SAPS highlights reform process as it seeks to better resource its frontline services


Significant cuts in the police budget over the past few years and other challenges have sparked a review of the organizational structure of the South African Police Service (SAPS), and implemented a reform process that covers the reallocation of funding and changes to the organizational structure, amongst others.

The rationale behind the newly approved organizational restructure of the SAPS was to scale down on compensation, align the organizational and functional structures with priorities, work towards optimal functioning of the SAPS, capacitate frontline capabilities and align with government’s “District Development Model” as well as other department service models.

The proposed organizational structure of the SAPS was approved, after successful negotiations in the Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council (SSSBC) on 30 November 2020. Restructuring will take place for the next three years and according to a SAPS presentation to the Parliament Portfolio Committee on Police, posts will be made vacant, and a matching process will be followed. Restructuring will take place in phases, with representatives of labour included in implementation committees.

The new structure sees South Africa split up into 52 districts with 1 156 police stations. The bulk of police stations are in the Eastern Cape (198) followed by KZN (185), Western Cape (151) and Gauteng (142). This year sees the establishment of two new police stations.

Ten Lieutenant Generals, 69 Major Generals and 36 Brigadier Generals will be shed, according to the presentation. The number of specialized units will increase from 1 023 to 1 079 this year.

Over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), compensation of employees will go from R76.1 billion in 2020/2021 to R75.3 billion in 2021/2022.

A national panel comprising the Deputy National Commissioners, Provincial Commissioners (ad hoc representation) and representatives from Organised Labour was established to make recommendations to the National Commissioner in regard to the placement of Divisional Commissioners and National Component Heads. Recommendations will also be made to the National Commissioner with regard to the placement of Deputy Provincial Commissioners. These recommendations are currently being consulted with the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele.