Some high-ranking officers to be demoted due to budget cuts -Sitole

National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole said the South African Police Service was undergoing a restructuring process that would see more officers on the ground and less senior officials.

FILE: National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole. Picture: EWN

DURBAN - National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole said several high-ranking police officers would be demoted as a result of budget cuts recently imposed by National Treasury.

On Thursday, Sitole said the South African Police Service was undergoing a restructuring process that would see more officers on the ground and less senior officials.

In August, National Treasury instructed the police to reduce their budget by R20 billion over the next three years.

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union has since put pressure on the police service to avoid job losses.

Sitole addressed Popcru’s national congress and assured members that the jobs of lower-ranking officers were safe for now.

“Instead of us having more lieutenant-generals, we want to maybe terminate some of the positions and take them down to production level, so we can hire more constables than senior officers.”

Popcru also challenged the police commissioner to ensure that illiterate officers are removed to make way for younger officers.

Sithole said a succession plan was in place.

“We have a short, medium and long-term succession plan in which we take constables from the lowest level to long-term succession plan.”

Sithole also promised to stabilise the police’s medical scheme to ensure it remains financially viable.