Decrease in SAPS Reservists as Crime Increases
17 October 2013
Statement by Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety
A response by the South African Police Service (SAPS) to a Parliamentary question by Mark Wiley, MPL, shows that the number of reservists used by the SAPS in the Western Cape has dropped by almost 90% in the last five years, while crime has increased.
This week, the national police minister published regulations on the enrolment of police reservists and I will be asking the National Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, at our next MINMEC meeting when the Western Cape can expect to see these numbers being improved.
In 2008, there were 22 159 police reservists called up on duty with pay. This number has dwindled to just 2 759 in 2012, which is an alarming 88% decrease. At the same time, 23 out of 29 crime categories have seen an increase in crime.
Figure 1: Crime increases since 2008
|Murder||2 346||2 580|
|Total Sexual Crimes||8 772||8 776|
|Attempted murder||1 766||3 280|
|Assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm||23 086||24 519|
|Common assault||31 680||35 603|
|Common robbery||8 439||12 427|
|Robbery with aggravating circumstances||12 729||16 738|
The decrease in the number of reservists being utilised by the SAPS could be due to an effective moratorium on the recruitment of reservists over a number of years, while the national government was finalising the police reservist policy.
Reservists not being recruited and used by the SAPS is a matter that is raised repeatedly by concerned residents at the policing needs and priorities meetings, which I host across the province. The people of this province want reservists and they want to be reservists, but have been prevented from doing so. Clearly there has been a very concerning decline in the number of reservists when the opposite is needed.
Two days ago, the National Police Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, published regulations in the Government Gazette on the enrolment of police reservists. This follows at least five years of an effective moratorium on the recruitment of reservists. While the regulations are more restrictive on who can become a reservist, we are studying them in more detail and hope that this new development will not further prevent the recruitment of reservists.
I will be raising this matter with Minister Mthethwa at the next MINMEC meeting as there is a clear need for resources and reservists have a meaningful role to play.
Minister Dan Plato
Cell: 076 832 5505
Cell: 072 623 4499