Cape Town - Police Minister Bheki Cele on Friday said government was suspending the planned intake of 7 000 new trainee police recruits this year in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
"That is suspended until further notice. There shall be no intake of those members coming to our institutions," he told a media briefing.
The police ministry had planned to increase its annual intake of new trainees from 5 000 to 7 000 in 2020 and 2021 to bolster crime fighting efforts.
Cele also urged members of the public to only visit police if necessary.
"I want to take this opportunity to appeal to communities to as far as possible limit walk-ins and visit police stations only if and when it is absolutely necessary," he said.
"For instance, applications for police clearances, taking of fingerprints, renewals of firearms licences, certified documents that are not urgent should rather be postponed."
Those who do enter police stations will have to comply with sanitary measures put in place to contain the spread of the virus, for which 202 South Africans have tested positive so far.
"Members of the public who will be visiting our police stations for various reasons shall be required to cooperate with police members on duty regarding the hygienic protocols that would be in place. For example, you will sanitise accordingly as you enter the police station," Cele said.