Pretoria: 16 April 2021: Training has commenced for more than two-thousand reservists and security officers (who previously served as reservists in the SAPS) at various South African Police Service (SAPS) training academies nationwide.

The reservists and security officers who were appointed as constables as of the 1st December 2020, officially commenced their training as Constables on Monday, 12 April 2021.

The move to appoint and subsequently train these reservists as permanent members of the SAPS aims to bolster capacity and ensure more boots on the ground to service communities.

Reservists are individuals in their respective communities who voluntarily offer their services to the South African Police Service by assisting officers on the ground in crime-fighting initiatives.

Prior to their appointment as reservists, they undergo a selection process that requires them to submit themselves to psychological assessments as well as physical and medical examinations as determined by the National Commissioner.

Successful applicants are then subjected to an in-service training programme called the Reservists Development Learning Programme which is a three phase training programme inclusive of theory, practical and tactical and firearm training. This training provides the reservist with the necessary skills to ensure that the reservist is developed in the policing field to safely and effectively perform his or her duties.

Part of their roles and responsibilities include performing duties within the Community Service Centre, patrols, security guard duties as well as administrative work under the supervision of a SAPS official.

In line with the organizations health and safety protocols and in adhering to regulations for the containment, management and prevention of the spread of COVID-19, only 2469 reservists out of 2504 reported to the eight training academies nationwide. A variety of reasons including health related matters led to some of them being turned away. To minimize the risk of transmission of Covid-19, reservists were expected to produce a medical certificate confirming that they had tested negative for Covid-19 , 48 hours before they were expected to report for training. As a result, 14 reservists whose tests came back positive were not able to report for training and are currently self-isolating.

The decision to capacitate service points and units with reservists was taken during a Recruitment Indaba in July 2019 in Pretoria. The Indaba saw the introduction of three streams of recruitment for the organization. The streams outlined below are inclusive of the Basic Police Learning Development Programme and the Introductory Police Learning Development Programme.

· Stream 1 (Normal stream) consists of applicants in possession of a Senior Certificate / National Senior Certificate / National Certificate (Vocational); and or applicants who successfully completed the Military Skills Cadet Development Programme with the South African National Defence Force; and Current serving Public Service Act Personnel within the SAPS

· Stream 2( Graduate stream) consists of applicants who have fully completed a three (3) year National Diploma / Degree recorded on the National Learner Record Database (NLRD) on at least a NQF 6 or higher level in Law / Policing / Criminology / Law Enforcement / Forensic Investigation

· Stream 3(Reservist stream) consist of permanent enlistment of current active serving Reservists (*To be employed as Constables with permanent service benefits)

· The posts to appoint these reservists was advertised internally in the SAPS while stream 1 and stream 2 posts were advertised externally in the Sunday Newspapers (Rapport / City Press / Sunday Times) on 22 September 2019. 4682 reservists applied including security officials who had undergone the prescribed Reservists Development Learning Programme.

· Applicants were subjected to the various selection processes, inclusive of psychometric assessment, integrity assessment, physical fitness assessment and interviews, where after the Provincial Police and Community Recruitment Boards finalised the recommendation and or selection of applicants.

· With the relaxation of the COVID-19 restrictions, the SAPS reviewed the training plan and deemed it fit to commence with the selection processes and subsequent training of stream 3 applicants. It is worth noting that the selection process for stream 1 and 2 is still on hold and applicants will be informed when this process will resume.

The SAPS is confident that sufficient consultation with external role-players including organized labour has been embarked upon extensively.

The newly appointed constables will undergo a four-month training programme where they will be developed in a number of fields to enable them to serve as men and women in blue. Their training programme has been tailored to build on their experience and exposure to the policing field.

Upon succesful completion of the programme, members will be deployed to serve at stations, service points and units in their respective communities.