NEW BLOOD: Implications of en masse recruitment for the South African Police Service

  • David Bruce African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF)
Keywords: Police, recruitment, SAPS, South Africa


This article is concerned with the process of en masse recruitment implemented within the South African Police Service since 2002. As a result of this process the personnel strength of the SAPS has increased dramatically from 120 549 in 2002 to 199 345 in 2012, an increase of over 65%. A large proportion of SAPS personnel are now people who have joined since 1994 and particularly since 2002. En masse recruitment has in part addressed the legacy of apartheid by promoting racial and gender representativeness in the SAPS. In so doing it has facilitated entry into the civil service by a significant number of black, and particularly African,South Africans, thus contributing to ‘class formation’. At the same time the process does not ensure political non-partisanship on the part of the SAPS. It also has not necessarily contributed to ‘better policing’ in South Africa. While it may have increased the potential that the SAPS will enjoy legitimacy, this cannot be achieved by recruitment alone.

  • Abstract 102
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