Department of Community Safety underspends, underperforms and fails to keep Gauteng residents safe

10 Jan 2022 in Speeches

Madam Speaker,

The same thing seems to happen every year when we have the debate on the annual report of the Department of Community Safety; the target for green doors is never met and we remind the MEC that the Gauteng Traffic Police should be made a 24-hour service with the greatest urgency possible in a bid to alleviate crime across our province.

Only 30 green doors have been established against a target of 36. We will continue to pray for the day that 100% of the target of green doors is met under this government and then in 2024 when the DA governs Gauteng, we will meet the target ourselves. 

The Department had planned to collect R37.6 million in the 2020/21 financial period; a 5 percent projected increase from the prior year. The actual collection decreased by R9.4 million compared to the prior year. 

We once again call for the cost of what it would take to make the Gauteng Traffic Police an essential service so that we can assess this against the Department’s under expenditure and failure to collect revenue.

R17 946 000 of the Department’s budget remains unspent. 

The Department incurred material impairments of R460 406 000 as a result of the impairment of accrued departmental revenue. In addition, the department wrote off or reversed accrued departmental revenue amounting to R 5 248 000. The SCOPA Committee of the Legislature has expressed concern that the Department failed to put pro-active measures in place to prevent material impairments. 

The department is the defendant in various lawsuits and labour disputes amounting to R 53 807 000. No provision for any liability that may result has been made in the financial statements and this may pose a significant risk going forward. 

Writing off the prior year’s irregular expenditure amounting to R79 238 000 is underway as investigations have been conducted and completed an application for condonation has been submitted to the Treasury. It is a large figure that must be addressed by the department going forward. This year’s annual performance report discloses that the department failed to reduce irregular expenditure by 50% (which is the department’s target). The report fails to disclose two very important questions:

  • What are the reasons for this failure?
  • How much irregular expenditure was there?

The Auditor-General highlighted that in terms of IT systems, a risk was identified about the department’s management of user access. Listen to this quote from the report itself: “There is currently no coordination between HR and IT as officials who are no longer employed by the department have unauthorized access as they have not been removed from the database.” This is the same department that is meant to be keeping the people of Gauteng safe and it is therefore of the utmost concern that the department cannot protect its records from former employees. 

This department needs to do more to keep the people of Gauteng safe. The 15% vacancy rate in the department does not point to a serious approach to keeping people safe. There are still deficiencies when it comes to paying suppliers within 30 days; which stands at 94% of invoices paid. 

No one can have freedom while they live in fear.