The current rate of crime in South Africa, as well as the numerous challenges facing the SAPS (including accusations of crime stats manipulation at police stations and organisational changes that have hampered policing at every level) has highlighted the need for sound oversight mechanisms to deal with the problems.
Internal oversight is available within the SAPS in the form of the National Inspectorate. This is a division of the police tasked to conduct inspections and evaluations of police stations and specialist police units as well as investigations of complaints against the SAPS. The service ensures an effective and well-functioning organisation and ultimately contributes to a crime-free and safe country.
The National Inspectorate is facing a crisis at the moment. Structural changes within the division have led to deteriorating conditions in the operational functioning of the police - to the extent that intervention was required by SAPS leadership. This paper provides an account of the impact the changes have wrought on the SAPS as well as service delivery to the public and offers alternatives to strengthening the function.