South Africa needs to employ another 60,000 police officers – here’s what it takes to apply

South Africa needs to employ a further 60,000 police officers to meet United Nations standards.

Speaking in a television interview on Sunday (23 June), police minister Bheki Cele said that South Africa’s police officer to citizen ratio is currently 1 to 383. This is far-removed from the international standard of 1 to 220.

Cele said that police recruitment has been hampered by a ‘chicken and egg situation’, as the government can’t hire more officers due to economic restraints, while the high level of crime is impacting the economy.

“Usually people talk about the bloated civil service, but what is not mentioned are the areas that still need to (hire). At the present moment, there are 193,000 police officers, which is 60,000 short of the international ratio.

“We hope that we will be able to reach these figures within the next five years.”

What it takes to apply

Cele said that the South African Police Services (SAPS) currently has 5,000 trainees with a further 14,000 set to be added in the next two years.

According to the SAPS website, the following requirements must be met when applying for a job as a police officer:

  • Candidates must be between the ages of 18 and 30;
  • Be a permanent South African resident;
  • In possession of a Grade 12 certificate;
  • Proficient in at least two languages, of which one must be English;
  • Prepared to take the oath of office;
  • Have no criminal record/no pending criminal cases;
  • Undergo a physical and medical examination as determined by the SAPS, and must be found to be physically and mentally fit to be appointed in the post for which he/she applies
  • Undergo a psychological assessment as determined by the National Commissioner of the SAPS, and must be found to fit the profile of a police official
  • Not have any visible tattoos that are contrary to the objectives of the SAPS
  • Be prepared to serve anywhere in South Africa.

Read: South African police officers to wear body cameras

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South Africa needs to employ another 60,000 police officers – here’s what it takes to apply