The department derives its mandate from the following:
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (ACT 108/1996) According to section 206 (1) of the Constitution, a member of the Cabinet must be responsible for policing and must determine national policing policy after consulting the provincial governments and taking onto account the policing needs and priorities of the provinces as determined by the provincial executives. Section 206(3) of the Constitution entitles each province to:
monitor police conduct;
oversee the effectiveness and efficiency of the police service, including receiving reports on the police service;
promote good relations between the police and the community;
assess the effectiveness of visible policing; and
liaise with the Cabinet member responsible for policing with respect to crime and policing in the province. According to section 208 of the Constitution, a civilian secretariat for the police service must be established by national legislation to function under the direction of the Cabinet member responsible for policing.