- The Gauteng government is recruiting 6 000 new crime prevention officers in the province.
- About 15 000 candidates underwent fitness tests that included physical activities.
- Premier Panyaza Lesufi said he was impressed by the spirit of candidates.
Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi watched on Tuesday as thousands of crime prevention officer hopefuls underwent rigorous fitness tests at the Modderbee Correctional Services facility in Benoni.
More than 15 000 applicants made their way to the facility in the hopes of making it onto the list of 6 000 young officers the Gauteng government is recruiting.
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Lesufi said he was impressed by the number of young people who responded.
"I saw good commitment, and that impresses me. I saw those who have the heart to do it, but their body can't carry them, so we need to assist them. But overall, I like the spirit. Let's have a new force in Gauteng that will protect Gauteng," he told News24.
The test included physical activities such as running, push-ups, sit-ups, and shuttle runs, followed by an interview process.
In October, Lesufi promised that the security portfolio would get a bigger budget to help in the fight against crime.
Lesufi said on Tuesday:
"We've started that process of identifying them so that we don't release these resources to... [the] wrong people."
He said candidates' criminal records would be checked too.
"We'll check everything so that we have young men and women who are ready, capable, talented, and well-resourced to take on the fight against criminals."
One of the applicants, Thabang Mojafa, said he was ready to serve.
"I am optimistic [that I met] the necessary requirements and exceeded them. I'm positive that I will be called. I'm excited. I'm ready to protect and serve the citizens of South Africa."