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Willem Phungula | 23 January 2023

Some of the youth queueing to submit forms outside Kings Park stadium at the Metro Police recruitment venue. Picture: eThekwini Municipality

Durban — Unions said that the high number of youths who applied for just 200 posts with the eThekwini metro police department showed that the government had failed to address unemployment in the country.

The unions were reacting to the revelation that close to 100 000 youths are scrambling for 200 metro police vacancies.

Cosatu secretary Edwin Mkhize said this was a clear message to the government that it had failed to address the ever-rising unemployment crisis.

Mkhize said the rising unemployment in the country was a cause for concern and it was clear the government had failed to come up with strategies to deal with it. Cosatu was worried that most of the youth were university graduates who, after not getting the jobs they qualified for, opted to take the metro police opportunity.

“Being a police officer should be more about calling than being driven by financial interest. Crime fighting is a serious job, especially in a crime-riddled country like ours,” said Mkhize.

Mkhize warned police management to be very transparent, saying he wondered how the management would trim such a big number of applicants down to 200.

Municipal and Allied Trade Union of South Africa (Matusa) national deputy secretary Thulani Ngwenya said that during President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address he announced that jobs would be created but nothing materialised.

He said, “The president is likely to repeat the lies in this year’s address.”

Metro police deputy head Sibonelo Mchunu confirmed that they had received close to 100 000 applications.

Mchunu said the metro police were aware of the high unemployment rate but there was little it could do since they were allowed to hire only 200 applicants this year.

Both psychometric and physical tests were the most determining factors for a successful applicant. Mchunu said recruits would spend three years at the training centres going through various policing methods.

He said that previously metro police training focused on traffic control, saying crime combating and by-laws enforcement had been added to the course which caused the extension of the duration. Mchunu said the new policing laws required that all municipal police should also complete SAPS training.

While Mchunu’s recruitment team was dealing with the volume of applications, more than 200 scholar patrollers have demanded their inclusion on the list, calling on the management to absorb even those patrollers who were over age.

The patrollers, most of them over 35 years, marched to the City Hall on Tuesday demanding that the management apply for an exemption and appoint them as fully-fledged police officers.

Their argument was that they joined as school patrollers at a young age but it was the management’s fault that they had not absorbed them before exceeding the age of 35.

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


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