More reservists to be integrated into SAPS ahead of 2010

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

East London - Deputy Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula says government plans to enlist the help of reservists during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Speaking during a provincial Reservists Summit in East London on Tuesday, the Deputy Minister said the reservists would be integrated into the South African Police Service (SAPS) to beef up security.

They will become fully fledged members of the police and therefore enjoy the same benefits, he said.

"As the country prepares for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, government's response to crime has been put under extreme international scrutiny, which puts the law enforcement agencies under tremendous pressure.

"The role of police reservists in this instance cannot go unnoticed," said Mr Mbalula.

He said that during the FIFA Confederations Cup, they had called on reservists from various parts of the country to re-enforce the police contingent around host cities.

"We appreciate their contribution in various public viewing sites throughout the country, where they managed to control crowds under difficult conditions and with little remuneration."

Almost 47 000 reservists made it possible for the police to work on a 24 hour basis, he added.

During the FIFA Confederations Cup, the country proved to the world that it was capable of hosting events of international magnitude, said the Deputy Minister.

A national task team has been established comprising representatives from the Ministry of Police, Community Policing Forums and the Department of Public Service and Administration.

"The team is currently visiting various provinces to facilitate the process of recruitment, selection, and enlistment of reservists who meet the requirements of the pre-determined criteria," Mr Mbalula added.

The Deputy Minister said the department was also working towards making the integration of the reservists more permanent.

"Government cannot continue with this casual form of employment. For a long time, reservists have been disadvantaged and we want to correct that."