Currently, South Africa possibly employs too few policemen and women for the size of the population. And, many people feel the men and women who join could be better trained. Concerns also centre around the quality of those employed.
South Africa needs more quality police officers
Interestingly, new recruitment requirements proposed will include Buccal DNA tests in order to ensure recruits have no criminal record. Additionally, once in the DNA database, this will preclude police participation in future criminal activity. Moreover, police employees will undergo vetting and lifestyle audits.
Interestingly, the new legislation does not touch on higher qualifications or earnings for the police. Seemingly, recruits (interns) earn around R4500.00 per month, not much more than a domestic worker. Furthermore, once qualified and on the streets, the salary for crime fighters is only a little more than a junior wage clerk in government service.
Additional legislation around use of force in South Africa
Furthermore, police will no longer use automatic rifles for crowd control. Specifically, the new bill forbids lethal force for the protection of property. Additionally, only the combined threat to life and property will warrant the use of lethal force.
Importantly, South Africa’s recent enforcement of lockdown legislation resulted in several charges being laid against the police. Clearly, Police Minister, Bheki Cele is aiming to clean up police activity. Additionally, community police forums will be more involved in day-to-day police matters. Moreover, new technology could assist police and populace in crime reporting.
Currently, South Africans do not trust their police
Currently, the South African public do not trust the police. tara-leigh@donnely, says “South African police will fight anything but crime.” Noluthando Zuma@thandozuma_ says “…South African police even make you feel guilty for certifying too many copies of a document. Imagine trying to open a r*pe case.”
Importantly, the new legislation aims to improve coordination between municipal police and SAPS. Currently, Joe Public doesn’t trust many municipal police members either.
Professionalise the police force
Should SAPS aim for a fully professional police force? Interestingly, in 2019, Namibia initiated a process of professionalization, increasing application requirements and introducing technology.