Pretoria – The Ministry of Police has noted and welcomed today’s decision by the Constitutional Court that police officers employed under the SAPS Act are not allowed to engage in industrial action.
“The judgment affirms our view that our members perform an essential service, and therefore should not be allowed to strike. The ministry had argued for all employees of the SAPS to be defined as an essential service, and that they not be allowed to participate in any industrial action,” the ministry said in a statement.
However, the Court disagreed and ruled that the civilian component of the SAPS workforce or staff members that are employed under the Public Service Act, should be allowed to strike or protest.
“We are slightly disappointed by this specific ruling, as the civilian component performs important supporting duties for the SAPS. Our firm view is premised along an understanding that a strike by the civilian component would cripple the normal functioning of the SAPS. We nevertheless pledge to abide by the Court’s decision,” the ministry said.
The ministry will further explore various mechanisms and put appropriate contingency measures in place in cases where industrial actions may arise.
The main objective would be to ensure that during such strikes, normal policing remains unhindered.
“After all we have a duty and a mandate to ensure the safety of all law-abiding citizens. We have demonstrated in the past, through successful securing of some of the biggest events this country has hosted; for example, the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the When Duty Calls festive season, the recent Local Government Elections to mention but a few – that we have the capacity to ensure the safety and security of society,” the ministry said. – BuaNews