A forensic officer at the scene of a cash-in-transit heist in Boksburg. Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency (ANA)

Parliament - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday said the appointment of a new head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, more commonly known as the Hawks, as well as senior police appointments, will help the fight against cash-in-transit heists which have hit the country hard in past weeks.

During his reply to the debate on the presidency budget vote, Ramaphosa acknowledged the concerns of members of Parliament (MPs) on the effect of violence and crime on South Africans.

"We have made several important appointments to strengthen police management, including the appointment of a new divisional commissioner of Crime Intelligence and, yesterday, a new head of the Hawks," the president said.

Read: Godfrey Lebeya appointed new Hawks boss

"It is hoped that these critical appointments will strengthen the criminal justice cluster and the police will be able to infiltrate syndicates and arrest syndicate members, particularly those involved in organised crime and those who are now perpetrating these cash heists all the time."

Cabinet on Wednesday approved the appointment of Godfrey Lebeya as the new head of the Hawks.

The Hawks have been without a boss for almost a year after a court ruled former head Berning Ntlemeza was unlawfully appointed.

Yolisa Matakata had been acting in the post since April last year.

African News Agency/ANA