Minister of State Security Siyabonga Cwele says his department will this year table a National State Security Bill to legislate the amalgamation of the country’s national intelligence organisations into a single State Security Agency (SSA).
Cwele in his budget vote Wednesday said this would formalise the creation of the SSA from the domstically-focussed National Intelligence Agency and the SA Secret Service that looks abroad. The move started last September following a Presidential Proclamation. Also included in the amalgamation is the South African National Academy of Intelligence (SANAI), the National Communications Centre (NCC), the Office for Interception Centres (OIC), the Electronic Communications Security (Pty) Ltd, known as COMSEC and the Intelligence Services Council on Conditions of Employment (ISC).
“… when addressing this house, we committed ourselves to embark on a review of our intelligence services with an aim of developing efficient and effective intelligence structure. The objective of this restructuring was to instil a common vision and improve the quality of our products, training and technical capabilities. In this regard, we hope to transform our community to be a sharper “eye of the nation”.
The command and control of the civilian intelligence community has been centralised under the Director General Mzuvukile Jeff Maqetuka, assisted by Heads of Domestic and External Components; Lizo Gibson Njenje and Rieaz “Mo” Shaik respectively. Silumko Sokupa remains the Coordinator for Intelligence, Cwele said.
“These high level appointments were followed by the appointment of a Deputy Director-General for Corporate Services, Professor Africa and the chief financial officer. We are currently in the process of filling critical posts of the chief information officer, head of human resources and head of internal audit.
“Since April 1, the Director-General of the SSA has been the sole accounting officer for the agency. We are grateful to the University of Pretoria for seconding Professor Africa to the agency to lead and manage this massive task of restructuring.”
In addition to legislation, steps to integrate the intelligence services include the redeployment of staff into the “new structures and upgrading of their skills to ensure that the agency has adequate human capital to meet the new challenges” and integrating technology platforms as well as “playing a more proactive leadership role in developing policy, setting security standards and monitoring for compliance..”