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POPCRU end of year statement
The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) take this opportunity to wish all South Africans a happy and productive new year. As the year 2017 comes to an end, we primarily wish the workers of our country a peaceful rest, for without their tireless efforts, our economy would grind to halt.
We also take pride in the noble tasks that our many committed members within the South African Police Service (SAPS), Traffic and the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) continue to contribute in keeping our families and road users safe during this festive season and beyond.
Over the period of this concluding year, we have emerged with a more resolute and strengthened union bound by our collective resolve to change the lives of our members and the public in general for the better.
The year 2017 will go down as a time under which a lot of reflection should be made, more so within the criminal justice cluster’s lost opportunity in building the much needed confidence within and amongst society.</h3><p>This year also goes down as a year within which we celebrated what would have been Comrade OR Tambo’s 100th birthday had he still been within the realm of the living. This intellectual who selflessly held together the oldest liberation movement on our continent together during the many years of exile and saw the unity of the movement as a primacy in defeating apartheid would have been worried back then about the corrupt and abusive elements that would have reared their heads.
Our federation COSATU continues to make inroads by demonstrating its significant capacity to overcome the many challenges it has come across over the past years, and continues to provide strategic and tactical direction over the many issues related to the policy direction our mass democratic movement refines, all in the interest of the workers and the working class. It is under its overall guidance that we continue to find solace in the fact that at all material times, workers are at the centre of all struggles we as affiliates engage in.
As POPCRU we have, among the highlights, in the past year made strides in fighting for upgrades within the SAPS for the Public Service Act personnel, we have won the battle for the implementation of the 2nd phase OSD in the DCS, we have managed to meaningfully participate in the migration from cross-border to the RTMC, we have held numerous campaigns against gender-based violence. We will be starting of the New Year with the resumption of negotiations with the G4S, PSCBC, RTMC and Cross-Border on numerous outstanding matters.
On the SAPS
Our genuine concern over the manner in which the SAPS is currently structured, a top heavy structure, remains a priority we will be deliberating on, and as we now have a permanent National Police Commissioner, we expect that he restructures the entire SAPS at national and provincial levels and capacitates police stations on the ground and improve conditions of employment for police officers at all levels in the immediate.
We need to work towards improving and strengthening relations with communities in order to combat criminal activities. Crime can no longer be defined as a police issue alone. Without a multilateral approach which brings all stakeholders together for a common purpose, this challenge cannot be defeated.
We are yet to meet with the Minister of Transport to finalise the Nationalisation of Traffic before the year 2019.
On the DCS
The DCS needs to urgently appoint a national commissioner and fill in strategic management positions such as the Chief Deputy Commissioner in Human Resources as this has had negative impact on many of its employees.
We will be monitoring the implementation of the 2nd phase OSD, the accelerated grade progression and the finalisation of shift patterns.
The challenges around overcrowding and understaffing remain one of the issues we will not back away from, and in this regard, will continue raising them sharply while pursuing means to address such.
We have for long been of the view that private security firms cannot be used to rehabilitate inmates, and that the state cannot outsource its responsibility. The role of managing rehabilitation centres should be the sole responsibility of the DCS. We therefore call upon the state to incorporate the two privatised prisons, Kutama Senthumule in Limpopo and G4s in Free State into the DCS.
We wish all South Africans a happy new year.
Issued by POPCRU on 29/12/2017
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