n South African Journal of Criminal Justice - Transformation in the South African Police Service : the implementation of affirmative action and employment equity in SAPS

Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-8527
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2118



The real transformation of the South African Police Service by the country's first democratically elected government started in 1994. At that time the police were confronted with a serious legitimacy crisis among a majority of South Africans as a consequence of many decades of brutal and racist apartheid policing practices. It was not until 1997 that the South African Police Service drafted what it called the 'Credo for Affirmative Action'. This document stated that 'in order to manifest commitment to this policy and constitutional responsibility, the South African Police Service shall strive to reflect the demographics of the country in all occupational classes and at all levels of the organisation at national and provincial levels, in terms of race and gender'. At this point the goals set for the organisation included ensuring that middle and senior management levels comprised of at least 50 percent black people and 30 percent women by the year 2000. In October 2001, the organisation developed and released a national employment equity plan intensifying the process of transformation. By 2005, the South African Police Service looked significantly different in terms of its racial profile.

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