Deputy President Paul Mashatile announced on Thursday that the government is working around the clock to capacitate the police force which will see the country having 30 000 more officers in the coming years as South Africa wages war against crime.
The Deputy President was responding to oral questions in the National Assembly on Thursday.
“The [Police] Minister also announced that recruits are being enlisted to increase the capacity of the police in this regard. Ten thousand new trainees have already graduated and over the next financial years, additional trainees will graduate bringing the total number to 30 000 new police officers.”
In addition, 1 000 of the newly recruited personnel have been ring-fenced to include the capacity of public order policing (POP) which deals with crowd management issues and threats resulting from that.
The POP, he said, had by the end of October 2023 received an additional 4 000 members resulting from the recruitment drive.
In addition, as part of efforts to assess the progress government is making in implementing its programmes, the Deputy President said he and President Cyril Ramaphosa have been meeting Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Director-Generals and Heads of Departments.
“In this regard, the President and I have had the opportunity to meet with the Minister, Deputy Minister and Commissioner of Police to brief us on the departmental plans to fight crime in the Republic of South Africa.”
He told Parliament that the Ministry was implementing Operation Shanela, a comprehensive plan to combat crime throughout the country. “The plan includes clamping down on illegal mining areas.”
The South African Police Service (SAPS) has established specialised units to work with businesses, private security and state-owned entities (SOEs) to tackle illegal mining, the construction mafia, cable theft and the vandalism of economic infrastructure.
“I have confidence not only in Minister [Bheki] Cele, Deputy Minister [Cassel] Mathale and Commissioner [Fannie] Masemola but in all men and women in blue right to the lowest-ranking police officers who are committed to fighting and defeating crime in our communities.”
In addition, the country’s second-in-command touched on the recently launched “Combating Crime through Decisive Police Action and Robust Community Involvement” and the operationalisation of the increased Crime Prevention and Combating Action Plans through Operation Shanela.
These programmes, he said, are yielding results in the fight against crime in the country.
“We will continue to work jointly with the private sector to invest in efforts to combat crime.”
The Deputy President urged communities to continue to be involved in efforts to fight crime.
“They must work with the police and expose the rotten apples within our police stations. Together we will win this fight. Let’s continue to build safer communities.”