The SA Police Service (SAPS) lost more personnel to resignations than retirement in the 2019/20 financial year with nine other reasons given for continued manpower shrinkage in the wider ranks of National Commission Khehla Sitole’s crime fighters.
Resignations totalled 1 733 up to mid-March with other major contributors to the overall personnel loss of 5 128 being retirement on pension (1 009), early retirement (870), death (719), dismissal (343), ill-health retirement (311) and dishonourable discharge (117).
Police Minister Bheki Cele told Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Henry Shembeni there was, as yet, no decision on the number of new SAPS personnel to replace “lost capacity”. This is, in part, due to what Cele termed “significant reduction in the SAPS compensation budget”.
The lack of crime fighting “people power” was partially addressed, according to Cele, by enlisting 2 504 reservists and/or security officers as permanent police officers in December.
“Additionally,” his response to Shembeni states, “trained and skilled police officers, who left in the ranks of constable, sergeant and warrant officer were invited to apply for re-enlistment”. The process was to be completed by the beginning of April.