Minister must explain the great decrease in number of police reservists

Opinion by FF Plus

Minister must explain the great decrease in number of police reservists
Minister must explain the great decrease in number of police reservists

The Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, revealed in an answer to a parliamentary question that over the last six years, there has been a great decrease in the number of police reservists and the FF Plus will ask the Minister to provide additional answers in this regard in Parliament.

According to Minister Cele, on 31 May 2018, the number of Category A reservists was a mere 3 002 in comparison with 17 939 on 31 May 2012. On 31 May 2018, the number of Category D reservists was 4 087 in comparison to 32 524 on 31 May 2012.

Referring to them as Category A and D reservists is inaccurate as since 2014 (SAPS National Instruction 3 van 2014), reservists are categorised as either Category 1 or 2. According to this Instruction, Category A reservists who were operational reservists now fall under Category 1 along with former Category D reservists who were rural reservists.

Thus, the total number of reservists decreased from 50 463 to a mere 7 089 during this period. This goes to show that the police’s call for the community to become involved and support the police with their policing function is false.

If the Minister and the police service really were serious about gaining the community’s support, they would not have gotten rid of reservists – instead, they would have made use of reservists precisely because they come from the community and can, therefore, make an important contribution to the fight against crime.

Reservists are volunteers who sacrifice their time, without compensation, to help the police combat crime in South Africa. Budget-related factors can, therefore, not be used as an excuse for the sharp decline.

Read the original article in Afrikaans by Dr Pieter Groenewald on FF Plus

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SOURCEFF Plus