Revamp for police reservist policy

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pretoria - The police reservist policy is currently being reviewed with the aim of improving the management of reservists and changing selection criteria, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said.

Responding to questions in Parliament on whether a second moratorium would be placed on the recruitment of police reservists, Mthethwa said once he had finalised and approved the review, there would be better co-ordination, co-operation and planning in intensifying the fight against crime.

A moratorium on the recruitment of reservists was in place from 1 April 2009 until 10 December 2009.

"However, since the upliftment, SAPS has not enlisted new reservists pending a review of this system. I also have no intention to place a further moratorium and reservists will be enlisted in terms of the new criteria once the new policy has been finalised and implemented," he explained.

In the past, there had been success and some challenges involving police reservists, Mthethwa noted. 

"We commend the valuable contribution of some of the dedicated reservists in helping us deal a blow to crime. At the same time, we have unfortunately experienced certain challenges with others, including those who demanded automatic integration into the SAPS. Moving forward, we want to be clear on what is expected from a reservist."

Mthethwa said the ministry had in the past clarified that it would not automatically integrate police reservists into the SAPS but that the enlistment process would be conducted and assessed on an individual basis.

Currently there are 4 979 police reservists in Gauteng, 4 391 in the Western Province, 2 874 in the Eastern Cape, 2 046 in KwaZulu-Natal, 3 083 in Free State, 2 690 in Mpumalanga, 2 397 in North West, 1 349 in Northern Cape and 2 459 in Limpopo.

A total of 1 732 new reservists were enlisted between January and March 2009. This included 709 in Gauteng, 336 in Western Cape, 173 in Free State, 190 in Mpumalanga, 205 in Northern Cape and 119 in Limpopo.