You all know by now that the ZACP has a strong policy of advocating for legal and responsible firearm ownership. Why? Because you have the right to protect your life and the lives of those around you. But that’s not what this article is about.
This article is about the estimated 200 000-plus people who quietly live in the shadows and just get the job done. They aren’t awarded accolades and huge shows of gratitude. And they are often berated and talked down because of the actions of the politicians at the top driving the country in the wrong direction.
I’m referring to the men and women of the South African Police Services, Correctional Services, Emergency Medical and Fire Services. Without these dedicated people anarchy would reign. They are the thin blue line between those who respect life and liberty and those who do not.
This past year has been one of bungle after idiotic bungle at policy and implementation level within these services. We are seeing dedicated policemen willing to serve – but without vehicles. Our hospitals are in horrendous states of decay – yet still the doctors and nurses forge ahead as best they can. Just a month ago the SAPS announced sweeping promotions and increases for members of the VIP unit and static parliamentary guards. A despicable slap in the face to the uniformed Visible Policing members around the country. Many of whom have served 12 years and more in their current ranks. The SAPS is demoralised, demotivated and mismanaged.
The ZACP says enough. Our policy is simple – policing and politics should never mix. South Africa needs a national commissioner (and provincial commissioners) who are career policemen and women, and who have worked their way up through the ranks. We must stop this disgraceful policy of political appointees occupying policing positions. We demand a return to policing fundamentals and Peelian Principles. And the State must properly reward the women and men who it employs to fight crime and save lives for their service.
We want to end random en-bloc promotions. Promotions within SAPS need to return to the cornerstone of rewarding study towards the NDip Police Sciences and related fields. We need to place those with the relevant education at the front of the promotion queue. The Police Service must properly compensate its members for the dangers of their job. It is of grave concern that so many exceptional policemen reach retirement age serving at stations. They can better spend their last years of service by training new members and imparting the knowledge that they have acquired.
The ZACP is all about freedom and individual rights – and without proper functioning police and emergency services, this isn’t going to happen. South Africa needs de-centralised policing. We need a provincial police service and a national service overlaying this. With more regional control over budgets, training and equipment we can have a police service that has the right tools for the job, procured in a transparent manner. It is vital that we decentralise training to a provincial level to speed up delivery to members. And that we hand all non-essential policing functions to civilian structures, so that our police can police.
We have spoken with Warrant Officers in the service that earn as little as R16 000 a month after more than twenty years of loyal service – with no hope of promotion. The ZACP is committed to a functional government that runs like a business. We want government to build new medical facilities with the taxes you’re already paying. Not the disastrous flirtation with the NHI that will kill healthcare in South Africa. Government should not do things which the private sector can do better and cheaper. But until we can get to that point, let us at least fix what we already have. We definitely want more ambulances on the road, and should encourage every school leaver to be equipped with basic first aid skills – life saving skills.
We are not out there on the national ballot to win the election. At least not this time. What we do need, is to be your voice in parliament. Just 120 000 votes will give us three seats in parliament to be that voice. Voting for the ZACP will not upset the balance between the majority and official opposition parties. What it will do, is give an outlet to the things that are important to you.
Support a strong, stable and functional police service that serves the people of this country, and respects its hard working members with a zero corruption standpoint. Vote for the purple Cow!
Written by Gideon Joubert
Gideon is the owner and editor of Paratus, as well as a parliamentary candidate for the ZACP