Media Release: Minister Fritz Commends Commissioner of Oaths Volunteer Project
The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, commends the Commissioner of Oaths Volunteer (COV) Project, which since its launch on 12 February 2019, has freed up 18 SAPS members from document certification to perform their crime fighting duties.
This exercise forms part of the Western Cape Government’s offer to the national Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, to deploy Government employees as volunteer Commissioners of Oaths in police stations. This will relieve police officers from administrative tasks so that they are able to focus on crime and patrols.
All government employees above a certain pay level are by law able to act as Commissioners of Oaths. A snap survey among Department of Community Safety staff indicated that there is a high degree of willingness to volunteer.
Minister Fritz said, “Certification is done by two volunteers at a Safety Kiosk parked at the Cape Town Central SAPS Station. Each session is two hours long and takes place between 10:00 – 12:00 and 12:00 – 14:00, depending on the availability of volunteers. Since the project’s inception, the Station Commander was able to deploy officers to perform crime prevention duties during these hours.”
“Over the past 20 weeks since the launch of COV, 10 909 customers have been assisted with certification. This equates to 146 customers on average per day. Additionally, 17 282 documents, an average of 236 documents per day, have been certified. Customers were assisted with documentation which predominantly aided them in job applications, medical aid transactions, housing applications, home and other loan applications.”
Minister Fritz further added, “This project relieves functionally trained police officers from certification duties to fight crime on the streets. It reduces the amount of queuing time and provides an efficient and effective service to the public. It further allows public servants the ability to engage with the public and increases safety in our communities. Our aim is to help officers get back onto the streets, and to help residents avoid debilitating queues which keep them from their workplaces.”
Under the leadership of Minister Albert Fritz, the Department of Community Safety will continue to pursue initiatives which provide oversight and allow for effective policing within the province.