Overweight Mpumalanga police have joined their Gauteng counterparts to keep fit.
The initiative is aimed at preparing police officers to be ready to sprint after criminals during the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
The police occasionally walk for 20km to try and stay fit.
Mpumalanga police's organised crime unit spokesman Captain Leonard Hlathi said yesterday: "These walks will make a big difference to some of us. We are not concentrating on fat cops only, but every cop must be ready for action during the 2010 World Soccer Tournament."
Sowetan caught up with police officers who were walking in Barberton, and noticed that most of them had potbellies.
A similar initiative is taking place in Gauteng, where a compulsory fitness programme for police officers was launched.
Hlathi said an unfit police officer might experience problems when it is "time for action", so it was necessary for all policemen and policewomen to exercise regularly.
Overweight and unfit police officers at Giyani magistrate's court in Limpopo fell and failed to catch an awaiting-trial prisoner who bolted out of a court building and escaped.