South Africa: Strengthening Civilian Oversight over the Police in South Africa: The National and Provincial Secretariats for Safety and Security

"The national and provincial secretariats for Safety and Security were originally intended to provide civilian oversight and monitoring of the South African Police Service(SAPS). Ten years after the secretariats came into existence, the authors undertook this research as part of a broader study focused on strengthening civilian oversight of policing. This research report examines the effectiveness and efficiency of these bodies. One of the key findings of this study is that the secretariats are not carrying out all the functions provided for in the current legislation. It is apparent that they are not realizing the full extent of the powers available to them. A related finding is that the restructuring of the national secretariat seems to have resulted in such a diminution of its role that it appears to exist only to advise the Minister of Safety and Security. The study concludes with a number of recommendations for strengthening the effectiveness and influence of the secretariats for Safety and Security."