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First published by SA News

National Treasury has availed an additional R2.4-billion for utilisation by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and the Hawks, as the government intensifies its war against crime and corruption.

Delivering the 2020 Budget on Wednesday, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said these funds would enable the appointment of about 800 investigators and 277 prosecutors who will assist with, among other things, clearing the backlog of cases such as those emanating from the Zondo commission.

The Budget Review Report, released on Wednesday by the National Treasury, reveals that over the medium term, funds would be reprioritised from the South African Police Service, other departments and entities within the function to implement the integrated criminal justice strategy.

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development will receive R1.8-billion, mainly to enhance prosecution capacity in the NPA, including the sexual offences and community affairs unit established to address gender-based violence against women and children.

These funds will also help to operationalise the Investigative Directorate, capacitate various anti-corruption units and establish five additional specialised commercial crime courts to ensure their presence in each province.

“In addition, R985-million is reprioritised to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation to appoint additional investigators, primarily to address the backlog of corruption cases,” the report reveals.

The Departments of Defence and Home Affairs will benefit from a R831-million reprioritised allocation from the police to safeguard the country’s borders.

These allocations, said the National Treasury in the report, will pay for equipment and technology to enable the military to broaden coverage of the borders, and the Department of Home Affairs to profile passengers before they reach ports of entry and minimise security risks.

In addition, R255-million is reprioritised to the Independent Electoral Commission in 2020/21 to procure 38 000 voter registration devices. –