Concern over crime spend
GAUTENG - the crime capital of South Africa - has spent only 13% of its budget on fighting the scourge.
The department's first quarterly performance report shows that it has spent only R3,89-million of the R19-million allocated for social crime prevention, R2,6-million of R39,5 -million allocated to community police relations, R1,7-million of the R11,6-million allocated for safety promotion and only R2,4 -million of the R14,2-million allocated for public awareness and information.
This means only 13% percent of the budget was spent.
The department was allocated an annual budget of R435,153-million and according to the Public Management Financial Act - which regulates financial management in the national and provincial governments - the department should have spent at least 25% this quarter's allocation on the approved programmes.
The PMFA - although highly prescriptive - allows underspending and overspending of budgets by no more than five percent.
Between April and June, the department spent only 17% of the estimated R108,7-million allocated to it for the period.
The report also suggests that the department is trapped in continuous litigation while, on the other hand, it fails to conduct monitoring and evaluation functions.
The department has already spent 52% of its annual R2,3-million legal budget in the first three months of this financial year.
Though the budget is relatively small, members of the portfolio committee on community safety in the Gauteng legislature nonetheless expressed concern with this outcome and resolved to question the department when it appears before it next week.
The committee, chaired by Jacob Khawe, said it will want to know whether the department was getting involved in unnecessary legal battles.
On monitoring and evaluation, the department was allocated R15,5-million for the financial year but only managed to spend R2,0-million.
Further criticism was levelled at the department for underspending - by nine percent - its R6,5-million yearly budget for policy research.
Committee member Jackie Mofokeng asked: "When you don't do well on policy research, how can you do well on service delivery?"
The traffic management unit, which received R264,8-million for the year, was also cited for poor performance. Traffic law enforcement spent R24,6-million out of an allocated R121,7-million, R6,8-million on public transport inspection out of an allocated R32,5-million.
Only R2,4-million was spent on road safety inspection from an allocated R16,2-million yearly budget. The department will present the report before the portfolio committee next week.