Active SAPS Reservists: 66% decrease

By Mireille Wenger, MPP, DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Community Safety:

~tempemailAttachments27998_5436_Decline in Police reservists

The number of active police reservists has sharply declined by 66% since 2008. The decimation of the active reservist service is cause for concern and I will be requesting Police Management to appear before the Western Cape Provincial Parliament to explain.

Replies to Parliamentary Questions reveal that in 2008, the Western Cape had 5059 active reservists. This number has dwindled to a paltry 1700, which is a 66% decline in the number of active reservists serving police and communities.  In 2008, 22 159 reservists were called up on duty with pay and by this year (2015/16) the number of reservists called up with pay has fallen to zero.

This is unsurprising as not a single police reservist has been recruited in the Western Cape in the last three years, and only one reservist was re-recruited.

Year Number of Reservists Recruited Number of  Reservists Re-Recruited
2013/14 0 0
2014/15 0 0
2015/16 0 1
Total 0 1

The Western Cape is the most under-resourced province with 85% of our stations being under-staffed. Our Province has approximately 2392 vacancies with 588 less detectives than we should have and 2249 less visible policing officers patrolling our communities than we ought to have. Given the critical manpower shortages, reservists play an important role in assisting the police and serving as a force multiplier, it beggars belief that not a single reservist has been recruited in the last three years in our Province and that the number of reservists has actually declined.

I will now be asking Provincial Police Management to appear before Parliament to explain these devastating numbers.

Police is a national government function and the DA in the Western Cape will continue to do its best to ensure proper oversight over the police so that the people of this province receive an adequate policing service, as they are entitled to.