R664.3 billion allocated to improve safety, security over three years

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has allocated R664.3 billion over the next three years to improve the country’s safety and security, and the criminal justice system.

In his speech, the Minister said corruption had “lowered [the country’s] economic growth potential, made us fiscally more vulnerable, and severely weakened the capability of the state”.

“Accounting officers need to ensure that their procurement processes have integrity, provide value for money, and are free from interference from politically connected persons and bidders. We also need to be clear on what we are fighting,” he said, delivering his maiden Budget Speech on Wednesday.

The Minister said over the next three years, this function would focus on intensifying the fight against crime and corruption.

During the period, the function would also implement personnel reforms to contain departmental compensation within the expenditure ceiling. 

A breakdown of the expenditure in the 2022 Budget Review indicates that R36 million would be reprioritised by the function in 2022/23 to invest in information and communication technology in the Office of the Chief Justice, Investigating Directorate, Public Protector of South Africa, South African Human Rights Commission and Financial Intelligence Centre.

To support tourism and improve the visa application process, the Department of Home Affairs has reprioritised R10 million over the MTEF period. 

It states: “Over the medium term, to intensify the fight against corruption and ensure sufficient capacity for the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases emanating from the State Capture Commission, R426 million is allocated to the Investigating Directorate in the National Prosecuting Authority and the Financial Intelligence Centre. This allocation – of which R262.1 million is from reprioritisation within the function – will provide for the permanent appointment of 68 staff in the Financial Intelligence Centre and an estimated 90 staff in the Investigating Directorate.”

The Treasury said a further R34.3 million is reprioritised to Legal Aid South Africa over the MTEF period to capacitate the six newly established Specialised Commercial Crimes Courts in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and the Northern Cape.

To rejuvenate the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and address its longstanding compensation challenges, the Department of Defence will implement reforms to its personnel structure over the medium term.

In this regard, the Treasury has allocated the Department R1 billion in 2022/23 and R800 million in 2023/24 to implement the reforms. These include early retirement without penalisation of pension benefits.

The report indicates that the R800 million allocation in 2023/24 will be subject to satisfactory progress on the implementation of the exit strategy in 2022/23.

The South African Police Service receives an additional R8.7 billion over the MTEF period, of which R2.9 billion is to cover costs arising from the 2021 public service wage agreement.

The remaining allocation will enable the department to appoint 12 000 entry‐level constables. – SAnews.gov.za