Police, Defence and Intelligence

Civilian Secretariat for Police
Independent Police Investigative Directorate
Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority
South African Police Service
Department of Military Veterans
Armaments Corporation of SA
Intelligence services






Department of Police

PoliceThe Department of Police is responsible for law-enforcement services, policy determination, direction and overall execution of the department’s mandate in relation to relevant legislation. The Minister of Police is responsible for determining national policing policy (Section 206 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996) and the overall execution of the department’s mandate, in relation to the key pieces of legislation.

Fighting crime

The department recognises community safety as integral to creating a safe and secure environment that is conducive to social and economic stability, and supporting a better life for all. To achieve these goals, the department will implement initiatives such as the “community‐in‐blue” concept, the safer cities framework and the integrated schools safety programme; and ensure that community policing forums (CPFs) are functioning and effective.

CPFs are provided for in Section 221(2) of the Constitution and Section 19(1) of the South African Police Service (SAPS) Act of 1995. By mid-2022, there were 772 functional CPFs countrywide. The top 30 High Contact Crime Weight stations have been prioritised in terms of
resources, which includes an additional budget allocation. Station commanders and their members, including provincial commissioners and their management teams, are expected to occupy the streets more often than before and saturate these places with continuous crime prevention and multi-disciplinary operations.

Three police stations were established in 2021/22, namely Mabeskraal, Moeka Vuma and Chatty. By mid-2022, the physical infrastructure at 926 police stations had been modified to be user-friendly for persons with disabilities. In 2021/22, intelligence network operations focused on the narcotics, triocrimes (carjackings, house and business robberies), the illicit trade of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, fraud and corruption, gang and public violence, murder and public stability.

Integrated Crime Prevention and Violence

In March 2022, Cabinet approved the Integrated Crime Prevention and Violence Strategy, which is an implementing tool for the 2016 White Paper on Safety and Security with the primary objective of addressing the root causes of crime and violence through ‘whole of government and whole of society approach to crime and violence prevention in the country’.

The balanced yet independent approach in the functioning of the SAPS, Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) and Civilian Secretariat for Police Service (CSPS) will contribute positively in the fight against crime. The three institutions will be forever be encouraged to operate independently of each other when responding to their respective legislative mandates.

While CSPS is providing policy advice and strategic oversight, the IPID is a significant watchdog, in ensuring that the SAPS constitutional mandate is realised. In this regard, the IPID plays a critical role in contributing towards the improvement in police conduct by engaging in station lectures across all

The National Police Commissioner answers directly to the Minister of Police.

Entities reporting to the Minister of Police are the:

Civilian Secretariat for Police

The CSPS was established in terms of the CSPS Act of 2011 and Section 208 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996, which provides for the establishment of a civilian secretariat for the police service to function under the direction of the Minister of Police.

In terms of the Act, the secretariat’s mandate is to conduct civilian oversight of the police service and provide policy and strategic support to the Minister, including administrative support in relation to his international obligations. The Act also mandates responsibility on the secretariat to monitor the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act of 1998 by the SAPS.

The CSPS is mandated to perform, amongst others, the following:

  • Providing the Minister with policy advice and research support;
  • Developing departmental policy through qualitative and evidence-based research;
  • Providing civilian oversight of the Police Service through monitoring and evaluating overall police performance;
  • Mobilising role-players, stakeholders and partners outside the department through engagements on crime prevention and other policing matters; and
  • Providing other support services to the Minister in pursuit of achieving his/her mandate.

Assessing the conduct and performance of the police service is central to the department’s work. The department does this by monitoring the police service’s management of public complaints and the implementation of recommendations from the IPID.

As part of its efforts to transform and improve the performance of the police service’s management of gender‐based crimes, the department will aim to compile and ensure that the Secretary for the Police Service approves two reports per year over the medium term on the compliance and implementation of the Domestic Violence Act of 1998 and provide recommendations.

Over the medium term, the department planned to continue focusing on encouraging community participation in the fight against crime through facilitating events such as izimbizo and public participation programmes; developing policies and legislation for the police sector; and assessing and monitoring the performance of the police service, for example, its implementation of recommendations from the IPID and monitoring its compliance with the legal prescripts affecting its work.

The department planned to develop or finalise six Bills over the medium term, including the SAPS Amendment Bill, the IPID Amendment Bill, the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill, and the Firearms Control Amendment Bill.

Independent Police Investigative Directorate

The IPID exercises its functions in accordance with the IPID Act of 2011. The Act gives effect to the provisions of Section 206(6) of the Constitution, which provides for the establishment of an independent police complaints body that must investigate any alleged misconduct of, or offence committed by, a member of the police service. The thrust of the directorate’s work is to investigate serious and priority crimes allegedly committed by members of the SAPS and the Municipal Police services.

The Act grants the directorate an extended mandate and changes the focus of the directorate’s work from a complaints‐driven organisation to one that prioritises investigations. It also places stringent obligations on the SAPS and the Municipal Police Services to report matters that must be investigated by the directorate, and ensures that disciplinary recommendations made by the directorate are implemented.

Over the medium term, the directorate will focus on improving the quality of its investigations and increasing access to its services. It will prioritise investigations into violence against women and people from other vulnerable groups. As the directorate pursues this focus, it will place greater emphasis on efficiently managing its number of personnel in line with its budget allocation.

As part of the focus on cases involving police brutality towards vulnerable groups and expanding its national footprint to facilitate access to services, the directorate plans to partner with provincial departments of community safety in Gauteng, KwaZulu‐Natal and Western Cape to establish regional and district offices. These partnerships will mainly involve sharing office space, data and information; collaborating on investigations; and monitoring police performance.

In June 2021, IPID launched the Access and Awareness Rural Strategy, which is aimed at improving accessibility to IPID services and strengthening relations with stakeholders in rural areas. IPID continues to establish new offices in other provinces.

Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority

The PSIRA was established in terms of Section 2 of the Private Security Industry Regulation Act of 2001, which replaced the Security Officers Act of 1987.

The authority is mandated to regulate the private security industry, and exercise control over the practice of the occupation of security service providers in the public and national interest, as well as in the interest of the private security industry itself.

South African Police Service

The SAPS derives its powers and functions from section 205 of the Constitution and from the South African Police Service Act of 1995.

This legislation regulates the police service in terms of its core functions, which are to prevent, investigate and combat crime; maintain public order; protect and secure the inhabitants of South Africa and their property; and uphold and enforce the law.

The National Commissioner is the Accounting Officer of the SAPS. Deputy National Commissioners (under whom the divisions and components of the SAPS fall) and provincial commissioners (under whom the cluster and station commanders fall) report to the National Commissioner.

The SAPS’s policing objectives, in accordance with the provisions of Section 205 of the Constitution, are to:

  • prevent, combat and investigate crime;
  • maintain public order;
  • protect and secure the inhabitants of South Africa and their property; and
  • uphold and enforce the law.

The vision of the SAPS is to create a safe and secure environment for all people in South Africa.

The mission of the SAPS is to:

  • prevent and combat anything that may threaten the safety and security of any community;
  • investigate any crimes that threaten the safety and security of any community;
  • ensure offenders are brought to justice; and
  • participate in efforts to address the root causes of crime.

Over the medium term, the department planned to focus on improving community safety, reducing violence against women and children, and combating organised crime.

Improving community safety

Safety within communities is dependent on mobilising all sectors of society to ensure coordinated crime prevention interventions and the strategic deployment of resources.

To this end, over the period ahead, the department will continue to implement initiatives such as the “community in blue” concept and the safer cities framework, which are key elements in the community policing strategy.

The implementation of government’s district development model is also key in promoting integrated planning across all spheres of government and improving community safety. 

Reducing violence against women and children

The Gender‐based Violence (GBV) and Sexual Offences Action Plan remains central to the department’s efforts to reduce violence and reported contact crimes against women and children. In implementing the plan over the medium term, the department will prioritise providing capacity to the family violence, child protection and sexual offences units to ensure that they have enough personnel to respond to cases effectively.

To ensure that there are appropriate interventions in place – including prevention and awareness programmes, that personnel are adequately trained, and that police stations have GBV desks – the department will also aim to develop an action plan that focuses on the 30 police stations with the highest number of reported crimes against women and children.

A total of 1 017 police stations have established designated Victim-Friendly Rooms (VFRs) to enable the victim to make a statement in private. It is particularly important for victims who experienced intimate violence (such as sexual offences, domestic violence and child abuse) and other traumatised victims, to be able to make their statement privately, to promote unhindered communication regarding their cases. Where there are no designated VFRs, alternative arrangements are made to take statements in private.

Other than VFRs at police stations, VFRs at other police facilities such as contact points and Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences offices are being used. The SAPS has a multi-year plan for the establishment of designated VFRs at the remainder of the police stations that currently do not
have designated VFRs, until 2025.

Sunnyside; Soshanguve; Mankweng; Lomanyaneng; Willowvale; Deneysville; Gugulethu; Mitchell’s Plain; KwaDukuza and Tonga police stations were identified for a pilot project “Drop outs/Children Living or Working on the Streets” where hotspot areas will be identified and joint interventions will be conducted, aimed at reducing crimes committed by or against children.

Combating organised crime

Over the period ahead, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, supported by the detective services and crime intelligence units, will continue to focus on the implementation of an integrated approach to ensure the effective prevention and investigation of fraud, corruption, and organised and economic crimes.

With the NPA, these units will work to improve, by 2024/25, the quality of investigations to increase the percentage of trial‐ready case dockets for serious corruption per year in the public and private sectors to 70% per cent.

The promulgation of the Cybercrimes Act of 2020 places an obligation on the department to ensure its implementation, in consultation with relevant role players and stakeholders in the public and private sectors.

Over the medium term, the department will develop an implementation plan for the Act that outlines its phased implementation.

Section 149(2)(a) of the Firearms Control Act of 2000, provides that any firearm, firearm part and or ammunition forfeited to the state must be destroyed by the state, within six months of the date of forfeiture or after all possible appeals have been noted. A total of 51 232 firearms were destroyed, 24 901, on 8 July 2021 and 26 331, on 10 March 2022.


The Department of Defence (DoD) derives its mandate from Section 200 of the Constitution; the Defence Act of 2002, as amended by the Defence Amendment Act of 2010; the 1996 White Paper on Defence; and the 2015 South African Defence Review. The department is required to provide, manage, prepare and employ defence capabilities that are commensurate with the needs of South Africa.

Over the medium term, the department will focus on sustaining South Africa’s defence capabilities, safeguarding the country’s borders and territorial integrity, supporting peace on the continent, and providing support to the SAPS when required to ensure national security and internal stability.

To sustain South Africa’s defence capabilities and rejuvenate the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) into one that is young and deployable, the department will implement various human resource reforms over the medium term.

These include reducing the number of personnel in the department from 73 153 in 2021/22 to 72 597 in 2024/25, as older personnel exit, and reducing the number of reserve force person days from 2.6 million in 2021/22 to two million in 2024/25; recruiting military skills development system  personnel only every alternate year; and capping all discretionary allowances.

South Africa’s national security hinges on the stability, unity and prosperity of the African continent, particularly the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. As such, the department will continue to participate in operations to support peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and northern Mozambique as part of the SADC standby force. These deployments will also assist the department in achieving 100% compliance with its SADC standby force pledge and external operations.

South Africa has a duty to safeguard its borders against the possibility of transnational crime, international crime syndicates and cartels, the illegal flow of undocumented migrants, and illicit economic activities. In fulfilling these duties over the medium-term period, the department will continue to deploy 15 landward subunits along South Africa’s borders with Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Mozambique, Lesotho, Botswana and Namibia.

The public unrest in July 2021 highlighted the need to strengthen law enforcement agencies, including the SANDF, to ensure they are equipped to respond quickly to such incidents. To this end, the department plans to set up a rapid response capability unit, which will support the South African Police Service, when needed, with a brigade of between 2 000 and 5 000 soldiers comprising paratroopers and members of the South African Air Force and South African Military Health Service.

Internal support

In July 2021, the SANDF deployed about 15 000 members to support the SAPS to quell civil unrest, and restore law and order, in some parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. Properties and businesses were damaged and looted. The target areas of Operation Proper were malls and businesses that were damaged and looted.

In addition to contributing to African Peace Missions, the SANDF has among other projects, assisted the North West Province with health services, the Department of Water and Sanitation with the Vaal River clean-up project, the National Disaster Management Centre during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic and by mid-2022, it was still involved in the KwaZulu-Natal flood relief efforts.

Department of Military Veterans (DMV)

The DMV derives its mandate from the Military Veterans Act of 2011, which requires it to provide national policy and standards on socioeconomic support to military veterans and their dependants, including benefits and entitlements to help realise a dignified, unified, empowered and self‐sufficient community of military veterans.

Acknowledging the contribution of military veterans to the creation of South Africa’s democracy has the potential to deepen social cohesion and national unity while redressing the inequities of the past. As such, over the medium term, the department will continue to focus on providing to military veterans and their dependants key benefits such as housing; health care; and education, training and skills development programmes.

The department planned to deliver 1 315 newly built houses to eligible beneficiaries over the medium-term period and increase the number of veterans with access to health care services from 19 700 to 20 700. The department planned to continue ensuring that the number of bursaries provided to military veterans and their dependants remains at 3 500 in each year of the medium term. If necessary, it will refer students previously funded by the department to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme as part of state subsidised higher education.

Over the medium term, the department planned to reposition its empowerment and skills development programme. This will be achieved by focusing on developing the skills of military veterans in areas such as road maintenance, plumbing and farming. To this end, the department will enter into memorandums of understanding with various institutions such as the South African National Roads Agency, the DOD and various sector education and training authorities.

The DMV will also ensure that military veterans and their dependants participate in government programmes that create jobs, business opportunities and encourage entrepreneurship. As such, over the mdeium period, the department planned to provide 3 000 military veterans with access to relevant training and skills development.

Armaments Corporation of South Africa (Armscor)

Armscor is the acquisition agency for the DOD. Renowned for its acquisition expertise, Armscor has enhanced and expanded its service offering to the DOD as well as to stakeholders across the African Continent in line with its vision to be the premier defence technology and acquisition service provider for the South African Government and our allies on the African continent and the world.

To maintain competitiveness, the corporation aims to acquire capital assets such as armoured vehicles and helicopters in an economically viable manner. Over the medium term, the Armscor will focus on meeting the department’s requirements in terms of defence matériel as well as those related to defence technology, research, development analysis, tests and evaluation. The corporation will also focus on providing support to the local defence industry, ensuring that the SANDF receives quality equipment to fulfil its mandate.


Denel operates in the military aerospace and landward defence environment, and provides strategic defence equipment. The company’s broad focus over the medium term will be on restructuring, which entails optimising its cost structure and implementing its new operating business model to better position it for future sustainability.

The new operating model reduces Denel’s structure from six core business units to three – engineering, manufacturing, and maintenance and overhaul. This change will not only result in decreased expenditure, but in the improved allocation of critical resources. It will also require that the company accelerate its disposal of non‐core assets and businesses, improve supply chain policies, and align its IT infrastructure with its new organisational structure.

Castle Control Board

The Castle Control Board primarily derives its mandate from the Castle Management Act of 1993, which requires the board to preserve and protect the military and cultural heritage of the Castle of Good Hope, and to optimise its tourism potential and public accessibility. Aspects of the board’s mandate are also derived from the Defence Endowment Property and Account Act of 1922, and the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999.

As part of its revenue optimisation strategy, over the medium term, the board aims to unlock the heritage tourism potential of the Castle of Good Hope and increase its accessibility to the broader public.

Intelligence services

The mandate of the State Security Agency (SSA) is to provide government with intelligence on domestic and foreign threats or potential threats to national stability, the constitutional order, and the safety and well-being of the people of South Africa. This allows the government to implement policies to deal with potential threats and to better understand existing threats and thus improve their policies.

The agency focuses on matters of national interest including terrorism, sabotage, subversion, espionage and organised crime. It also conducts vetting for all government departments in line with its counterintelligence mandate to ensure secure conditions to enable departments and key state entities to do their work.

By mid-2022, the General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill was finalised and the roadmap for its submission to Parliament in September 2022 was presented to the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence. This Bill will enable the establishment of a domestic arm of the service to focus on Counter-Intelligence and Domestic Intelligence mandate, the establishment of a Foreign Service to focus on foreign intelligence gathering and the reestablishment of the South African National Academy of Intelligence, to focus on Intelligence training as a critical element of skills development and capacity building.

The Intelligence Officer Development Programme (IODP) will be used to capacitate fit-for-purpose intelligence officers with the requisite competencies (knowledge, skills, and attitudes) based on eleven fields. The IODP was developed as an internship programme and seeks to provide training to candidate intelligence officers, commonly known as cadets.

The SSA comprises the:

  • Domestic Branch (formerly the NIA)
  • Foreign Branch (formerly the SASS)
  • South African National Academy of Intelligence
  • National Communications Centre
  • Office for Interception Centres
  • Electronic Communications Security (Pty) Ltd.

Source: Official Guide to South Africa

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