Police to spend R2bn to clear promotions backlog

14 March 2019 - 11:59 By Nico Gous
Police minister Bheki Cele has cautioned officers who have threatened to go on strike over promotions.
Police minister Bheki Cele has cautioned officers who have threatened to go on strike over promotions.
Image: Werner Hills

The police are going to spend R2bn promoting 69,219 officers over three years to clear a backlog dating back to 2011/12 and improve the "morale and wellbeing of our members".

Police minister Bheki Cele announced this on Thursday during a media briefing at police headquarters in Parktown, Johannesburg.

Officers around the country have threatened to go on strike over promotions.

"I want to caution against any political mushrooms, not to dilute and throw this important subject into a political battlefield. It is completely unnecessary and very opportunistic," warned Cele.

The police have agreements with three labour unions on promotions.

IOL reported that a memorandum said some specialised units had allegedly promoted their constables to warrant officers, "while station members are left behind".

South African Policing Union (Sapu) general secretary Tumelo Mogodiseng previously said the union supported the strike.

"We want to put it on record: we acknowledge and have made members aware of the fact that the police are categorised as an essential service and therefore not allowed to engage in industrial action."

During the media briefing on Thursday, Sapu president Mpho Kwinika asked officers not to strike.

"Is there going to be a strike on Monday? I don’t know. We have spoken to them [members] that they should not strike ... there are better avenues that they can use. They can assemble and demonstrate, but with the element of peace."


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