South Africa: MEC Albert Fritz Calls On SAPS to Strengthen Police Reservists

press release

At the end of last year, the Western Cape Police Ombudsman concluded a report on the "Concerning decline in the number of SAPS police reservists in the Western Cape". This followed a complaint lodged by then Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Community Safety, Mireille Wenger MPL. As we work towards implementing the most comprehensive safety plan in the country, Minister Fritz calls on SAPS to strengthen this essential network of safety officials.

Police reservists play an important support role to SAPS, acting as force multipliers in visible policing, administrative and operative functions. As per the report, police reservists strengthen "police capacity during high crime periods", which we are no doubt experiencing.

Minister Fritz said, "The decline has been attributed to, amongst others, reservists being dismissed for having criminal records, failure to perform the mandatory 16-hour voluntary service and to voluntary resignations (often owing to differential treatment). The report concludes that the decline of police reservists' places increased pressure on SAPS resources."

"As we implement the Premier's safety plan, which will see additional law enforcement and investigators deployed in areas where and when they are needed most; it is essential that SAPS strengthen its important network of police reservists. While the safety plan will go a long way in maintaining the peace instilled by the army; the SAPS must also ensure that functions such as the police reservists and detective services are up to the task of making the Western Cape safer for all who live in it. Ultimately, the success of the Premier's safety plan relies on the ability of all sectors of government to work together," said Minister Fritz

The following table indicates the figures for the number of active reservists, compared to reservists lost (converted to hours lost for the last 4 financial years):

Financial year

Number of active reservistsNumber of reservists lost

Number of hours lost*

















Total in 3 years



*Based on minimum required 16 hours per month

Minister Fritz further added, "As per the report, the shortage of SAPS Human Resources results in an increase in response time, delays in responding to complaints, travelling of long distances in certain jurisdictions, and additional strain placed on resources due to the need to escort Emergency Medical Services teams in red zones, or attending to mentally-ill patients. Clearly, police reservists have an important role to play in strengthening SAPS amid their resource constraints."

Under the leadership of Minister Fritz, the Department of Community Safety will continue to use every tool at its disposal to safeguard the Western Cape.

Issued by: Western Cape Community Safety

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Govt of SA

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.