Parliament police committee sees new rank structure promoting professionalism


Francois Beukman, chairman of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Police, maintains the new SA Police Service (SAPS) ranks structure should be used to promote professionalism in the service.

“We expect a lot from the new regional commissioners. They must contribute practically to a more professional and service oriented police service. They need to ensure there is significant improvement at under-performing police stations.”

He wants to see police management interventions identify the root causes of bad performance at stations and implement plans to end this.

Beukman sees co-operation between provincial and regional commissioners as being vital.

He acknowledged there could be uncertainty around changes to the ranking system and said it had to be addressed with all SAPS members and other stakeholders.
“The committee is aware that promotion has been a contentious issue in the lower ranks and it will again be discussed with SAPS management.”

The biggest change in the new police rank structure is the addition of regional commissioners, at the rank of lieutenant general. There is, as yet, no indication of how many regional commissioners will be appointed.

The other change has seen the disappearance of majors and lieutenants who now become lieutenant colonels and captains.