Pretoria - The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will continue to rob a much-understaffed police department of foot soldiers as the South African Police Service announced the recruitment and training processes of police trainees are to remain on hold.
About 7 000 youths who the department planned to use to bolster police initiatives at 1154 police stations across the province will have to wait a bit longer to be of service to communities desperate for police presence.
Police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe said the training which was scheduled to commence in January and had still not begun, would remain on hold until a formal announcement was made by the police department management.
Mathe said it was disappointing that the police had to suspend the recruitment process which was already at an advanced stage.
She said the recruits had already undergone a rigorous process to determine their eligibility to be enrolled and serve as men and women in blue.
However, in observance of the Covid-19 safety regulations such as the need for social distancing, restrictions and limitations of large gatherings, it became impossible for the training to resume.
“The basic training of new recruits involves extensive physical contact and with the current restrictions in place, it will not be possible in the current climate to subject new recruits to a basic training curriculum without increasing the risk of exposing them to being infected with the coronavirus.”
And while the suspension of training of the 2020 police trainees was announced nationally in March and June 2020, Mathe said they had been unable to inform each and every individual applicant of the suspension.
Despite this, she urged the successful members enrolled with the SAPS Basic Police Learning Development Programme to remain patient.
“The Service is exploring and re-looking at a number of ways of ensuring that service delivery and the capacitation of staffing levels continue at all service points, in the interim members of the public are warned against several hoax messages containing job listing adverts.”