Cape Town – The SAPS has revealed that more than 2 000 reservists are currently undergoing training as new recruits in one of the police training colleges.
“We have 2 469 reservists that undergo training at a college which started on April 12 this year,” deputy police commissioner Francinah Vuma said on Tuesday.
Vuma made the statement when she was responding to questions from DA MP Okkie Terblanche when the SAPS delegation made a presentation on the 2021/22 budget to the police portfolio committee.
Terblanche said they had learnt that reservists were permanently employed and that they were in colleges after last year’s intake of recruits was suspended due Covid-19 pandemic.
Before the outbreak of Covid-19, President Cyril Ramaphosa had in his State of the Nation Address promised the recruitment of 7000 entry-level posts in the 2020/21 financial year.
“How many they plan to train? How were they employed without being trained and found competent as members of SAPS?” he asked
Vuma said they had planned to take 3 000 reservists but there were challenges that were experienced.
“We also plan a second phase. They (current intake) will be finishing in mid-August. In September there will be another intake of reservists,” she.
Vuma also said the normal recruitment of new constables would start again in January next year.
She explained the intake of reservists would be at the college for four months and that their training was shortened because they were already trained in a number of modules that were supposed to be part of basic training.
“They have passed all the modules required to be taken to college to finish formal training.
Vuma also said that they were appointed with effect in December 2020.
“They were supposed to go immediately that time. Due to restrictions implemented when we went into level 3, they could not go.”
Meanwhile, SAPS claimed that the payments for services were up to date.
This was despite Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille saying last month that 1 086 police stations owed R6 1919 466.12 in outstanding water accounts and R18 252 461.26 in outstanding electricity accounts.
De Lille was responding in writing to parliamentary questions from DA MP Michele Clarke.
On Tuesday, Vuma confirmed that they were making payments for services through the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure.
She said they were monitoring the payments because in the past their rented offices would be closed due to non-payment.
“Our payments are up to date.”
Vuma also said the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has requested them to take over the payment of municipal services and had wanted them to do so in April.
She said they could not take it until they had set up systems and trained their employees.
“If we are ready we will start the payment of municipal services next year,” Vuma added.