President Jacob Zuma, when appointing his Cabinet in May 2009, tasked the Ministers of State Security, Police, Defence, Home Affairs, Justice and Correctional Services to review the structures of the civillian intelligence community with the aim of developing a more effective and efficient intelligence architecture.
The State Security Agency (SSA) is the new organisation that has been created as part of this review process. The SSA is being developed through a phased approach with the ultimate aim of improving efficiency and effectiveness.
The mandate of the SSA is to provide the government with intelligence on domestic and foreign threats or potential threats to national stability, the constitutional order, and the safety and wellbeing of our people. Examples of such threats are terrorism, sabotage and subversion. This allows the government to implement policies to deal with potential threats and to better understand existing threats and thus improve their policies.
The final organisational structure will see the following structures collapsed into the SSA as branches, with each branch lead by a head, accountable to the Director General:
- The National Intelligence Agency (NIA)
- The South African Secret Service (SASS)
- The South African National Academy of Intelligence (SANAI)
- The National Communications Centre (NCC)
- The Office for Interception Centres (OIC)
- Electronic Communications Security (Pty) Ltd (COMSEC)
Among the areas of focus of the SSA are the folllowing matters of national interest:
Terrorism, which refers to deliberate and premeditated attempts to create terror through symbolic acts involving the use or threats of lethal force for creating psychological effects that will influence a target group or individual and translate it into political or material results.
Sabotage, which refers to activities or purposeful omissions conducted or planned for purposes of endangering the safety, security or defence of vital public or private property, such as installations, structures, equipment or systems.
Subversion, which includes activities directed towards undermining by covert unlawful acts, or directed towards, or intended ultimately to lead to the destruction or overthrow by violence of the constitutionally established systems of government in South Africa.
Espionage, which refers to unlawful or unauthorised activities conducted for acquiring information or assets relating to sensitive social, political, economic, scientific or military matters of South Africa or for their unauthorised communication to a foreign state.
Organised Crime, which includes analysis of the origins and reasons behind organised crime, the identification of key role players, the nature and extent, as well as the modus operandi of organised crime syndicates.