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 2020 to 31 March 2021, detailing how many police officers there are in the country and how much money they earn.

The report shows that over the reporting period the department had a fixed establishment of 182,126 employees, a decrease of over 5,200 employees compared to the 2020 report.

This figure includes both active police officers and administrative staff, as follows:

  • 21,396 commissioned officers;
  • 122,075 non-commissioned officers;
  • 37,840 Public Service Act employees.

These reduced employment figures effectively give South Africa a police to population ratio of 1:413.

While this is within the generally accepted benchmark of one police officer to 450 people, the ratio has substantially increased over the last five years. In 2014/15, the police/population ratio was one police member to 358 citizens (1:358). This figure is also highly dependent on the crime level of an individual country and one size does not necessarily fit all.

How much SAPS employees earn 

SAPS employees work across a range of sectors including ‘administration’, ‘visible policing’ and ‘crime intelligence’, with salaries averaging at R206,000 for the lowest skills level (1-2).

This rises to an average salary of R1,435,000 for senior management and executive employees (levels 13-16), while the average salary across all levels is R416,000.

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

The below table provides a summary, per salary band, of expenditure incurred as a result of salaries, overtime, homeowners allowance and medical assistance.

It also provides an indication of the percentage of the personnel budget used for these items.


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