Covid-19: Recruitment of police trainees grinds to a halt

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Police Minister Bheki Cele and national police commissioner Khehla Sitole.
Police Minister Bheki Cele and national police commissioner Khehla Sitole.
Jan Gerber/News24
  • Covid-19 has made it "impossible" for the police to take in new recruits.
  • The police are still deployed for routine policing services and the Covid-19 response, but the number is withheld due to "security reasons".
  • In December, 4 971 new recruits completed their training.

It has not been possible to enlist new police recruits to start training, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is according to a response from Police Minister Bheki Cele and national Police Commissioner General Kehla Sitole to a parliamentary question by IFP MP Zandile Majozi.

Majozi was refused an answer on her question on how many police officers were deployed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, due to "security reasons".

Majozi had asked

- How many police officers completed training at the latest available date?

- How many police members and reservists have been deployed to help curb the spread of Covid-19 during the different stages of the lockdown?; and whether

- The police is on track with its plans to recruit and train new members and what is the challenges in this regard?


"On 13 December 2019, 4 971 new recruits successfully completed their training," reads the answer, signed by Cele and Sitole.

"Members of the South African Police Services (SAPS) and reservists were and are still deployed for routine operations, for policing services and the enforcement of the coronavirus (Covid-19) preventative measures. It is preferred/recommended that the figures are not provided, for security reasons," reads the answer.

READ | 45 puppies dead as parvovirus hits police dog unit

"The process of finalising the SAPS 2020 Trainee Intake was at an advanced stage. However, it was unfortunately suspended, by the Minister of Police, due to the State of National Disaster and subsequent nationwide lockdown, which was announced by the President of the Republic of South Africa, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The recruitment plan of the SAPS is currently being reviewed, in order to respond to the Covid-19 restrictions put in place, such as social distancing, restriction/suspension of large gatherings/meetings, etc."

The answer states that while other posts at the police are still being filled, the pandemic has made it "impossible" to enlist recruits at the various police training facilities.

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