These police officers are getting a R17,000 ‘danger pay’ increase in South Africa

 ·9 May 2024

The South African Police Service (SAPS) has more than quadrupled the danger pay of its elite task force members from R4,000 to R21,000 in an effort to prevent them from leaving for private security companies.

During a briefing on the successes of Operation Shanela on Monday (6 May), Police Minister Bheki Cele said about 58 members of the Special Task Force (STF) and National Intervention Unit (NIU) had left police recently.

These resignations are part of the concerns raised by KwaZulu-Natal Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi in December 2023, who noted elite members of our service are resigning (en masse) almost daily and looking to the private security sector for jobs.

Criminal law expert Ian Allis said this was, unfortunately, not surprising.

Allis said that the problem is that crime is escalating in South Africa, but the amount of funding allocated to the police and the quality of training are declining at the same time.

“Under these circumstances, it’s an obvious move for these specially trained members to look for greener pastures, where there is less work for more pay instead of less pay for more work in the police force,” he said.

Allis further highlighted that a perfect storm has hit the SAPS.

As more sophisticated crimes increase in South Africa—such as cash-in-transit heists in Gauteng—the criminals are often better armed than the police, and officers have to put their lives on the line with little incentives and support from the government, he said.

The SAPS Special Task Force (STF)

To stem the loss, EWN reported that the SAPS had bettered the members’ working conditions and remuneration.

From earning a measly R4,000, STF and NIU members will now be entitled to R21,000 danger pay over and above their monthly salaries.

“Those who have left have been spoken to; they’re being reinstated in the organisation with much-improved conditions and packages,” said Cele.

“Although their conditions have been improved, they also say they are here for the badge; they love the work they do. I think the bleeding has been stopped,” he added.

Considering the SAPS’ financial predicament, where it will find this extra funding for the increased pay has yet to be revealed.

Cele has said in front of parliament that the demand for policing has increased beyond the SAPS’ current capabilities – a situation exacerbated by a lack of financial resources afforded to the department.

Read: 27 new laws waiting for Ramaphosa’s signature – with time running out

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