The recruitment and training of police trainees is still on hold, the South African Police Service (SAPS) said on Tuesday.
In a statement, the SAPS said the training, which had been scheduled to commence in January 2021, has not begun and will be on hold until a formal announcement is made by management.
“The Service had intended to train and subsequently enlist 7 000 youth within its ranks in a bid to capacitate and bolster crime fighting initiatives at all 1 154 police stations and service points in South Africa,” said the police.
SAPS spokesperson Athlenda Mathe in the statement said the recruitment process had already reached an advanced stage with recruits having undergone a rigorous process to determine their eligibility to serve as men and women in blue, when it was suspended.
“The current challenges experienced with the COVID-19 pandemic such as social distancing, restrictions and or limitations of large gatherings makes it impossible for training to commence,” she said.
She added that the basic training of new recruits, which involves extensive physical contact, could not proceed under the current COVID-19 restrictions in place.
“It will not be possible in the current climate to subject new recruits to a basic training curriculum without increasing the risk of exposing them to being infected with the COVID-19 virus,” said Mathe.
The programme was first postponed in July last year following the declaration of a National State of Disaster and nationwide lockdown by the President of South Africa. As a result, said Mathe, each applicant in the process was not personally informed of any delays.
During this period, she said SAPS received in excess of half a million applications for recruitment. This, she added, made it impossible to inform each applicant individually about the decision to suspend the process.
She added: “While the Service is exploring and relooking at a number of ways of ensuring that service delivery and the capacitation of staffing levels continues at all service points, members of the public are therefore warned against several hoax messages containing job listing adverts.”
The SAPS in the statement urged the public and potential employment seekers to be extra vigilant and not fall prey to any scam of this nature, saying SAPS employment was for sale.
“The public is hereby urged to contact their nearest police station and service point for clarity and information when in doubt. Alternatively, members of the public are advised to visit the SAPS website on www.saps.gov.za to check available vacancies under the careers section,” reads the statement.
The service called on registered and prospective applicants for the SAPS Basic Police Learning Development Programme (BPLDP) to exercise patience during this challenging times.
SAPS further encouraged applicants to keep in contact with their relevant Recruitment Offices to enquire on any further pronouncements in this regard.