WATCH | ‘SA has 20,000 fewer police officers than in 2010’: Cele
“[In] 2010, we had 195,000 members of SAPS, today we have 176,000 — we are 20,000 down. How we arrived there is not mine to explain,” says police minister Bheki Cele.
Cele highlighted the state of policing in SA during a press briefing in Pretoria on Monday.
“South Africans expect to be safe and we can’t say we are doing that now,” said Cele. “South Africans don’t need to be told they are safe, they need to feel safe.”
Cele said President Cyril Ramaphosa had authorised 10,000 police recruits, who are now undergoing training and will join the force in the next few months. He said Ramaphosa had promised another 10,000 early in 2023, but this would only match how many police officers SA had in 2010.
“The ratio in 2010 was one police officer to 250 members of the public. Today we are one to 450. As we speak there are stations in SA that can’t be opened at night because there are no [officers] available,” said Cele.
The briefing was held after the shocking news at the weekend of eight young women being gang-raped in Krugersdorp during a video shoot. The culprits are alleged to be men wearing Basotho blankets and thought to be illegal miners.
“What happened in Krugersdorp is the shame of the nation,” said Cele.
“We were lucky yesterday [Sunday] to meet the families and the survivors — those young kids. You hear the story and you imagine what happened, but when you see those people, you realise they are not just a story, they are human beings. You realise the destruction that is not temporary — it is permanent.
“These victims are artists, singers, young models. People are not just on the street — they are really trying to make their lives better.
“This [women's] month should not just be August — every month should be August when it comes to SAPS. While we are policing we must put in double effort when it comes to women and children.”