Unabriged budget address by the Minister of State Security, Dr SC Cwele, May 5, 2010

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Address by the Minister of State Security, Dr SC Cwele, on the occasion of the State Security budget vote, Parliament, Cape Town
5 May 2010

Joining hands in pursuit of a safer and secure South Africa in a better World

Speaker or chairperson

Ministers and Deputy Ministers present

Honourable members

Distinguished guests

Members of the intelligence community

Intelligence veterans

Fellow South Africans

Introduction
2010 is a remarkable year for South Africa. In 2010 we celebrate 20 years of the release of President Nelson Mandela. In his State of the Nation Address (SoNA), President Zuma reminded us that “the release of Madiba was brought about by the resolute struggles of the South African people.

Let us pursue the ideal for which Madiba has fought his entire life, the ideal of a democratic and free society, in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities”.

As we celebrate this icon we draw strength from his February 1990 Speech after his release, where he said: “Today the majority of South Africans, black and white recognise that apartheid has no future. It has to be ended by your own decisive mass action in order to build peace and security. Our search for peace is a search for strength”.
2010 FIFA World Cup

In 36 days, the entire world will descend on the African soil as we host the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament. This is a concrete expression to the people of Africa that we have the capacity to organise world events of this magnitude.

We are striving to ensure the event remains peaceful, enjoyable, leaves a lasting legacy and becomes a springboard for Africa’s development. The tournament is proving to be a major Nation Building project, uniting our people behind our flag and the national anthem. It brings a true sense of common nationhood.

Once more we want to reassure the world that we are ready to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Our assessment to date does not indicate any security threat to the event including the cancer of global terrorism. However we are not lowering our guard.

We are grateful to our partners in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Africa and the rest of the world who continue to share intelligence regarding the security of the tournament.

As the intelligence community, we are conducting daily threat assessments including the appraisal of routes, base camps, hotels and screening of service providers. This information is fed into the National Joint Operations Centre to guide operations. We urge all service providers to the event to submit themselves for security screening as there will be no one allowed to participate without fulfilling this requirement.
55 years of Freedom Charter

Honourable members, during the soccer tournament next month, we will also be celebrating 55 years of Freedom Charter. In 1955 another struggle icon Walter Sisulu announced that: “The campaign which produced the Freedom Charter was the beginning of our great campaign, of the building from our multi-racial society of a united nation, free from poverty and misery, free from racial strife and antagonism.
“It is our hardest campaign which will bring to the broad masses of our people the understanding that they have much more in common than the things which superficially appear to divide them”.

We in the State Security are in agreement with this foresight and are convinced that there may not be social cohesion until such time that we redress the legacy of apartheid. No divided nation can guarantee its own national security. Our government is working hard to bridge the racial divide that still exists within our communities. Both the plight of the majority and the concerns of the minority groupings are being attended to.

The recent rightwing threat emanating from the death of Mr Terre’Blanche cannot therefore be justified. We are working with the Afrikaner community, the Jewish, Muslim and other religious groupings to build cohesion and strengthen the unity of our nation. In this regard, we applaud the Afrikaner leadership for having retracted the inflammatory statements recently issued in the media after the death of Mr Terre’Blanche.

Review of the intelligence architecture

Chairperson, last year, 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”.

I am honoured to report that in September 2009, a single department, the State Security Agency (SSA), was established by a Presidential Proclamation. The command and control of the civilian intelligence community has been centralised under the Director-General Mr Maqetuka, assisted by Heads of Domestic and External Components; Mr Njenje and Mr Shaik respectively. Mr Sokupa remains the Coordinator for Intelligence.

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 1 April 2010, 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 line with our undertaking to complete the reorganisation of State Security institutions swiftly and without disruptions, our goals for 2010 includes the following:
* Tabling of the National State Security Bill to effect the amalgamation of the various intelligence components into a single entity
* Redeployment of members into 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 and playing a more proactive leadership role in developing policy, setting security standards and monitoring for compliance.

Border Management Agency (BMA)

Chairperson; last year we undertook to develop a framework for the establishment of the Border Management Agency (BMA), this was completed by 15 December 2009. It will address the security gaps at our ports of entry and along our border line. The objective is to promote free movement of goods and people while preventing illegality. In this regard, the BMA will improve the security of our borders and ports of entry and promote trade within the region.

We have set up an inter-departmental task team at a Director-Generals level to conceptualise and develop the BMA. This task team has registered considerable progress. It set up various work streams namely; the ports of entry, infrastructure, human resource and budget. We have also concluded a feasibility study required to ensure that the BMA becomes a legal entity in the next three months. We are currently in the process of obtaining approval from the Department of Public Service and Administration and National Treasury.

We have also agreed on the functions which the BMA will perform, as well as its relationship with the South African National Defence Force, which recently took the responsibility to patrol and secure our border line.

Meanwhile, we will continue to strengthen the current Border Control Operational Coordination Committee (BCOCC). By the end of this month, the State Security Agency will install the communications link between the BCOCC National Nerve Centre and the key ports of entry.

Protection of Information Bill

We also undertook to resubmit the draft Protection of Information Bill to Parliament in order secure the integrity of sensitive state information and criminalise the activities of those engaging in espionage and information peddling. The bill has been tabled before Parliament and is being considered by the Ad Hoc Committee. Given the importance of the bill, we urge the Ad Hoc Committee to expedite its processing.

Protection of critical national infrastructure

Chairperson,

In 2009 I announced our plan to embark upon a project to develop an early warning system to monitor and identify risks to our critical national infrastructure. National Intelligence Coordinating Committee (NICOC) has concluded the pilot project in the development of such early warning system. We aim to expand the project to include all state-owned enterprises including provincial entities.

National security strategy

Chairperson,

Sixteen years after the advent of democracy, the White Paper on Intelligence is due for review. In addition, during our last budget vote debate, we undertook to prioritise the finalisation of the national security strategy by the end of the term of this government.

The drafting of the strategy has begun in earnest. The main purpose of the strategy is to build an understanding and national consciousness around the security challenges we face as a nation. Furthermore, the strategy will provide a long-term framework for managing the security threats facing our country.

To realise this important objective, we must, as a nation, develop a common understanding on what constitutes national security, as well as the foundation upon which it will be based.

I would like to emphasise that the strategy requires that we take collective ownership. It will therefore be essential to engage with members of the public on this matter. We hope the JSCI will take this challenge once the draft is tabled.

Key activities for the year

In the spirit of doing things differently, our work will not only be informed by the national intelligence priorities as encapsulated in our national intelligence estimate, but also by the performance agreement I signed with the president on 29 April 2010. This is part of a national effort to build a performance driven state focusing on measurable outcomes on priorities.

Some of the priorities for the year will be as follows:
* We will be contributing to the realisation of the outcome of ensuring that “all people in South Africa are safe and feel safe”.
* Government has declared war on crime and has set an objective to reduce crime levels in the country, particularly those which are violent in nature. In this regard, we will introduce in our intelligence analysis the scoping of the extent and impact of syndicated violent crimes and annual assessment of strategic crime trends in the national intelligence estimate.
* We will establish operations against domestic and trans-national crime syndicates. We will employ all the capacities at our disposal including liaison with other foreign intelligence services to share information. This has proved to be useful because it builds up into joint operations with neighbouring and fraternal countries. We will provide actionable intelligence to assist in the prosecutions or disruption of activities of the syndicates.

In this financial year, we will also develop a comprehensive counter terrorism strategy, which will guide our counter terrorism operations.

Securing 2011 elections

We have begun the preparatory work within Security cluster working together with the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Independent Electoral Commission to provide security assessments, the setting up of systems and to ensure that 2011 local government elections are held in a peaceful atmosphere. Our primary focus will be to eliminate “no go areas” in order to ensure that all South Africans participate freely in the elections without any fear of intimidation.

Xenophobia

The intelligence continues to monitor and assess the manifestation of xenophobia across the country, with the aim of averting the possibility of violent outbreak against foreign nationals. Our assessment reveals an ongoing tension between local communities and foreign nationals in various hotspots across the country. We will continue to work with local and émigré communities to prevent commission of these inhuman acts.

Fraud and corruption

We will assist, through joint operations and coordination, in the fight to root out fraud, theft and corruption within the cluster and government in general. Within the State Security Agency, we have instituted investigations in several areas including the group insurance scheme for members. We will release the report once the investigations are concluded and we will not hesitate to act on the culprits.

Within the cluster, we will continue working with Home Affairs to curb the scourge of identity fraud which has become a threat to our national security, the wellbeing of our citizens and the integrity of our systems.

We are going to increase our counter-intelligence capacity in order to assist government in the fight against corruption. We shall conduct regular screening to those entrusted with state resources. We shall extend our vetting programmes to provincial and local government sphere.

A better South Africa, safer Africa and the world

The intelligence community will also make an important contribution to the government’s outcome to create a better South Africa and contributing to a better and safer Africa and the world.

Our operations will be directed towards supporting our government in advancing regional, continental and global peace, security and sustainable development. In this regard, we will continue to work within the ambit of SADC, African Union and the United Nations to support peace initiatives in the region and the continent. We will increase our presence in the continent and prioritise the conflict areas and work to stabilise these, particularly the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sudan, Madagascar, Somalia and Zimbabwe.

We will continue to lead the work on the conceptualisation and establishment of the SADC Early Warning Centre in Gaborone, Botswana with the objective that the centre is fully operational by the end of the year.

Illicit mining

Chairperson,

Illicit mining has emerged as a multi-faceted national security threat, costing the economy billions of Rand in revenue. Amongst others, illicit mining is taking place in the gold, platinum and diamond sectors. For example; the gold sector alone loses an estimated R5.7 billion in annual revenue through these trans-national organised crime syndicates. We should note that the Welkom and Barberton areas have been particularly hard hit by illicit mining activities.

Illicit mining presents us with a range of social challenges, such as the corrupting of communities, forced child labour, and related criminal activity, including tax evasion, human trafficking, prostitution and gangsterism.

As government, we are determined to address this threat to our economy and our communities. We appointed an inter-departmental team, involving the State Security Agency, South African Police Service (SAPS) Crime Intelligence, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Special Investigations Unit, Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation, Department of Mineral Resources and Department of Home Affairs to effectively deal with illicit mining and related activities. We are happy to report that this collaboration is yielding positive results.

Consultation mechanism

Chairperson,

As you are aware, for national security reasons ours is not a unionised environment. Our members are represented by the Staff Council in the consultation mechanism. We have directed the management and the Staff Council to advise me on the best ways of strengthening this mechanism and to ensure that the Staff Council is resourceful and able to advance the interests of members. We are grateful to the Staff Council for their positive engagement and tireless effort in ensuring professionalism in our community.

Civilian intelligence veterans

Our members are intelligence officers for life. We therefore value our veterans and believe they should play a vital role in our affairs. We are going to rely on their expertise in training, mentoring and liaison with our communities. In the next three months, we will be convening a national consultative meeting with our veterans with the aim to formalise their interaction with us.

Conclusion

I would like to thank all those who continue to extend a hand of assistance to the community especially President Zuma and Deputy President Motlanthe for their support and advice. Our appreciation also goes the Chairperson of the Audit Committee, Mrs Spellman, Judge Khumalo responsible for interception directions, the Auditor-General Mr Nombembe, the Inspector-General Advocate Radebe, my family and friends, the veterans, colleagues in the clusters, the members of the JSCI led by Mr Burgess, the top management of State Security led by Director-General Maqetuka and my staff in the office led by Dr Khau Mavhungu.

In closing, I wish to recall the preamble of the Constitution which enjoins us to the national duty of building cohesion and ensuring equality and prosperity for all. This spirit of togetherness is pertinent if we are to achieve a safer and secure life for all our people.

It is perhaps crucial to borrow from Tshivenda wisdom, “Mulilo muvhaswa nga vhanzhi u dzima u a konda”: It is easy to defeat people who do not kindle fire for themselves.

Our national security is the fire which we, together with society, are determined to kindle.

I request the house to adopt the vote for State Security.

Thank you.

Issued by: Ministry of State Security
5 May 2010