If you would like to perform policing duties, but do not want to join the South African Police Service (SAPS) as a permanent member, you could consider becoming a reservist. A reservist is a member of the community who performs policing duties or activities for the SAPS on a voluntary basis without being paid for those services.
A person can become a reservist in one of the following categories as determined for police reservists:
- Category A Reservists: Functional Policing
- Category B Reservists: Support Services
- Category C Reservists: Specialised Functional Policing
- Category D Reservists: Rural and Urban Sector Policing
Category A Reservists: Functional Policing
- Carry out duties in all operational facets of policing, excluding specialised functional
- Duties, at station, area or provincial level
- May wear a uniform
- Undergo training in the relevant aspects of functional policing
Category B Reservists: Support Services
- Carry out support duties at national, provincial, area or station level and may not perform functional duties
- May not wear a uniform or be issued with a firearm
- May only perform support duties where necessary
- Undergo training in the legal aspects, policies and instructions that are applicable to their specific duties.
Category C Reservists: Specialised Functional Policing
- Have specific skills or expertise which can be used for operational duties (these reservists include pilots, doctors, divers, social workers and psychologists)
- Carry out duties that relate to their fields of expertise
- May, with the approval of their commanders, wear uniform
- Undergo training in the legal aspects, policies and instructions that are applicable to their duties and for such periods as may be determined by the National Commissioner or the provincial commissioner
Category D Reservists: Rural and Urban Sector Policing
- Carry out operational duties as part of sector policing in urban and rural areas in a specific sector or in specified areas as determined by their commanders
- May wear uniform, depending on their duties
- Are trained in the aspects of sector policing and/or functional policing that apply to their duties. Additional training is needed if they are involved in sector policing or functional operations
A reservist who is appointed in one category can be transferred to any other category if he or she meets all the requirements for the specific category and has undergone or is willing to undergo the required training for that category.
What are the requirements for becoming a reservist?
In terms of the Regulations for the South African Police Reserve Service (Government Gazette, 22 March 2002 ) the requirements for becoming a reservist are as follows:
- You must have permanent residence in the Republic of South Africa .
- You must be at least 18 years and under 70 years of age (documentary proof must be given).
- A minor (underage person) can only be appointed as a reservist with the written permission of his or her legal guardian.
- You must complete a health questionnaire as determined by the National Commissioner.
- You must be free of any mental or physical defect, disease or infirmity, which may interfere with the proper execution of your duties.
- You must be of good character and references must be provided.
- You must successfully complete the psychometric tests/assessments determined by the National Commissioner.
- You must have at least a Senior Certificate or an equivalent qualification of which documentary proof must be provided.
- You must be able to speak, read and write at least English as one of the official languages.
- You must allow your fingerprints to be taken and must not have been found guilty of an offence or be under prosecution for an offence.
- You must have no visible tattoos.
- You must be prepared to undergo training as may be determined.
- You must be prepared to take the oath of office.
- Possessing a driver’s licence is a recommendation, but not a requirement for reservists.
- Reservists are selected according to the same procedure as permanent members. Take note that reservists work on a voluntary basis. A position as a reservist does not guarantee that a person will be appointed in the Service if he or she applies for a post.
What should I do to become a reservist?
When you have decided that you want to become a reservist you should:
- Approach your nearest police station and ask who the appointed reservist co-ordinator is at the police station.
- The co-ordinator will see to it that you fill out the necessary forms.
- In the case of an application for appointment in the Reserve Air Wing or Mounted Unit, an additional indemnity form must also be completed.
Ensure that you take the following documentation along to the police station:
- A certified copy of your identity document
- A certified copy of your driver’s licence, if you have one
- Certified copies of your academic qualifications
If you are found to be suitable:
- Your application will be approved by the area commissioner.
- You will be sworn in and issued with a letter of appointment with the designation “student police reservist”.
- Thereafter your training will start. However, you will not be allowed to perform functional duties before you have successfully completed the training course.
- After you have completed the training and worked for six months, you will be issued with an official appointment certificate and a uniform.
For more information contact your nearest police station.
(This information was taken from the SAPS website: www.saps.co.za )
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