By Bathandwa Mbola
Adding to governments mandate to create and attract critical skills, 261 Tshwane Metro Police recruits have received National Certificates in Policing (NQF Level 5).
The Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality is the first to pilot outcomes-based NQF Level 5 qualification for its metro police officers, which makes them the first to receive a National Certificate in Policing in the country.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony on Thursday, Executive Mayor, Gwen Ramokgopa said: "the course is aligned with the South African Police Service (SAPS) curriculum and it deals with the challenges of policing. It also allows for a more practical exposure and better skills acquisition.
'The training also forms part of a broader strategy to combat crime. Our members have joined forces with other law-enforcement agencies in cracking serious crime cases.'
The new training which is presented over a period of two years and includes theory, field training, six months in crime investigation and another six months in crime prevention.
Of the 261 graduates, 100 are women and according to Ms Ramokgopa, this is a reflection of the citys commitment, through its departments to put into practice gender equality which is required by the government.
The municipality is in the process of getting extra 350 recruits that are expected to commence with their training in the New Year.
In order to tackle crime effectively during the festive season the metropolitan police will not take leave, Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) of Community Safety, Dikeledi Lehobye said during the ceremony.
"We want to increase our capacity in making Tshwane a safer city during this period and we are forging links and strengthening our partnership with the community and other law enforcement agencies in fighting crime,' she said.
The metro police will also focus mainly on road policing aimed at reducing the number of fatal accidents, crime prevention and by-law transgression. This will see the metro police increasing visibility in areas most frequented by shoppers.
To ensure safety in the city, the municipality has trained youths in Soshanguve, Mamelodi and Attridgeville to do point duty and also assist with minor traffic control.
"With the challenge of power shedding, we will need more personnel to help with point duties at intersections and traffic lights. We will be adopting a zero-tolerance approach during this period," Ms Lehobye said.