The SAPS VIP expenditure clearly shows that the SAPS leadership had skewed priorities and is more concerned with protecting and driving around VIP executives, says the Democratic Alliance party.
DA’s assertion follows the SAPS Annual Report for 2015/16 which revealed that the actual expenditure on VIP Protection Services went up by 18 percent from R977.9 million in 2014/15 to R1.16 billion in 2015/16.
Referring to the chronic state of under-resourcing of police stations across South Africa, the opposition party wailed that the increase in the amount spent on pampered executive elite is shameful.
“This money could have gone a long way to addressing this woeful state of affairs in our police service, one on which millions of South Africans rely to keep them safe.
“The amount spent on VIP Protection Services clearly shows that the SAPS leadership had skewed priorities in the previous financial year and seemed to be more concerned with protecting and driving around VIP executives, rather than with spending money on better staffing, equipping and training of SAPS officers,” DA highlighted.
The SAPS Annual Report also exposed that a total sum of R39.5 million was spent on Catering for Departmental activities during the 2015/16 financial year.
With respect to that, the DA counseled SAPS leadership to quite prioritizing the filling of official bellies.
“The SAPS has been characterised by the four U’s, being under-resourced, understaffed, under-equipped and under-trained, which have a direct impact on their ability to carry out their mandate of keeping South Africans safe.
“Not only are there usually too few operational officers at station level, but they are also short of the basic equipment, such as vehicles, radios, and protective gear to carry out their jobs,” stated the party.
As such, the party tasked the Acting National Commissioner to embrace a ‘back-to-basics’ approach in the present financial year and depart from prioritizing the filling of official bellies.