Close to 70‚000 police officers will be promoted over the next three years‚ something police minister Bheki Cele said was long overdue.
But‚ the minister said‚ this was not a quick fix to the top.
Speaking to media in Cape Town on Thursday‚ after the SAPS 2018/19 budget vote was tabled‚ Cele and national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole‚ said the first phase of the post regrades would see 28‚000 officers being promoted. The remaining women and men in blue were to be promoted in the following two financial years.
“In three years‚ they would all have been finalised and thereafter go into a normal cycle of promotion. We’ll try hard not to have this kind of situation where people are stagnant and don’t grow‚” said Cele.
In total‚ according to a press release issued by the SA Government News Agency‚ 69‚219 members within grades five and seven were long overdue for progression considerations.
“We are pleased to announce the grade progression of members in the service. There will be a regrading of certain categories‚ which will increase the number of people promoted‚” Cele said.
Sitole said there would be other officers regraded this year‚ apart from the 28‚000.
“Over and above the 28 000‚ we then have grading in respect of the special task force‚ counter assault team‚ national intervention unit and tactical response team. Then we have the protectors‚ which will have two gradings. Close protectors will be on warrant officer level and static protectors at sergeant level‚” he said.
He said the regradings were effective November 1.
“Joining SAPS should be seen and promoted as a career of choice. We are calling on the management to follow due process during the promotions and ensure deserving members are promoted in the near future‚” said Cele.