The Democratic Alliance (DA) can reveal that the South African Police Services (SAPS) spends around R977 899 971 per year on salaries for major generals and brigadiers. This information was revealed in a reply to a DA parliamentary question.
It is staggering that R1 billion is being spent on top management at a time when there is a critical shortage of front line police officers at ground level to do the actual work of fighting and investigating crime. Whilst these top cops were drawing their millions, crime continued to spiral out of control and 76% of police stations across the country did not have a single rape kit in stock.
SAPS’ priorities are evidently skewed. It is ludicrous that SAPS’ top-heavy structure have been allowed to collects an average annual salary of R1.5 million, in light of the severely under-capacitated and under-resourced police service.
This average annual salary of R1.5 million, stands in stark contrast with the average annual salaries of front line officers, which varies between R54 000 for a Trainee Constable, R243 260 for a Constable, R300 026 for a Sergeant and 391 007 for a Warrant-Officer.
The police’s top management consists of over 170 major generals and 654 brigadiers who, judging by the latest crime stats, do very little in combating crime.
According to the National Police Commissioner, General Kehla Sithole, SAPS is 64 000 police officers short of meeting the United Nations police to citizen ratio of 1:220. In South Africa the ratio is 1:380. The lack of visible policing has had a significant impact on safety and security and in preventing violent crimes.
SAPS must immediately reduce its top heavy structure and redirect funding to the frontlines of policing. These front line officers are the true vanguard that can clamp down on the scourge of crime in our communities.
While we have a plethora of high rankings official in cushioned offices at SAPS’ head office, the safety of South African citizens remains a huge concern.
The DA believes that SAPS’ top-heavy structure must be reduced in order to capacitate our under resourced police service on the front line.
The DA will continue to fight for an honest and professional police service that is well trained and resourced to tackle crime on the ground, not from behind a desk.
Andrew Whitfield MP
DA Shadow Minister of Police
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