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SAPS, Solidarity reach deal on affirmative action promotions

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More than 1 000 police officers would receive promotions in the new financial year and their salaries would be back-paid to 2013, acting national commissioner Lieutenant-General Kgomotso Phahlane said on Tuesday.

He said this came after an agreement was reached with labour union Solidarity, after numerous court challenges around affirmative action promotions.

“The settlement allows us to promote a number of officers from the positions of Warrant Officers to Lieutenants and Captains to the ranks of Major. These appointments will be back-dated to 2013,” Phahlane told reporters in Pretoria.

“We have 802 Warrant Officers who will become Lieutenants, 513 Captains who will become Majors. In total, 1315 officers will get promoted.”

In 2013, more than 1 500 police promotions countrywide were suspended after trade union Solidarity petitioned the High Court in Pretoria to declare SAPS affirmative action promotions invalid.

The union argued that many whites who met the requirements for promotions had not been promoted since the plan was implemented, as the positions had already been filled.

At the time, Solidarity claimed that only 9% of the available positions for lieutenants and majors were allocated to white people.

The Labour Court in April this year ruled in favour of the SAPS, dismissing Solidarity’s bid to stop the promotions.

Phahlane said he was aware that some of the officers received promotions in other ways, while others left the service, but he promised that they would not be sidelined and that they would also be compensated.

“There are 37 of them in the meantime who were promoted to some levels. Those [officers] will remain in the new ranks, but we will backdate their appointments to March 1 2013. Around 291 members left the service. Those members will also not lose as their benefits will be adjusted,” he said.

Phahlane refused to divulge how much would be spent on the backdated payments. He said they had made provisions for the money as the matter had been dragging on since 2013. News24

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