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2021/07/06      |  Written By:  Major General M Peters   |   Province:  Head Office

Pretoria: 05 July 2021: The management of the South African Police Service (SAPS) has expressed its satisfaction in the number of police officers that have come out in their numbers to get vaccinated at the launch of the SAPS Vaccination Drive held at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Gauteng.

The vaccination campaign led by the Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele together with the Acting Minister of Health, Mamoloko Kubayi and the National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Khehla Sitole, started on a high note as officers attached to various police stations in Soweto, rolled-up their sleeves to get vaccinated.

In Pretoria, scores of members also made their way to the SAPS Tshwane Academy, another vaccine site, to receive the vaccination. At close of business on Monday afternoon, close to 900 members had been vaccinated at both sites. The Minister of Police and the National Commissioner of the SAPS also formed part of this first group of police officers and SAPS employees to receive vaccination. Minister Cele emphasised the importance of having a healthy workforce.

“We don’t have any other scientifically proven way of preventing the severe effects of this virus other than getting vaccinated, so we are thrilled as the Police Ministry that this day has finally arrived and believe a healthy SAPS is crucial in the fight against crime and maintaining the rule of law in the country. Our members can rest assured that they are now more protected from this vicious virus while they continue to serve and protect the people of South Africa.” The National Commissioner of the Police Service says the health, wellbeing and safety of members remains a priority for management.

"Today's turnout at our vaccination sites is indeed encouraging. We remain confident and optimistic that more of our members will heed the call to get vaccinated. We will also continue to empower our members with information around the vaccine and our nationwide rollout program. While the rollout program continues, we will continue to ensure that non-pharmaceutical interventions are adhered to".

The National vaccination drive which will commence on Thursday, will prioritize members who are 60 years and above, members with co-morbidities, those members who are at high risk of exposure to the virus especially operational members, cleaners and security guards.

The first female operational member to receive the vaccination was Sergeant Natasha Govender. The member serves as a Social Crime Prevention Coordinator at the Eldorado Park Police Station. Constable Tebogo Rafapa was the first male operational member to be vaccinated, the officer is responsible for crime prevention operations at the Diepsloot Police Station.

The SAPS working closely with key stakeholders and medical aid partners including POLMED and GEMS, has secured and prepared 108 vaccination sites nationwide; and a bulk registration system for the convenience of members. As per requirement, all SAPS vaccination sites have been registered on the National Department of Health Database (NDOH).

To date, 32 525 members have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. 30 955 of these members have recovered but sadly, 672 members have succumbed to the virus.  By heeding to the call by SAPS management for all members to get vaccinated, the Service aims to reduce infections, transmissions and the mortality rate within the organisation.

The nationwide rollout of the SAPS Vaccination Programme will commence on Thursday, 08 July 2021 in all 9 provinces.

SAPS Vaccination Drive