Reports that the South African Police Service (SAPS) has seen 7 000 terminations within the service in 2014/15 nationally is cause for great concern. I have today requested that the National SAPS Commissioner, General Riah Phiyega, provide my office with a report on how many officers have left the service annually over the past four years, what is being done to prevent further losses and how recruitment has been prioritised for this province.
Though I welcome the recruitment drive that General Phiyega recently launched to help address the outflow of 7 000 officers, the National Commissioner has to adequately empower the Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Thembisile Patekile, with sufficient resources and prioritise recruitment for the Western Cape.
The Western Cape SAPS is already severely under resourced and cannot afford to lose any more officers.
The Annual Reports for the 2013/14 year show that nationally 3 500 members left the force of which 540 were in the Western Cape, it could mean that based on the figures the Western Cape SAPS could have seen more than 1 000 officers terminating their employment in 2014/15.
We need clarity on the exact figures, to take stock of the situation and most importantly to adjust plans accordingly to ensure quality safety services are delivered to all in the province:
In November 2013, former National Police Minister, Nathi Mthethwa admitted that the Western Cape Police Service has a shortage of 1 012 members;
Earlier this year suspended provincial commissioner, Arno Lamoer, admitted that the Western Cape shortage had grown to a shortage of 3 000 police officers;128 out of 150 (85%) stations in this province are understaffed; and
61% of all police shortages in South Africa are in the Western Cape.
These figures show an alarming exponential growth in SAPS personnel shortages in the Western Cape and raises serious questions about the National leadership’s ability to retain staff and provide much needed direction.
The National Police Commissioner, General Riah Phiyega, needs to assure the people of the Western Cape that policing in this province remains a priority, and she needs to show us how she intends to rectify the crippling under resourcing of this province.
We cannot sit in silence as the dedicated men and women in blue patrolling our streets, the resource constrained SAPS management in the province, the provincial and local authorities and the communities in the Western Cape all try to stem the tide on crime, gangsterism and drugs – yet are continuously failed by the National SAPS Management through an unequal allocation of resources.
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SOURCE: South African Official News