Police Ministry slams misleading report on reservists

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pretoria - The Police Ministry has dismissed reports that police reservists would "feel the chill" of a draft policy, which would see changes to their uniforms and reporting structures, labeling the reports as misleading.

An article in The Star claimed that as a result of the draft, reservists would receive different uniforms from those of the SAPS permanent members and there would be different reporting structures in place for reservists. Some police stations did not know about this draft policy, the article claimed.

In response, the ministry said it had outlined the processes and steps it would follow to address the challenges facing police reservists last year.

This was done in a consultative and transparent manner and "changes or improvements" to the policy would not be a one-way process, it added.

"As we do with most of our legislative and operational framework, we believe in a multi-faceted, transparent approach, particularly in soliciting the views of the affected parties."

The ministry pointed out that the draft policy had been developed for consultation and discussion and that, in line with the Constitution, only the Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa could sign any change in policy.

"Until this draft reaches the minister's desk, it remains as such, a draft. It would therefore be misleading to imply that 'reservist cops feel chill' based on something that is not even policy," it said.

The ministry also stressed that the reservist system was never introduced as a stepping stone of securing a permanent employment within the SAPS.

"Instead it was aimed at allowing citizens to volunteer their time to assist the police in fighting crime. Any allocation, whether it be uniform, stipends or operational conditions, will be based on a policy as agreed upon by the department," it added.