NATIONAL NEWS - The South African Police Services (SAPS) spends almost R1 billion per year on salaries for its senior management.
This was revealed by the Democratic Alliance (DA), which said it came to know of this information through a reply to its parliamentary question.
The SAPS spends around R977,899,971 per year on salaries for major generals and brigadiers, the party said.
DA MP Andrew Whitfield said: “It is staggering that R1 billion is being spent on top management at a time when there is a critical shortage of front line police officers at ground level to do the actual work of fighting and investigating crime. Whilst these top cops were drawing their millions, crime continued to spiral out of control and 76% of police stations across the country did not have a single rape kit in stock.”
Whitfield said the money SAPS spent per year on salaries for its senior management indicated that the services’ priorities were “evidently skewed”.
“It is ludicrous that SAPS’ top-heavy structure has been allowed to collect an average annual salary of R1.5 million, in light of the severely under-capacitated and under-resourced police service,” Whitfield said.
He added that the average annual salary stood in stark contrast with the average annual salaries of front line officers, which varies between R54,000 for a trainee constable, R243,260 for a constable, R300,026 for a sergeant and R391,007 for a warrant-officer.
“The police’s top management consists of over 170 major-generals and 654 brigadiers who, judging by the latest crime stats, do very little in combating crime,” Whitfield said.
According to the National Police Commissioner, General Kehla Sithole, SAPS is 64,000 police officers short of meeting the United Nations police to citizen ratio of 1:220. In South Africa the ratio is 1:380. The lack of visible policing has had a significant impact on safety and security and in preventing violent crimes, he added.
“SAPS must immediately reduce its top-heavy structure and redirect funding to the frontlines of policing. These front line officers are the true vanguard that can clamp down on the scourge of crime in our communities.
“While we have a plethora of high rankings official in cushioned offices at SAPS’ head office, the safety of South African citizens remains a huge concern.”