This marks an increase from R19 billion in the previous financial year.
The bulk of contingency liabilities is expected to arise from successful lawsuits against the police, forcing payouts of a total R20 billion.
However it also includes, for the second year running, potential liabilities of R611 million as a result of the lease contract irregularly entered into for a new police headquarters in Pretoria.
The department of public works has applied for a declaratory order on the legality of the lease.
The Democratic Alliance said it would press Police Minister Nathi Nhleko “that a cap be put on a contingent liability fund that continues to rise unabated”.
The DA’s spokeswoman on police, Diane Kohler Barnard, said the amount reflected in the annual report made up almost a third of the police’s entire budget.
She said liabilities expected to arise from claims by private parties had risen by a “massive R2.7 billion” and meant that the department was making provision for the possibility that a third of its national budget might have to be paid out to cover for legal claims against the SAPS.