democracy is based.

Firstly, this Act does not sacrifice the legitimate needs of South Africans
to possess firearms. Section 13 (2) (a) clearly demonstrates that this Act is
not formulated to compromise the rights of civilians to defend themselves. However,
it is a fact that this Legislation’s longterm goal is to improve policing
and public security so that the factors that drive people to possess weapons
for self-defence are reduced as stated in Section 2 (a).

Secondly, crime statistics are continuously helping the police to meet their
targets when combating violent crime. It is unfortunate then, that whenever
the Minister for Safety and Security releases new crime statistics, the media
and the opposition always cry foul, claiming that the “inaccurate”
crime statistics are being “sexed-up” for SAPS achievements in tackling
crime.

It is about time that these over-zealous critics start to acknowledge that
Police do not use crime statistics solely for measuring violent crimes. Crime
statistics are predominantly used for effective planning and operational purposes.

For example, after the SAPS top management perused the statistical data, they
saw a trend in the form of indicator that the majority of violent crimes are
committed using firearms. Various operations were then launched to give momentum
to the SAPS firearms strategy, aiming at the proliferation of firearms and their
use in crime and violence.

Operations Sethunya, Tswikila, Rachel have all been successful initiatives
by SAPS, showing that the intentions of this Government is to vigorously reduce
the number of firearms and to institute better and efficient regulations regarding
ownership and possession.

The accompanying regulations have been created to sensitize legal gun-owners
about the Firearms Control Act. Most importantly, though, is that the regulations
are there to tighten up provisions to be used when implementing this Legislation.

Competency training, and background evaluation are some of the critical new
provisions that have made this Act as comprehensive and as efficient in accreditation
of a potential licensed gunowner.

The new system requires the Designated Firearms Officer (DFO) to evaluate the
applicant’s physical and psychological fitness to possess a firearm. This
will include the requirement that people close to the applicant be consulted
before the issuance of a firearm license.

Obviously and rightly so, this will make it difficult for those people with
criminal records, domestic violence history, and psychological/emotional or
mental disturbance to get a firearm license as indicated in Section 9 (1) to
(5).

The onus is then on gun dealers to advice potential firearm buyers to undergo
the whole procedure of competency test and accreditation procedures before they
can pay for their firearms, training, safes, and revenue stamps.

It is critical if not imperative that there is a strong partnership between
all lawenforcement agencies and the broader civil society in addressing firearm-related
violent crime. The challenge to create all schools as gun-free zones still remains.

As Section 140 (1) (a) says, the Minister for Safety and Security may declare
a school as a gun-free zone.

A concrete mechanism still needs to be set up for effective coordination when
Private Security Companies are registering with the Security Industry Regulatory
Authority (SIRA) and applying for firearms from the South African Police Service
DFO. Through effective management systems, SAPS must be able to either trace
or collect firearms when a Private Security Company closes down.

The Firearm destruction programmes are a demonstrative resolve that the Government
is succeeding in retrieving guns from criminals and gangsters. The is a progressive
step towards creating a safe environment.

Policy on religion in education

The dawn of democracy in our country in 1994 signalled the beginning
of the process of healing for all South Africans. In this respect we are guided
by the founding principles of our democracy, as contained in our Constitution
and its Bill of Rights. Fundamental to this is the call for respect and the
promotion of the diverse cultures and religions of all our people, and hence
we are duty bound to ensure that through our diversity we develop a unity of
purpose and spirit that recognises and celebrates our diversity.

As all of us should know, one of the major mechanisms of exclusion in our country’s
past was in fact religion, and a great deal that was done within the apartheid
system was done in the name of religion. So following the lead of the Constitution
and the South African Schools Act, we have now in partnership with all stakeholders,
contributed to the development of an educational framework within which public
schools are not only allowed to exercise religious tolerance, but also set the
tone for a healthy relationship between religion and education that will be
good for education, good for religion and good for our schools in a democratic
society.

Religion Education

It is our view that religion education, with educational outcomes, is the responsibility
of the school. It shall include learning and teaching about the religions of
the world, with particular attention to religions of South Africa, and it shall
place adequate emphasis on values and moral education. Religion in education
is therefore an educational programme with clearly defined and transferable
skills, values and attitudes as the outcomes.

It should enable pupils to engage with various religious traditions and should
contribute to their spiritual and moral character. We further believe that it
will enable learners to acquire an early and proper understanding of their identity
and an understanding of the religious identity of others. Moreover, learners
will develop creative and critical abilities for tolerance, reduced prejudice,
and respect for diversity and together discover their common humanity.

Unlike a single-faith approach to religious education which provides religious
education in one religion, a multi-tradition approach to the study of Religion
in Education, does not promote any particular religion. It is essentially a
programme for studying about religion in all its forms and a significant subject
field in the school curriculum.

Religious Instruction

Religious instruction is understood to include instruction in a particular
faith or belief, with a view to the inculcation of devotion to that faith or
belief. We believe that this is primarily the responsibility of the home, the
family and the church and we encourage the strengthening of this role, in place
of the school. It should not be part of the formal school programme, as constituted
by the National Curriculum Statement, although we encourage the schools to use
their facilities for such programmes, provided that it does not interrupt the
core educational purposes of the school.

At present schools make provision for important holidays in regard to the setting
of examinations and tests, to ensure that learners are not prejudiced by their
attendance at religious observances. So we are saying that similar arrangements
can be made for learners to attend religious observances or instruction off
the school premises, provided that loss of teaching time is made up.

On the whole this policy provides for the religious instruction in an equitable
manner to all faiths represented in a school and those persons offering religious
instruction are doing so under the authority of the religious body and do not
have to be registered with the South African Council of Educators.

Religious Observances

School assemblies have been a long standing tradition in many but not all our
schools, and although not be seen as an occasion for religious expression, but
as the African National Congress we are saying that it should acknowledge and
reflect the multi-religious nature of our society in an appropriate manner.

While we are encouraging observance of religion at school, we are at the same
time emphasising the provisions of the Constitution and the South African Schools
Act, that this be voluntary and equitable, and in accordance with the rules
made by the authorities.

Hence School Governing Bodies are provided with a framework in which to operate
and we encourage them to make arrangements which are sensitive to the religious
diversity of our country. We do not prescribe any particular approach, but we
would not accept any discriminatory approach and urge parents who feel that
their religion is neglected to approach the school to ask for assistance.

Conclusion

We are enormously grateful for the positive responses and support this policy
development has received from religious leaders and churches in general. All
support materials will be developed in a participative and inclusive manner
and teachers will de empowered accordingly.

To our detractors we say: we will never again, given our terrible past, place
our learners who come from diverse religious, cultural and linguistic backgrounds
at risk of discrimination and prejudice.

Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill

Fundamental to our
struggle for liberation was the element of restoring the dignity and respect
of the people of South Africa.

Significantly, As the African National Congress, we have to ensure that the
masses of our people gain unhindered access to our land - a source of survival
to all South Africans, particularly those living in rural areas. The Restitution
of Land Rights Amendment Bill, therefore, addresses the restitution of those
rights in land that were dispossessed after 1913 as a result of the apartheid
legislation.

Whilst our movement had assumed that there would be absolute co-operation from
those who unfairly inherited forcefully acquired land from our people under
the Land Act of 1913, most farmers abused the law by shifting the goal posts
during negotiations. Under the “willing-buyer willing-seller” principle,
many such farmers stalled the process by demanding unfair and exorbitant prices.

It was again thought that we would all be reasonable and agree to speed up
the process by resolving land claims by way of settlement agreements rather
than be forced to go court. Hence we had to amend that current legislation to
ensure that all arbitrary obstacles are removed in an attempt to resettle our
people back to their rightfully owned land.

The main purpose of this amendment is to fast-track land claims and, therefore,
considerably reduce and alleviate the huge land claims backlog that we currently
face. This legislation also allows the minister of land and agriculture to purchase,
acquire or expropriate land for the purposes of restitution and other forms
of and reform purposes. In future, therefore, government will not have to reach
an agreement with the relevant landowner or obtain a court order in order to
expropriate land. The opposition has an issue with the power given to the minister
to expropriate land without a court order and that the land could be expropriated
for other land reform purposes besides restitution. Those concerns are just
based on white fears and depict and reflect the conservative mindsets, which
contribute to the resistance to the process of transformation of land in this
country.

Those people should not be allowed to undermine the delivery and pace of land
reform objectives in this country.

What such people fail to realise is that our government is committed to upholding
and respecting the law. For instance, whenever, a landowner or any affected
person is not satisfied with a decision and action of the minister, he or she
has recourse to our courts of law, including the Constitutional court. Cognisance
should also be taken of the fact that the constitutional rights of a landowner
or holder of the right in land whose property or right is expropriated is endorsed
in the Constitution.

The amendment proposed, is not by anyway, taking away, the right of current
owners to appeal to decisions of our government. It merely prevents unnecessary
delays on the process of the restitution by uncooperative landowners.

It should be acknowledged that the powers given to the minister in terms of
this bill are befitting, as in the absence of a court order, presently government
cannot expropriate or acquire land for restitution purposes but has to depend
on a protracted negotiations process.

Government has set 2005 as the year by which the restitution process should
be finalized, the activities of the Land Claims Commission are hindered by the
protracted negotiations, by landowners who are unable and unwilling to agree
to certain aspects of the process, when on the other hand our people are waiting
patiently, as at now, for us to give them back land which they lost. Be that
as it may, we salute those farmers who went out of their way to support the
land reform process and even became good Samaritans in supporting and assisting
and training those who got their farms on how to run them efficiently.

We should bear it in mind that, the massively unequal distribution of land
is not just the unfortunate legacy of apartheid, and it is the total unacceptable
continuation of apartheid. This amendment therefore seeks to expedite the restitution
process of land in this country…so as to be able to deal on the same par
with human and social questions and problems, work towards total deracialisation
of the economy look to the full achievement of a secure legal regime for property
rights respected by all.

Domestic violence: The scourge of our nation

In South Africa, the apartheid legacy has bred a culture of violence,
which has contributed to a damaged society. The violence and molestation of
women and children is a symptom of this degeneration and breakdown in family
values.

South African women have been the easy targets of this scourge of violence,
both in public and in their own homes.

The South African Police Service, hospitals, rape crisis centers and battered
women shelters have all recorded increasing occurrences of domestic violence,
rape, sexual assault and battery against women in this country.

The fact that such violence knows no boundaries in terms of race, class, age
and culture, awakens our national consciousness. A consciousness that realizes
that the similarity shared amongst these victims is the fact that they are all
“women”.

The South African public’s awareness of domestic violence has increased
largely due to media coverage, academic studies focusing on the cycle of abuse
prevalent in families, stories of victims of domestic violence and their resistance
to being another statistic and the passing of the Domestic Violence Act No.
116 of 1998.

One of the most demanding issues facing the criminal justice system today is
how to react to and control interpersonal violence.

In most cases of domestic violence, the violence is so severe that most victims,
in addition to facing physical and emotional pain, also have to face the financial
costs of treatment.

The argument by the police services is that they face “repeat victims,
a large number of those victims fail to turn up at court and who repeatedly
return to their perpetrators. This affects the conviction rate.

The bigger picture here though, is that in most instances, the victims often
lack the resources such as money to provide for their children, education and
housing.

Many victims also lack the will and strength to abandon abusive relationships.

However, although we are faced with what appears to be insurmountable challenges,
we do acknowledge interventions by the government to reform the reaction of
the criminal justice system to domestic violence. Legislation has increased
police powers and the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences
Units has raised pubic awareness around the existence of these crimes and the
role of the SAPS in assisting affected individuals and communities.

The Human Rights Watch clearly emphasizes that government assistance to battered
women can only succeed through a concerted and co-ordinated effort on the part
of a number of different departments.

And it would appear that government departments have heeded that call.

The Department Of Correctional Services, by virtue of being at the “tail
end” of the criminal justice system, seeks to” promote social responsibility
and human rehabilitation of all prisoners and persons subjected to community
corrections”.

One of the key functions of the Department of Correctional Services is to offer
service delivery in the form specialized programmes and projects.

Rehabilitation is touted as the center of all activities within DCS. Perpetrators,
who are convicted of domestic violence, are assessed to determine causal factors
of the crime and specific needs of the individual. After assessment, a correctional
plan is developed in consultation with the offender, targeting offending behaviour.
Part of this process involves continued evaluation and monitoring of the impact
of intervention.

The process of intervention takes place from admission, throughout incarceration
and after release.

The Department of Safety and Security has committed itself to prevent and combat
crimes against women and children, and is further committed to continue to regard
such crimes as priorities in the coming years.

The National Crime Prevention Strategy also identified gender violence and
crimes against children as crime categories.

Further, The Department facilitated the development of a strategy on shelters.

There are now 46 shelters accommodating abused women and their children for
1 week up to 6 months. The majority of existing shelters are run by NGOs. However,
scarce financial resources affect the sustainability of these shelters, less
than half of which are subsidized by the provincial departments.

On World Aids Day, 1 December 2002, more than 20 foreign ambassadors pledged
to join hands with the local communities to fight back against what they called
a universal war against women and children, which is endemic across foreign
nations.

Legislation on domestic violence stresses constructive police intervention
where protection for the victim is paramount. The judicial system has the responsibility
of ensuring that speedy resolutions are found whereby the victims of violence
are protected, that all police and judicial personnel are well versed with the
legislation and that consistent implementation of the legislation by all role-players
is undertaken.

Traditional leadership and governance framework
bill

South Africa, through the Traditional Leadership and Governance
Framework Bill, has bestowed upon herself and traditional communities the greatest
gift of all, “a more human face”.

This is made possible by recognizing Traditional Leaders and the
institution of traditional leadership in this country.

Our Constitution laid the foundation and provided for the recognition of the
institution of traditional leadership.

Most importantly, the ANC-led government provided in the Bill that the institution
not only has a place in our democracy, but that it has the potential to transform
to contribute enormously towards the restoration of the moral fibre of our society,
and to play a significant role in the reconstruction and development of our
country, especially in rural areas.

This significant recognition and reinstating of our system of traditional governance
will result in the rebirth of the spirit of our people. This will allow traditional
communities to be the custodians of their respective languages, customs, cultures,
histories and art forms. With the advent of this Bill, the institution of traditional
leadership will occupy an important and significant place in the lives of African
people. This comes at the time when President Thabo Mbeki is advancing the cause
of African Renaissance.

The adoption of the Bill will be a unifying factor to both South Africa in
particular and Africa at large. The vision of this Bill is to rekindle the African
flames from the ashes left by colonialism and apartheid, which have attempted
to damage, and pervert the institution with the intension of destroying even
the last spirit of Africanism of the people. It is therefore clear that Africa’s
traditional democratic forms of governance have a role to play in the government
of our country.

It must also be in mind that the ANC-led government has made it clear that
Traditional Leaders and the institution of traditional leadership are here to
stay side by side with the democratic institutions to deepen democracy, to preserve
our cultural and indigenous knowledge and by developing the lives of all South
Africans.

Of significance, this Bill will allow the institution of traditional leaders
together with traditional communities to strategically transform rural areas.
This is made possible by providing for the establishment of Houses of Traditional
Leaders. The National and Provincial Houses of Traditional Leaders provide for
the role of traditional leaders at both National and Provincial spheres of government.
However, the ANC-led government went further by committing itself at strengthening
the capacity of these Houses so as to be better able to fulfil their respective
Constitutional mandate. In addition, the Bill has also established Local Houses
of Traditional Leaders to engage with District municipalities around issues
of service delivery and development in traditional authority areas.

Moreover, the role of traditional leadership in our society is reconcilable
with the basic principles and values of our Constitution, including democracy
and gender equality. The Bill in fact provides for the transformation of the
institution of traditional leadership so that it is consistent with the needs
of our new democracy. The Bill further deals with the roles and functions of
traditional leadership in governance generally.

This Bill represents a phase in the ongoing process of defining the role of
traditional leaders in our new system of democratic governance. Essentially,
the Bill has enhanced the role of traditional leadership institution; this is
reflected, for example, in providing for Bills pertaining to customary law or
customs to be first referred to the National House of Traditional Leadership
for 30 days for its comments before Parliament can process them. It has also
provided for 40% of members of traditional council to be democratically elected.
This is made possible, however, still keeping the fibre of this traditional
institution. The Bill has replaced the word “chief” as insulting
and finds it unacceptable.

However, the Bill finally opted for “Senior Traditional Leader”
with the understanding that the provincial legislation to be enacted will use
applicable traditional terms, such as Inkosi, Kgosi, morena, etc.

This Bill refers to “functions” and not “powers”. In
principle, this is consistent with the Constitution for it refers to “roles”
of traditional leadership. The Ministry and Department of Provincial and Local
Government explained that the Bill does not take away any of the “customary
powers” of traditional leaders and actually provides additional “statutory
functions”.

Moreover, the Bill provides for a role for traditional leadership, not just
in the local government sphere, but also in all three spheres of government.

The ANC-led government in this Bill has recognised the importance of this establishment
and allocated remuneration for headmen and headwomen who are currently not being
paid. This is a clear indication that the ANC government cares for people and
recognises the contribution they made to society.

The Bill also talks of establishing a Commission on Traditional Leadership
Disputes and Claims. This Commission will focus mainly on disputes and claims
arising since the enactment of the Black Administrative Act of 1927. However,
the Bill is aware that there are disputes and claims that predate this act and
will also require the commission’s attention. This Bill is prepared to
consolidate the system of government and advance national democratic struggles
and further place the institution of traditional leaders in its rightful place.

This process must be understood within the context of a continuous engagement.

Dynamics of our country force us to engage with developments. This bill is
not an end on itself. Certain roles will be put into place in consultation between
relevant government departments and senior traditional leaders.

We do not have a reason not to believe that this bill will facilitate more
understanding amongst stakeholders involved in this area. The African Renaissancespirit
must also be taken into account when continuing with restoring the dignity of
traditional leadership.

ANC Brings back people’s dignity through
housing delivery

“Even before we came into power we were clear about the challenges
and responsibilities in housing that we were facing.”

The ANC in the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) wrote
“The lack of adequate housing and basic services in urban townships and
rural settlements today has reached crisis proportions……the democratic
government is ultimately responsible for ensuring that housing is provided to
all”.

The RDP further guided us by saying that the democratic government “must
create a policy framework and legislative support so that this is possible,
and it must allocate subsidy funds from the budget… so that housing is
affordable to even the poorest South Africans”. That is exactly what we
did with the space of nine years!

Delivery so far

More than 1, 5 million houses were built by the ANC-led Government since 1994.
Between 1994 and 2003, 1 985 545 subsidies were approved for an expenditure
of R24.22 billion.

The opposition would like our people to believe that nothing is being done
by the ANC. However, the above verifiable facts speak volumes about what we
have delivered with a short space of time.

Moreover, 481 373 houses that were built in the Apartheid era were transferred
to our people. By this, the ANC says our people have the right to dignity!

Redressing gender discrimination

Women were further affected by gender discrimination; they were not afforded
housing ownership rights. The ANC repealed all the discriminatory laws that
were perpetuating this situation. We have improved gender equality in housing
ownership; 49% of all subsidies approved were granted to women.

International recognition

It is rather ironic that the opposition parties that are inside the country
would dispute the fact that ANC has delivered houses; but outsiders recognise
achievements in this regard. The United Nations Habitat has honoured the former
Minister of Housing, Comrade Sankie Mthembi-Mahanyele (the current Deputy Secretary-General
of the ANC) for improving the housing conditions of six million people during
her reign as Minister of Housing.

She was honoured for her delivery of 1, 45 million houses worth R20 billion
within a period of eight years, which housed six million people during her term
in office. The United Nations has since confirmed that South Africa’s
record of delivering so many houses to the poor is unprecedented in the history
of housing delivery throughout the world.

Challenges

We are concerned about the quality of some houses that have been built during
this term. It is encouraging to note that the Department of Housing (lead by
Comrade Brigitte Mabandla) is currently emphasising on improving the quality
of these houses. Initiatives are taken to empower contractors.

The ANC is also very concerned about the sale and resale of the RDP houses
by the beneficiaries and municipal/council officials. Hence we took a resolution,
at the 51st National Conference in Stellenbosch that we must find mechanisms
to end the practices of selling of these houses. Municipalities should resist
from attaching people’s RDP houses as a mechanism of credit control. Other
ways and means can be used to encourage people to pay their municipal services.

We encourage people who know of such practices to report to the relevant authorities
or to the ANC Constituency offices.

We must build a stronger partnership to ensure that these gains of our movement
are not compromised by few individuals.

The tide has turned against crime

Edited adress
by ANC, MP ME George (Chairperson of safety and security portfolio committee)
during the debate on Budget 25 Safety and Security - 10 June 2003.

The 11% increase will go a long way in achieving the goals that were
set by the President in his State of the Nation Address: that is “improving
capacity of the SAPS to discharge its crime prevention and combating responsibilities”.

Whilst I do not like to always refer to the past, but I must state that the
ANC-led government inherited a police force that was highly centralized, paramilitary,
and authoritarian against any collective challenges to Apartheid. Consequently,
the Police were poorly equipped for crime control and prevention under a new
democratic dispensation.

Section 205 (3) of the Constitution states that the objectives of the Police
Service amongst other things, is to protect and secure the inhabitants of the
Republic (not all inhabitants) and their property and to uphold and enforce
the Law. This objective, is in line with the Freedom Charter’s vision
that proclaimed, in 1955 that “There shall be Peace and Friendship”.

To achieve these objectives the government introduced a philosophy of Community
Policing to make sure that the inherited Police Force is transformed into professional
and effective law enforcement Police Service, a police service that will never
again infringe on Human Rights.

This Community Policing approach - true to its premise that a community and
its police service are equal partners with shared responsibilities in ensuring
safety and security - has produced good progress, because it has yielded partnerships
with relevant departments, relevant sectors, and the community at large. This
partnership is a necessary strategy that is not only turning the tide against
crime, but will also initiate and implement programmes to fight the scourge
of violent crimes such as rape, gangster fighting and shootings.

This Budget informed by our National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) is accommodating
the increase of police by 45 000 by the financial year 2005/2006. This holistic
approach against crime refuses to look at crime only in terms of statistics
and numbers of Police. Of course, I am not alluding that statistical data for
measuring crime, are useless.

Any good democracy needs good statistical data to be able to identify and
measure patterns and trends of criminal activities. However, statistical data
must not be politicised, and not be overemphasized as if it is the only measure
for solving crime.

Safety and Security for all citizens does not only mean 150 000 more police
on the streets as some would like us to believe. Combating violent crimes against
women and children will not be successful by merely increasing police in the
streets. That is why this government led by the ANC emphasizes the importance
of the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster (JCPS). The success of
the 16 Days of Activism Against Abuse of Women and Children during November
and December 2002 by this Cluster, is commendable. To create an impression or
even say that nothing is done against the abuse of children and women is highly
irresponsible.

The training and enlisting of more police officials will enhance visible policing,
not only in the urban areas, but in the rural areas as well. We want to make
sure that rural areas are given equal emphasis. Some people would like the farmers
to believe that this government dos not care about farm killings, because to
them farm killings is only farm-owners.

This government, however, also acknowledges that attacks against farm residents/workers
are as much big problem. The government has embarked on a Rural Safety Plan
that sees to it that the Police equally protect farmers and farm-workers. Phasing
out of Commandos, which have their own history, is a major step taken by the
government to ensure that all residents in farms (farm owners and workers) are
protected. The government has made sure that rural safety is not compromised,
that is why, each month, 9 000 reservists are activated to support the envisaged
35 000 sector policing.

Restructuring of the SAPS is one of the most critical tasks of the government.
Closing down of some specialized units does not mean that those tasks have now
ceased to exist, but are included in multidisciplinary units to avoid unnecessary
duplication and redundancy.

The restructuring of these units into Organized Crimes, Serious and Violent
Crimes, Commercial Crimes and Crimes against Women and Children, means leaner,
effective, and easily monitored units.

Another leg of restructuring was the implementation of Resolution 7 of 2002,
which I must state was not meant for the Police alone, but for all government
departments. The main aims of this Resolution 7/2002 are (1) equal distribution
of skills and other resources to bridge the divide on how the rich and poor
are policed in this country; (2) improve service delivery; and (3) to progressively
implement the SAPS National Employment Equity so that the Police Service reflects
the true demographics of this country.

This restructuring and transformation within SAPS has resulted in a state of
panic to those who are unhappy with change. They are threatening to do all sorts
of actions against the Department.

The National Commissioner and the Minister will definitely sort out any genuine
problems. The Minister has already indicated this when he was briefing the Safety
and Security Portfolio Committee.

However, it must be emphasized that the transformation of SAPS is a progress
towards rebuilding the nation, sharing of skills, and enhancing safety and security
of the country.

The greatest concern of all peace loving South Africans, is the high rate of
police killings. Community Policing is meant to facilitate mutual respect and
understanding between the Police Service and the local community it serves.
This is endorsed by the Constitution (Section 206 (3) (c), which says: “to
promote good relations between the Police and the Community”. The Community
must realize that killing of Police officials is against the Constitution and
hence against the hardfought democracy and related achievements of this country.

This government will continue to enhance measures of safety and security of
our police members. This Parliament must look at the laws and check if they
are adequate enough to make criminals think twice before killing a Police official.
An attack on the Police is an attack on our democracy.

The ugly head of vigilantism is reemerging again. Some politicians in this
house have tried to justify these acts of barbarism by putting the blame on
the Police, eluding the inability of the Police to deal with crime. These prophets
of doom allege that vigilantism is public frustration with the criminal justice
system. Whilst this is debatable; but trying to resolve crime and conflict in
a violent way cannot be frustration, but criminal aggravation to other human
beings.

The Police will continue to work with the public to insist on proper law enforcement
rather than resorting to vigilantism. The Police will not hesitate to act against
vigilantism of any kind.

Yes, SAPS is still facing enormous challenges in combating crime. Corruption
within SAPS and lack of skills are some contributing factors to allegations
of “sloppy work” by Police officials. There are indeed constant
complaints against police for their slow response to calls of emergency; if
they respond at all. The Division Crime Prevention is currently addressing these
complaints as a matter of urgency in order to ensure that the response to calls
will be enhanced thus ensuring professional and rapid response to incidents
of crime. The remedies to the situation include the

  1. updating of equipment/technology in 10111 Centres;
  2. developing uniform task specific training courses to enhance the knowledge
    and skills of all members performing functions in these centers and police
    stations; and
  3. implementing sector policing to ensure that the response times to attending
    to complaints decrease and service delivery improve. It must be acknowledged
    though that the following are other inhibiting factors that also have an influence
    on response times:
  • road and weather conditions;
  • unclear identification of residences and street names in urban, rural,
    and informal settlements;
  • peak traffic periods; and
  • environmental design of suburbs.

These inhibiting factors are also being addressed in cooperation with the
Local Government. The Communities again will be of great assistance - Report
to CPF’s and MP’s.

This Government must be commended on the tide it has turned on crime. Many
of our people are beginning to realize the importance of the role in fighting
crime.

That is why some serious crimes were quickly and easily defused with the assistance
of the Community. Community Police Forums have been established all over the
country and they meet and discuss means and ways of preventing crime and the
role that can be played by the communities. We commend these CPF’s for
discussing positively on how they can prevent attacks so that they can create
a safe environment.

I want to appeal again to Members of all parties to speak with one voice against
crime. It is saddening to discover that some parties are even using crime for
electioneering purposes. They even get carried away by their imaginations to
suggest that there is chaos in this country.

Even criminals are shocked with disbelief as they know that the Police are
making it very difficult for them to commit crime. Though the levels of crime
are still unacceptably high, we can say with confidence that we have turned
the tide, and people are generally safer than they were before 1994.

SPECIAL THANKS

To Researchers who gave inputs and evaluated Sephadi:

Xolile Majola (Public Service and Administration)

Nomsa Hani ( Safety and Security)

Desmoreen Carolus (Social Development)

Vusi Mooi (Presidency)

Howard Johnson (Education)

Anusha Pillay ( Correction Services)

Asanda Macanda ( Provincial and Local Government)

Sibongile Mbotwe (Home Affairs)

Soraya Booley (Communications)

To Chief Political Advisor, the Whippery and study groups concerned.

[Sephadi Index]