Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said 57% of the current South African Police Service members are pushing pencils and in management while only 43% are engaging in frontline activities.
He said this needs to turn around.
“It is my intention to move swiftly in the shifting of administrative responsibilities from police members to employees appointed as per the Public Service Administration Act.
“This will allow more police members to be involved in frontline activities,” he said in Pretoria on Tuesday during a briefing outlining his 100 days of strategic planning sessions.
Mbalula warned police officers to get fit and lose their big stomachs saying: “You can’t be a police man and have a big tummy. It must be chest out and not stomach out.
“Police men and women in blue must be fit to the letter and it starts with the minister himself.”
He said boosting the moral of the police is the cornerstone of his plan of action.
“Oversight visits to police stations have identified the extensive use of sick leave by members.
“This raises questions about the health and welfare of the police members and points to a need for health and welfare programmes to service members,” he said.
The minister added that although Chaplains and social workers are situated at cluster level, psychologists are only found at national and provincial levels.
“As part of improving the working conditions and thus boosting the morale of the police members, a fully resourced employee health and wellness programme will be established at cluster level,” he said.
Some of the other points the minister mentioned include:
- Economics of policing and the economics of crime to address cross border traffic related crimes;
- Fleet management and the shortage of response vehicles;
- Revamp of forensic science laboratories to solve crimes;
- Cyber-crimes that are on the increase;
- Destruction of the 2010 firearms amnesty act;
- Enhancement of the central firearms register; and
- Partnership strategy to mobilise all role players which includes victim support and violence and crime prevention.