General Elias Mawela.PHOTO:IOL

CAPE TOWN - The South African Police Service (SAPS) has enough budget for equipping its public order policing unit but is still operating at 50% below the ideal number of members, which becomes a barrier to crime management, parliament heard on Wednesday.

"The public order policing is not at the level at which it was supposed to be, because according to our work study investigation we wanted to see ourselves standing at the ideal figure of 12,779 in order to be operating at the ideal figure," General Elias Mawela, who was briefing the portfolio committee on police during preparatory budget hearing briefings, said. 

"But currently we are sitting at 5,600 members, so we are actually operating at below 50 percent but we have started last year whereby we have been given some allocation to try to increase our numbers because we know that crime management is the game of numbers, if you don’t have numbers, members will operate as individual police."

He said that in terms of procurement of resources, the SAPS was on course, adding that, in the last financial year, the police had managed to get more vehicles for public order policing. 

"For example, we got them 97 vehicles and bought 23 second-generation Nyalas, procured, delivered and distributed to the units. 

We have also managed to buy them medical kits, fire extinguishers and all those things fall on commission recommended. Latest video cameras, we have also procured those and delivered to the units and we are still going to procure some so that we have enough because these incidents are all over the country," said Mawela.

"The only area where we have lacked behind is the procurement of the protective gear for the members of which we intend to finalise this financial year because the procurement vehicle is being finalised by the supply chain, the tenders, and all those things. For us is just to place those orders, then we will buy those stuff."

African News Agency/ANA