The rampant escalation of violence in South Africa has prompted AfriForum to call for the return of police reservists in our communities.
As reported by EWN, the lobby group made this submission after two farms were attacked during the Easter weekend. These two incidents occurred on two separate farms in the Western Cape.
Why AfriForum wants the return of police reservists
On Thursday, 18 April, it was reported that a 72-year-old woman was viciously attacked by unknown assailants at a farm in Redelinghuys.
Four days later, police were alerted to another farm in Villiersdorp, where a 60-year-old woman was attacked.
This, the lobby group said, was enough reason to prompt the government to approve the return of police reservists in our neighbourhoods, including rural areas.
What is a police reservist?
A reservist, by definition, is a person who undertakes the duties of a South African police officer on a part-time basis, without being compensated.
According to the South African government, one cannot be a police reservist if they:
- have been discharged from a previous employer for being medically unfit;
- are a former member of the South African Police Service (SAPS);
- work for the postal services;
- are a full-time journalist or media representative;
- are a scholar;
- are employed elsewhere as a security guard;
- are a member of a municipal police service
According to the lobby group, reinstating reservists in communities would go a long way in curbing the scourge of violence that has plagued our neighbourhoods.
AfriForum’s head of security, Ian Cameron, stated that the fact that 15 farm attacks have been reported since Thursday, 18 April, ought to raise the red flag on safety.
“A reservist system will give the community a sense of statutory power. That can have a major influence on combating crime in rural areas and make it clear to the government that without a healthy and safe rural community you cannot build a sustainable economy,” Cameron explained.
How to become a police reservist
According to the SAPS website, the recruitment of reservists is based on ” the operational needs and priorities of the SAPS and the need to acquire specialised skills and competencies to ensure that suitable community members are recruited.”
A list of requirements has also been published on the police service page, where interested individuals have been encouraged to submit their applications if they are interested in the non-paying position.