saps banner
2020/12/08      |  Written By:  Brigadier V Naidoo   |   Province:  Gauteng

Pretoria; 08 December 2020 - In an effort to strengthen and enhance its capacity to address criminality in rural areas, the South African Police Service (SAPS) continues to  establish partnerships in an integrated and multidisciplinary  approach to be able to fulfil its mandate.

With the recent launch of the Royal Police Reservists, a crime fighting concept that has been tailored to assist in preventing and fighting crime in traditionally-led communities, the SAPS seeks to bolster its mandate with emphasis  on a  community-centred policing approach in reducing crime.

The Royal Reserve Policing concept  is the first of its kind and sees the introduction of police reservists in traditionally-led communities.

The concept has already been implemented in Nongoma, Kwa-Zulu Natal and will later be rolled out in other communities led by Traditional Leaders.

This policing approach forms part of the Rural Safety Strategy and the Traditional Policing Strategy.

Both these strategies seek to present a model for safety planning through an integration of resources both from stakeholders in rural communities, SAPS, and community safety structures.

This concept is informed by the involvement of Traditional Leaders in matters relating to Safety and Security in line with the SAPS’ Turnaround Strategy which adopts a collaborative and consultative approach that requires the involvement of key strategic stakeholders such as traditional leadership structures, faith-based organisations and youth networks to implement effective and efficient programs to address crime and moral decay facing rural communities.

In a build up to the development of this concept, the National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Khehla Sitole together with senior management of the Service, held several consultative meetings with Traditional Leaders in various provinces with a view of addressing challenges faced by rural communities. Key to the success of this partnership and concept is the additional capacity and support which seeks to ensure that the Royal Police Reservists renders services in support of members of the SAPS by assisting in performing the following duties in traditionally led communities;

➢ Maintaining law and order by being the eyes and ears of the police;

➢ Responding to reports on infringement of the law in terms of the Criminal Procedure  Act 1977 (Act No 51 of 1977)

➢ Attending to suspicious criminal activities received from the community;

➢ Reporting all crime related incidents to the designated Sector Commanders/Rural Safety Coordinators; and to

➢ Serving as force multipliers to complement policing duties and increase visibility.

The launch has seen the introduction of 100 newly trained police reservists to perform such functions in the area of Nongoma. The cohort has already undergone the prescribed training at a SAPS Academy and were paraded at the national launch in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

“This partnership outlines the importance of a community centred approach in our crime-fighting strategies. In an effort to deal a serious blow to crime in an integrated and multidisciplinary manner, the SAPS has established numerous partnerships with various entities and stakeholder over the years. The importance of these partnerships and close working relationships with the SAPS in the fight against crime, cannot be overemphasised and we appreciate their continued efforts and commitment”, said SAPS National Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole.

In terms of the Regulations for the South African Reserve Police Service and National Instruction 3/2014, reservists will wear the same uniform as permanent members whilst on duty, but will be clearly identified as reservists through insignia, as is common practice in the South African Police Service.

“ Our aim is to build capacity and strengthen partnerships in order to have a multi-disciplinary approach to address and reduce crime”, added Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele. 

His Majesty, King Goodwill Zwelithini officiated over proceedings and utilised the platform to call on all traditional leaders to embrace the concept. 

“Cooperation between myself, other leaders and various state arms can only yield benefits for our people. There is a lot more we can achieve for this and future generations if we continue to collaborate.”

The SAPS is well aware of the importance of working as a collective to prevent and combat any form of crime that may threaten the safety and security of any community, to effectively and thoroughly investigate all crimes to ensure that offenders are brought to book. With this said, the Service continues to mobilize communities to work together with the Service with a view of ensuring that the people of South Africa are and feel safe.

General Khehla Sitole together with senior management of the Service.
Launch of the Royal Police Reservists