The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) is deeply concerned about the South African Police Service’s (SAPS)  move, championed by Leutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi to revise the Police training programme from a period of 24 months to a mere 8 months.

This miscalculated and disastrous move comes once again as part of the unknown and unilaterally adopted approach called ‘back to basics’ by both the ever-arrogant tag-team poised by the Minister of Police, Nkosinathi Nhleko and his emulator, the acting National Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane.

This latest gimmick reaffirms and demonstrates their consistency in undermining the principle of Collective Bargaining under the signed Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council (SSSBC) agreement 3/2003, which categorically states that the agreement on evaluation strategy for basic training binds the parties to the agreement, and further, that any amendments to this agreement shall not be in force of effect unless they have been reduced in writing and signed by all parties concerned.

We believe this act will definitely achieve the opposite results they claim and motivate it will achieve as it will leave little, if any, time for academic and theoretical studies that are central to reinforcing and reaffirming the this function as a service rather than a force. It goes against the call to professionalise the service in line with the government’s New Development Plan (NDP).

In our view, Nhleko and Phahlane’s common understanding of this ‘back to basics’ phenomena seems to be taking us back to apartheid strategies of limiting police officers’ learning process to the skop-en-donner mentality, which we find unacceptable and out of touch with the objective realities aimed at improving relations with communities and fostering workmanship in our common need to fight crime.

 

Issued by POPCRU on 22/04/2016

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