To improve the quality of general and specialised police investigations, government will establish a Crime Detection University at Hammanskraal north of Pretoria.
This was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address.
He said plans for investment and growth in South Africa would require a safe, stable and crime-free environment.
“It is fundamental to the aspirations of our people to live in security, peace and comfort,” the President said.
He further said police visibility, effective training and better resourcing of police stations are priorities.
“I prioritised our response to the growing problem of criminal groups extorting money from construction and other businesses,” the President said.
Specialised units – bringing together police and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) – will combat crimes of economic disruption.
Anti-Gang units will be further strengthened, with priority going to Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and Free State.
“Following the graduation of 5 000 police trainees last year, 7 000 new police trainees have enlisted this year to strengthen local policing,” the President said.
To support tourism industry growth, SAPS will increase visibility at identified tourist attractions.
“It is training Tourism Safety Monitors and will establish a reserve police capacity to focus on policing tourist attractions,” he said.
The fight against corruption
Ramaphosa said the fight against corruption and state capture will continue and there is a need for South Africans to work together to root out corruption and strengthen the rule of law.
He discouraged citizens from paying bribes or engaging in corrupt acts, saying South Africans should rather join forces and upgrade the culture of reporting crime when committed as a means to win the fight against corruption.
“We welcome the joint government and civil society working group charged with developing a national anti-corruption strategy and implementation plan, which is close to completion of this phase,” he said.
This strategy would be launched by mid-year.
The Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture continues with its work with the full support of government and other institutions.
“I received a detailed and voluminous report on the Commission of Inquiry into the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and will make it public together with a plan on taking the findings and recommendations forward in the next few days,” said President Ramaphosa.
The Public Investment Corporation is a state-owned entity which is an asset management firm wholly owned by government, represented by the Minister of Finance. Its main function is provision of social security.
Performance agreements for ministers
President Ramaphosa said to strengthen the capacity of the state and increase accountability he would sign performance agreements with all ministers before month-end.
“These agreements – based on the targets in the Medium-Term Strategic Framework – will enable the people of South Africa to hold those they elected into office to account,” the President said.
“We see these performance agreements as the cornerstone of a new culture of transparency and accountability, where those given the responsibility to serve – whether as elected office bearers or public servants – do what is expected of them,” he said.
The performance agreements would not tolerate corruption, nepotism and patronage and action will be taken against ministers who abuse their powers or steal public money.