Budget neglects police skills development and ‘forgets’ SAPS management skills audit

“We need a greater emphasis on specialised services and skills investment in the fight against crime, “said Tshepi Mmekwa at Action Society. “The budgets of the Police, Justice and Women and Children departments should reflect that.”

While the allocation of significant funding for “boots on the ground” presented in the Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana’s Budget Speech is a step in the right direction, we note that without the necessary investment in specialised services and skills development, the effectiveness of law enforcement agencies will be hindered. Accordingly, the budget should be effectively invested in implementing technology to support detectives, the need for internal skills audits, and adequate funding for crime intelligence operations to prevent corruption and reach peak performance.

We are also concerned that the reported performance of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) only reflects cases that make it to court, which suggests there may be issues with the investigation and prosecution of cases before they reach that stage. The lack of budget allocation to integrate prosecution, investigation, and correctional services is also a concern that needs to be addressed. If the budget is linked to performance, cases opened to successful prosecution should be the actual indicators.

“We urge the relevant authorities to take these concerns seriously and work towards addressing the underlying issues hindering the fight against crime and corruption in South Africa,” said Mmekwa. “A review of strategies and resource allocation, as well as a concerted effort to improve key law enforcement agencies’ overall performance and effectiveness, is necessary.”

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