This history actually starts long before 1994, the date of our country’s first democratic elections where all citizens had the privilege to vote for the people that they wanted to represent them. It starts at a time when life, as we know it, started - all here in Africa. We know today that modern civilization has it’s origins in Africa. And when we talk “community” we also talk policing since policing is absolutely woven into the fabric of community. Communities have since inception executed and enforced local rules in the manner that they believe best.
In our country, it is known that forms of policing have been present in all societies. Ancient African societies had rules and these rules were policed. In the time of colonialization several policing agencies were formed in current South Africa. In 1913, all of these agencies (with the exception of the Durban City Police and the Zuid - Africhaanse Berede Schutters) were grouped into the South African Police, a unified and centrally controlled police force.
Training was seen as important and the South African Police Training Depot was established in Pretoria-West. This is today the South African Police Service Training Institution, Pretoria-West, where more than 4000 entry level police people are trained every year. Originally, the police was seen as a paramilitary force. Therefore, the police was trained to fight wars in support of the military as they did in 1914 as well as in the great war (World War II) that ended in 1948. The police was also extensively used against the cadres who fought for the liberation of the country, notably Umkhonto we Sizwe who was the armed wing of the African National Congress, destined to become the ruling party of South Africa at the first elections. Many policemen (women were only introduced in policing in South Africa during 1972) died in these wars and other armed conflicts. True to the doctrine of Apartheid, different training institutions were established for Black people (at Hammanskraal near Pretoria), Colored people (at Bishop Lavis near Cape Town) and Indian people (at Wentworth and later Chatsworth, near Durban). These institutions are today part of the group of training providers of the South African Police Service, providing developmental opportunities to all of the peoples interested in policing in South Africa with the emphasis on the policing of a democracy (and of service to the people through community policing) rather than acting as an oppressive force.
The political landscape in South Africa changed on 2 February 1990 when the then State President, F W de Klerk, announced the unbanning of the African National Congress and the decision to free Mr Nelson Mandela from imprisonment. Police training also went through transformation. Following a report written by a researcher from Johannesburg involved in the then Police Board, the international community became involved and a new curriculum for basic police training was developed. It was clear that the country was about to enter another phase of it’s history. And indeed, as far as the development of police people was concerned, this happened at a furious pace or as some would later say, “with a sense of urgency”.
The transformation of policing in South Africa, starting with the amalgamation of 11 different policing agencies from the previous political dispensation, also entertained police training. During 1995 National Commissioner George Fivaz appointed the heads of Basic Training, In-Service Training and Management Development within the Human Resources Management environment.
Transformation in education, training and development in our country took place at the same time. The South African Qualifications Authority Act, 1995 (Act number 58 of 1995) signaled the era of outcomes based training in the aftermath of the National Training Strategy Initiative of the late eighties. (Interestingly, the South African Police Service Act, 1995 - Act number 68 of 1995 - was passed in the same year).
During this era, transformation was the aim of activities. But with this came also the uncertainties and frequent redirections of a large organization during transformation. At the end of 1999, when National Commissioner Fivaz’s term was expiring, he approved the unbundling of the Human Resources Management Division and the Training Division was formed as an independent Division with sister Divisions Career Management and Personnel Services. The first Divisional Commissioner of the Training Division, Johan Ferreira, retired in March 2003 and was succeeded by the current Divisional Commissioner, Gary Kruser.
Major changes took place since 2003. Emphasis is placed on service delivery and effective, efficient and transparent management. Research receives due recognition and expansion (both in the number of training provisioning institutes and the concomitant expansion in staff and other resources) takes place “with a sense of urgency”. At the time of writing, the Division manages 21 national training provisioning institutes countrywide, and several more in the Provinces. The Division is playing an increasingly important role in the region (through the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Conference - SARPCCO) as well as on the Continent at large. Training is centralized and training functions at other Divisions are now placed at the Division. Relationships with the Division’s clients - the Provinces and other Divisions - are structured through the Quarterly Training Form, Guardian Committees and Training Committees. Training needs are prioritized collectively and budgets approved accordingly. The Division prides itself on it’s expenditure and outputs. Impact studies are used to determine effectiveness at the workplace.
This prospectus aims to introduce the learner to the Division, it’s operating procedures and the products that it delivers. It is the Division’s wish that the reader will be able to plan her/his own learning paths through this publication.