Hot on the heels of the release of the annual crime statistics that showed an increase in violent crimes, police commissioner Riah Phiyega has announced mass promotions within the SA Police Service.
About 7 000 constables and sergeants would be promoted this financial year, while another 7 000 in the same ranks would be promoted in the next financial year.
“As a start, SAPS has made available R150m for the grade progression of 3 761 constables to sergeants and 3 614 sergeants to warrant officers, the criteria being that these personnel should have been in their current ranks for 11 years and more,” she told reporters on Wednesday.
Phiyega however denied the promotions were aimed at rectifying demoralisation in the police force.
“Now I hear about demoralisation – maybe there is and maybe there isn’t,” Phiyega told reporters in Pretoria.
“You have plus/minus 200 000 members of the South African Police Service who are highly committed. What I am announcing today is to recognise that commitment.
“If there is demoralisation, I haven’t seen it because… I have just seen them working extremely hard.”
STERN WORDS FOR SOLIDARITY
She also announced that 87 514 employees, including police and public service employees, would receive pay progressions.
“In addition to the 7% annual cost of living increase, which they received early this financial year, pay progression will be 4% for police act employees and 1.5% for public service personnel – bringing the annual increase to 11% and 8.5% respectively.”
Phiyega had stern words for trade union Solidarity, blaming it for the hold up promotions for the major and lieutenant ranks.
“Owing to legal challenges by Solidarity, the SAPS has no choice but to wait until the court process has run its course,” she said.
“It is unfortunate that because of the ‘winner takes all’ approach by Solidarity, 1 611 promotional posts are frozen.”
She said if Solidarity had not interdicted SAPS, there would have been promotions of 111 whites, 21 Indians, 117 coloureds and 1 362 Africans.
She also commended the task team investigating Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir, saying all the members were going to be promoted one rank up.
“Given where we are with the investigation, we can say with confidence that Krejcir is going to spend time behind bars. He knows it and that is why he is trying to escape.”
Phiyega also said that Phalaphala Avhashoni Ramikosi had been appointed as the SAPS chief financial officer, with the rank of lieutenant general.
Ramikosi previously worked at Price Waterhouse Cooper, Rand Investment Bank, Standard Bank, South African Revenue Service and is currently a director at auditing company Sekelaxabiso. News24