Chairperson of ANC subcommittee on peace and stability, David Mahlobo, briefing the media on the outcomes of his commission at the party's 54th national conference in Nasrec, Johannesburg. Mahlobo said that the commission had resolved that the number of police officers must be beefed up so that the ratio of police officers to civilians is 1:150, up from 1:300, over the next five years. PHOTO: Siphelele Dludla/ANA

Johannesburg - The African National Congress (ANC) has resolved that the South African government must beef up the number of police in order to deal with rising crime in the country.

This is contradictory though to the police ministry's announcement in October that it was planning to freeze 3,000 posts due to economic constraints. 

This came after the South African Police Service (SAPS) had released its 2017/2018 performance plan in September indicating its intention to decrease its personnel. The SAPS has a total of 195,000 police officers on their books.

Chairperson of the ANC's subcommittee on peace and stability, David Mahlobo, said that the ratio of police officers to civilians must be increased so that police visibility is at appropriate levels. 

"We have reconfirmed the question that the number of police must be increased. The [current] ratio is one police person around 300 citizens to be looked [after]. We say that over a period of five years, that number must be able to come to one is to 150 so that at least there is visibility," Mahlobo said.

"We also said that the issue around Community Policing Forums, they need to be recognised, participate, and given resources and tools of trade. And in traditional communities, we are saying the traditional councils are there and they are supposed to come in and play their role."

Mahlobo was speaking on the final day of the 54th ANC national conference where it adopted policy resolutions and elected new leadership for the next five years. 

He said that the party was happy with the how the conference proceeded, from a security point of view, despite journalists complaining about hard-handedness of security officials. 

Senior Bloomberg journalist Sam Mkokeli was kicked out of the conference venue on Tuesday and had his media accreditation taken away after he was involved in an argument with security officials. The conflict was later resolved when the SA National Editors Forum intervened.

"There might have been inconveniences, but the inconveniences were not meant to harm. They were meant to secure all of us so that no any unintended consequences could be received here," Mahlobo said.

Mahlobo also said that the commission had resolved that the work around the implementation of the Border Management Agency would proceed and that the party would not use military veterans to secure and protect National Key Points anymore.

"The issue around using defense as an innovation hub and the capability to create our own revenue because the defense industry can contribute to industrialization and] it can create other opportunities, so we think that it is important," Mahlobo said.

African News Agency/ANA