SAPS Vacancies: Careers in South Africa Police Services

South Africa Police Services (SAPS) is a division that aims to create a safe and secure environment for all people in South Africa. Additionally, SAPS also strives to prevent anything that may threaten the safety or security of any community. The SAPS offers careers in various fields through its extensive vacancies.

SAPS Vacancies
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If you join the SAPS, you can become either a police official or a civilian employee. However, most functional police officials are directly involved in preventing, combatting, or investigating crime. Below we have compiled a piece of thorough information on all type of careers available at SAPS vacancies along with the job descriptions for each.

Becoming a Police Official

Basically, new police recruits undergo a basic training programme. Basic training and tactical policing programmes are presented at the SAPS training academies. Particularly, the programme runs for a month. Through the basic training programme, new recruits will be entitled to the following benefits:

  • Salary per month;
  • Meals and accommodation; and
  • Polmed medical aid and lower plan membership.

Then, during the next year of training, students undergo field training as student constables in uniform. Starting from this point, they work at a police station. This programme also runs for a month. By enrolling in on-field training as student constable, they will receive polmed medical aid and lower plan membership.

In fact, most new police officials start working as uniformed police officials at police stations in the Community Service Centre. Then, some police officials later join specialised units. Furthermore, they will undergo additional training to be able to work in the specialised fields that they have chosen.

After basic training, new recruits will be able to serve as Community Service Centre Officials. They need to carry out various duties such as:

  • Dealing with general enquiries from the public;
  • Making arrests and detaining suspects;
  • Dealing with complaints lodged by the public and in some cases attending scenes of complaints;
  • Recording information regarding crime on the SAPS computer system; and
  • Carrying out patrol duties in a policing sector.

Additionally, a police official who works in a Community Service Centre will gain a broad knowledge of the functions of the SAPS, statutory law, and common law.

For starters, here follows just some of the careers in SAPS vacancies that new recruits can follow after completing their training. Nevertheless, additional, specialised training is required.

Investigator at the DPCI

Basically, investigators at the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) prevent, combat, and investigate national priority offences. Specifically, commercial crime investigators focus on the investigation of corruption and serious economic offences, such as internet fraud, card fraud, and cheque fraud.

On the other hand, organised crime investigators focus on vehicle-related fraud, precious metal and diamond crime, non-ferrous metals, narcotics, wildlife crimes, stock theft, and violent crime.

Communication Interception Official

In general, a Communication Interception Official is responsible for the coordination, management, and execution of court directed surveillance requests using communication technology.

Also, he or she is responsible for covert interception and monitoring of communication generated information. In particular, he or she liaises with telecommunication networks and service provider coordinators during operational activities. Communication Interception Officials are stationed at Crime Intelligence at countrywide offices.

Crime Information Gatherer

The next SAPS vacancies available for suitable candidates are those as Crime Information Gatherers. They monitor suspects by static observation, vehicle, or foot surveillance, video recording and photography to support investigations.

Particularly, tasks include:

  • Planning of surveillance operations;
  • Compiling surveillance reports; and
  • Briefing investigation teams stationed at Crime Intelligent offices nationwide.

Close Protector

Basically, as the name suggests, Close Protector provides close protection to identified VIPs, e.g. the President and ministers by physically protecting them on foot and when they are travelling.

However, other functions include planning of operations, communication with VIPs and delegates, and maintaining equipment and recording of procedures. They have stationed at the Presidential Protection Unit and VIP Units in the provinces and Head Office.

Bomb Technicians

In general, Bomb Technician renders an effective bomb disposal service, utilizes computer systems for bomb disposal or explosive control, and renders service to users and suppliers of explosives. Also, bomb technicians inspect and dispose of any item or device which is suspected of being explosive.

Basically, bomb technicians are dispatched to all reports of a bomb threat and are trained to carry out bomb sweeps of places where such a threat has been received. They are trained to deal with any incident relating to the unlawful use of any chemical or biological agent against any person or place within the Republic of South Africa.

General Investigator

Next, a General Investigator is responsible for investigating general crimes and gathering comprehensive and complete evidence at the crime scene. This particular position of SAPS vacancies deals with just as many responsibilities as the other ones.

First of all, a General Investigator has to conduct court-driven investigations, maintains and ensures the neatness and completeness of case dockets, and recruits and maintains informers. Also, he or she has to draw up comprehensive reports on investigated crimes or alleged crimes, communicates with prosecutors and magistrates, and gives evidence in court.

Usually, General Investigators are stationed at detective services nationwide.

Criminal Record Centre Official

Local Criminal Record Centre Officials are responsible for recording crime scenes/objects by means of ideography, photography, and drafting techniques. Besides, they have to investigate crime scenes/objects to collect exhibits and clues for forensic analysis.

Furthermore, they collect, preserve, and process forensic exhibits and register cases on the system. Local Criminal Record Centre Officials are stationed at centres nationwide, supporting detectives in their investigations.

Crime Prevention Official

Another direct crime-related position offered by SAPS vacancies is Crime Prevention Official. As a Crime Prevention Official, you will have to prevent or reduce factors leading to crime by applying the constitutional mandate for democratic policing, which is addressing crime from a proactive policing point of view.

Also, you must apply principles of policing in crime prevention and planning and implement crime prevention programmes such as visible policing and roadblocks. If you join the team, you will be stationed at the South African Police Service Stations and Crime Prevention Units nationwide.

Dog Handler

Interestingly, members of the SAPS who have completed basic training and who have a passion for animals can follow a career in dog handling. In fact, police dogs and the mounted unit play an important role in the prevention, combatting, and investigation of crime.

To train and work with police animals is regarded as a specialised field and requires people with unique qualities. Then, members who have completed the dog handling course can be trained in 11 specialised fields such as:

  • Search and rescue;
  • Narcotics detection;
  • Detection of explosives and protected species; and
  • Fire investigation.


Being a detective at the police station means you are responsible for the investigation of crime. Particularly, as an operational detective, you will have to investigate a broad category of crime. Normally, you will work from the police station. You will carry out duties such as:

  • Gathering evidence;
  • Executing warrants of arrest or search warrants;
  • Using investigative techniques;
  • Preparing case dockets for court proceedings;
  • Attending crime scenes;
  • Tracking and arresting suspects;
  • Searching premises and seizing evidence;
  • Investigating reported crime; and
  • Serving summonses and subpoenas.

Border Police

As a border police personnel, you will prevent the illegal entry and exit of people and goods to and from South Africa. Furthermore, you will work in cooperation with other government departments to make the country ports, international airports, and seaports safe.

Hostage Negotiator

In fact, this is one of the most dangerous positions among many SAPS vacancies. Hostage negotiators deal with hostage situations and suicide-related incidents.

Fascinatingly, these negotiators are specifically trained and equipped with negotiation skills to ensure the safety of persons involved in different types of hostage situations, attempted suicide, kidnappings, and barricades. Negotiators do this work in addition to their normal duties.

Forensic Scientists

Usually, forensic scientists who work at the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) analyse physical evidence that is collected at crime scenes. Then, all relevant physical evidence and clues are studied and interpreted according to accepted scientific principles.

During investigations, forensic science is used to bring criminals to justice and to protect innocent people from prosecution. For instance, some of the scientists working at the FSL are Forensic Biological Analyst, Forensic Chemical Analyst, Ballistics Analyst, Questioned Document Examiner, and Forensic Science Analyst.

Other Positions Available at SAPS

Nevertheless, people who do not want to become police officials but who would like to work in the SAPS as civilian employees can apply for vacant positions. Generally, they carry out tasks such as:

  • Personnel administration
  • Procurement
  • Clerical duties
  • Financial administration
  • Typing
  • Secretarial duties
  • Messenger services
  • Cleaning services

However, the various positions have specific requirements.

Application for Appointment in Terms of the SAPS Vacancies

Someone who applies for SAPS vacancies must:

  • Fill out the official application form and affirm under oath or by means of a solemn declaration that the information he or she supplied on the application is true and correct;
  • Be prepared to undergo any training as determined by the National Commissioner of the SAPS;
  • Have a permanent residence in the Republic of South Africa (RSA), or which he or she must give documentary proof;
  • Be at least 18 years old and younger than 30 years (documentary proof is needed);
  • Undergo a physical and medical examination as determined by the SAPS and a psychological assessment as determined by the National Commissioner of the SAPS;
  • Be prepared to take the oath of office;
  • Have a Senior Certificate (Grade 12) or an equivalent qualification, of which he or she must present documentary proof;
  • Be fluent in, at least, English and one other official language;
  • Not have any visible tattoos that are contrary to the objectives of the SAPS;
  • Let his/her fingerprints be taken;
  • Be prepared to have his or her background checked;
  • Not have previous criminal convictions; and
  • Be prepared to serve anywhere in South Africa.

How to Apply for a Position in the SAPS

New SAPS vacancies are advertised in the media. Therefore, if you are interested in joining the SAPS, look out for those advertisements. Usually, they are published in the Appointments, Careers, or Jobs sections of newspapers.

The job description in an advertisement shows how and where you could be employed. Also, it shows the unit/section and town/city where you could be stationed and what your duties would be.

Furthermore, keep in mind that you must be prepared to serve anywhere in the Republic of South Africa where your services are needed if you are appointed.

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