More spending on crime prevention yields results

Sunday, February 1, 2009
By: 
Bathandwa Mbola

Addis Ababa - Government's increased expenditure on recruiting more policemen and women and improving infrastructure, bolstered by strong partnership between government and civil society, is starting to yield results.

"These efforts are starting to yield the required results. There is a marked decrease in contact crimes such as murder and robbery," said President Kgalema Motlanthe.

The President on Saturday attended the 10th Summit of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) in Addis Ababa, ahead of the African Union Summit, where he gave a report entitled South Africa's National Programme of Action Report.

The budget of the SAPS saw a growth of 58 percent from the 2003/04 to the 2007/08 financial year. The budget has also been adequately enhanced for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The biggest slice of the R15.5 billion budget for visible policing is for crime prevention (R13.7 billion). Visible policing is divided into crime prevention, borderline security and specialised interventions.

Personnel expenditure continues to be the biggest portion of the budget at R25, 2 billion from R35.9 billion during the current financial year. The allocated budget for policing has increased by 43 percent.

More money has also been invested in the further expansion of the vehicle fleet, radio communication, information technology and firearms.

President Motlanthe said apart from increased expenditure and improved civil society partnerships, government was bolstering the criminal justice system to ensure that perpetrators of crime are dealt with speedily and effectively. "We are also addressing some of the contributory factors to crime such as poverty and joblessness. "

He said the fight against corruption remains another key priority area.

He announced that in addition to the anti-corruption review emanating from the APRM, government has initiated the appraisal of the national anti-corruption framework.

"The appraisal points to a need to focus more attention on the implementation of the framework while providing the necessary capacity to strengthen the fight against corruption. "

On the women empowerment in all sectors, the APRM report indicated that South Africa continues to make progress.

To ensure that this continues, the national gender machinery is currently being revamped.

Active steps are being taken to address the global problem of human trafficking through a three-pronged approach, said Mr Motlanthe indicating that strengthening international relations especially with neighbouring States to enhance the fight against organised and other forms of trafficking in women and children was also one of them.

In this light he said South Africa continues to believe that an independent, vigilant, fearless, vigorous and sensitive judiciary is the cornerstone of democracy.

"The government respects, and has unequivocally pledged its commitment to the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law."

According to an extensive new report by the International Budget Partnership (IBP), which indicated top performers in both developed and developing countries in the implementation of the APRM, the report showed that South Africa demonstrated transparency given sufficient willingness of their governments to be open and accountable to their people.

According to the report, 80 percent of the world's governments fail to provide adequate information for the public to hold them accountable for managing their money.

According to an extensive new report by the International Budget Partnership (IBP), which indicated top performers in both developed and developing countries in the implementation of the APRM, the report showed that South Africa demonstrated transparency given sufficient willingness of their governments to be open and accountable to their people.

According to the report, 80 percent of the world's governments fail to provide adequate information for the public to hold them accountable for managing their money.

The current summit focuses on the general review of review programmes already engaged in countries reviewed by peers with an eye to sharing information and best practices likely to be duplicated on a wider scale in African countries.