The South African Police Service (SAPS) is set to increase the death grant, which is paid to the families of cops who die on duty, up to R300,000.
At the beginning of September, President Cyril Ramaphosa honoured the 34 police officers who were killed in the line of duty during the 2022/23 financial year.
Under the SAPS Educational Trust, discretionary payments towards primary, secondary, and tertiary education fees can be made by the trust to the children of police officers killed in the line of duty. The trust relies on donations.
National Police Commissioner General Fannie Masemola, who was addressing the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) 10th National Congress, announced the intention to increase the death grant.
Popcru is a major stakeholder in the law enforcement sector, representing over 155,000 police, traffic, and correctional services officials across the country.
Popcru has been calling for an increase of the death grant, which is currently R250,000 per officer killed on duty.
General Masemola said the SAPS had remained at R250,000 “for far too long”, but they were working towards finalising the matter soon.
“Once it gets implemented, it will see the lowest ranking members’ death grants increase to R300,000 for junior members in Levels 1–7,” he said.
Masemola said officers on Levels 8–10 would see an increase up to R275,000, while officers on Level 12 and upwards would remain on R250,000.
“These increases will be implemented at a date to be determined by the Ministry of Police in the not-too-distant future.
“We appreciate that for the longest time, our junior members have been at the forefront of crime fighting; they are our foot soldiers, yet we have not been taking good care of their families’ welfare in the way that we should have.
“We want to correct that. This is a good start,” said Masemola.
Popcru president Dr Zizamele Cebekhulu-Makhaza expressed pleasure that the death grant was set to be increased for police officers killed in the line of duty.
Masemola also bemoaned austerity measures that were set to plague policing efforts in the next financial year, with just R4 billion allocated from their required R5.56 billion implementation budget as agreed upon at the bargaining council. The police also have to cut over R660 million from its operating budget.
“Police cannot afford these baseline reductions, essentially when considering the extent to which previous reductions have impacted the ability of SAPS to perform its functions on an acceptable level.
“Less personnel numbers over a multi-year period will have serious implications for the department and the police/population ratio,” he said.