Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Zizamele Cebekhulu-Makhaza, President of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru), has voiced skepticism about the effectiveness of adding 15,000 police officers to the force in terms of enhancing community safety in the country. Cebekhulu-Makhaza stated that the surge in police personnel would do little to address the security needs of the ever-expanding population.

Speaking at the inauguration of the union’s three-day conference in Johannesburg, Cebekhulu-Makhaza emphasized that while the infusion of additional officers was crucial, it would merely counterbalance the decrease in police numbers due to retirements and the department’s decreased recruitment quota.

Highlighting the importance of investing in resources like technology to combat crime, Cebekhulu-Makhaza remarked, “Resources such as technology must be invested in order to fight crime. From 2020 to 2022, the number of retired police officers decreased by 11,178. This increased the number to 178,708 from 187,358. The employment of 15,000 police officers will increase the number to 193,708, but due to the growth of the population in the country, it will not have much impact on the plans to protect the public.”

Cebekhulu-Makhaza underscored the necessity of bolstering the police force’s numbers to effectively tackle the high crime rate and make a tangible difference in community safety. He alluded to instances where soldiers were deployed to patrol communities, as witnessed during the 2021 riots. He also noted that their repeated deployment raises concerns about the role of the police force and their ability to maintain law and order.

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