Here’s how much money police officers earn in South Africa

The South African Police Service (SAPS) has published its annual report for the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.

The report shows that the SAPS has a total of 192,277 employees – including 150,855 SAPS Act members and 41,422 Public Service Act employees – compared to 193,297 personnel at the end of the previous financial year.

This gives South Africa a ratio of 1 police officer to 383 people in the country, which is far removed from the international standard of 1 to 220.

These employees work across a range of sectors including ‘administration’, ‘visible policing’ and ‘crime intelligence’, with salaries averaging at R151,000 for the lowest skills level (1-2).

This rises to an average salary of R1,284,000 for senior management and executive employees (levels 13-16). The average salary across all levels is R371,000.

The below tables show the personnel costs by programme and costs by salary bands:

In an interview in June, police minister Bheki Cele said that more must be done to grow South Africa’s police force.

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,” Cele said.


At the end of September, the SAPS said that it has embarked on a nationwide recruitment drive in an effort to bolster crime-fighting efforts.

SAPS management said it is seeking to attract youth between the ages of 18 and 30 for the 2019/2020 Basic Police Learning Development Programme (BLDP) intake.

Prospective applicants will need a Senior Certificate/National Senior Certificate or National Certificate (Vocational), while those in possession of post-matric qualifications are encouraged to apply.

“Those who previously served in a government department and were subsequently dismissed due to misconduct are discouraged from applying,” SAPS said.

The police service said that applicants will be subjected to fitness, psychometric and integrity testing as well as medical evaluations during the recruitment, selection and enlistment process. Vetting and fingerprint verifications will also be conducted.

“Successful police trainees will be subjected to continuous security and fitness screening, which included continuous verification of criminal profile as well as medical and physical fitness (inclusive of drug/substance abuse testing),” it said.

During the training phase, trainees will receive a R4,500 stipend.

You can read more about the different recruitment streams here.

Read: Shocking decline in the number of police reservists in South Africa

Latest news

Partner Content

Show comments

Follow us


Here’s how much money police officers earn in South Africa