SA police on recruitment drive
Kagiso Metswamere and Bathandwa Mbola
23 January 2009
The South African Police Service (SAPS) is embarking on a nationwide recruitment drive, to increase the number of police officers to 190 000 ahead of the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup, with advertisements for posts to begin from this weekend onwards.
Apart from seeking to add some 11 300 new officers to their ranks over each of the next two financial years, the SAPS will also work to educate the public about the various career opportunities that exist within the force.
SAPS official Lindela Mashigo pointed out that there was a perception that the police only employed uniformed officers who ran after criminals and arrested them.
"They don’t know that we have professions," he said in a statement this week, adding that the police included a wide variety of fields including forensics, DNA analysis and even aviation technicians, who were needed to keep the force's planes and helicopters running.
To meet the requirement for the posts, candidates must have a matric certificate, driver's licence, be between the ages of 18 and 35, have an understanding of at least two local languages, and have no criminal record.
Once selected, candidates will be sent on a training course in June, which includes six months of theoretical training and six months of practical work in various police stations in the province.
Since 2004, over 40 000 entry level constables have been trained and recruited into the SAPS. By the end of the year, this figure is expected to increase to 193 000.
Safety concers 'a priority'
Safety concerns are a priority prior to the soccer events and government has been spending millions in increasing capacity and employing the latest technologies, such as procuring special crowd control equipment, including unmanned surveillance aircraft, helicopters and mobile cameras, among others, which are used for the monitoring of big events.
Meanwhile, the SAPS will celebrate National Police Day on 27 January this year. The day is held annually to honour officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty and to also honour those who have done their best to ensure that high profile criminals are put behind bars.