Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has ticked off the police department for spending too much on administration and not enough on actually fighting crime. “Excessive administrative costs must be reduced and reprioritised to support frontline services,” he says in his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement tabled in Parliament this afternoon.
He pointed out: “Administrative costs within this function exceed 30 percent of total budgeted expenditure, indicating scope for channelling a greater share of resources to core functions.” All the same, he intends to give more money to the department over the medium term period to expand detective services, crime intelligence and crime prevention, especially at the local station level, financial news service I-Net Bridge reports.
“Police numbers will increase from 200 660 in 2012/13 to 203 025 by 2014/15,” he said. “Tactical response teams will be established in each of the provinces over the next three years to conduct medium-risk policing operations and make use of available intelligence to prevent crime.”
The policy statement says that the capacity of the Special Investigating Unit to fight corruption will be boosted by increasing its investigative capacity to over 650 by 2013/14. It also notes that access to justice remains a priority, reflected in rising allocations for court infrastructure, particularly in townships and rural areas.
“Modernisation of the criminal justice sector IT system, including seamless tracking of persons and cases, and efficient record-keeping, is critical for its effective functioning and integration,” the statement says.
Spending on police services will grow from R53.8 billion this year, to R58.8 billion next year, and to R62.8 billion and R67 billion in the following two years.