Police Minister Bheki Cele has been called to intervene to prevent the looming strike by SAPS members. FILE PHOTO: Tracey Adams/African News Agency(ANA)

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Community Safety MEC Alan Winde on Thursday called on Police Minister Bheki Cele to immediately intervene to prevent a looming strike by SAPS members from going ahead, as this action would cripple policing.

Winde said he was deeply concerned about reports of an imminent go-slow strike by police officers in the province, allegedly due to dissatisfaction about promotions in the service.

“These reports are deeply troubling. A strike will cripple policing in the Western Cape, given that it’s already under immense pressure as a result of being under-resourced by 4,500 officers, and infighting amongst its top echelons,” he said.

This after social media reports that thousands of police officers around the country have threatened to go on strike following a dispute over promotions emerged this week.

Winde said: “I will also be asking for an update on the investigation I have called for regarding whether officers are being promoted due to their political affiliations. The current chaos points directly to the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, and the ANC national government’s inability to manage the police service.

“We need to decentralise the service to ensure it is accountable to Western Cape residents. As an essential service, Western Cape officers would not be able to embark on any form of go-slow or strike action. We would ensure other mechanisms exist to resolve grievances, so that these members are always on duty, protecting our residents,” Winde added.

Meanwhile, Cele is on Thursday expected to brief the media on reports of looming strike action at the Gauteng SAPS provincial headquarters in Parktown, Johannesburg.

A statement issued Wednesday said both Cele and the National Commissioner General Khehla Sitole will brief the media.

“The reports are purporting that SAPS members are apparently unhappy about the recent promotions and regrading process that benefited a 'certain' category of members within the service,” read the statement.

African News Agency (ANA)