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The SAPS or the ‘South African Police Service’ is the national police force of the Republic of South Africa. The nine provinces of South Africa have 1116 police stations and as a result, there are manySAPS careers available. South African police service vacancies are also on the rise as the South African government is seeing a need to increase funding to this sector.


The SAPS is responsible for preventing, investigating and combating crime. The various individuals in the SAPS are tasked with maintaining public order, protecting and securing the inhabitants of South Africa. SAPS careers involve upholding and enforcing the law of the country, create a safe and secure environment for all people in the South African Republic. The SAPS must prevent anything that might challenge the safety or security of any community or individual. They must investigate any crimes that threatens the safety or security of any community or individual. Lastly they are tasked with ensuring that criminals are brought to justice and participate in initiatives to address the causes of crime.

The SAPS is divided into two divisions: the SAPS and the Metro Police. The SAPS is South Africa’s national police force and the Metro Police is the city’s police force. Each city in South Africa has its own dedicated police force. Both control and prevent crime, but the SAPS is mainly a reactive service. They respond to and investigate crimes. Then by comparison, the Metro Police’s approach is more proactive. They have an emphasis on preventing crime and reducing the reasons for committing it. Metro Police officers, in South Africa, do not have the legal authority to imprison people, so when they make an arrest, the person in question is handed over to the SAPS for investigation and detainment.

Now that you know more about what police jobs involve, we are going to go into more depth on what kinds of SAPS careers one can apply for and what the procedures are on applying for South African Police Service vacancies.

Requirements of a person who wishes to join the SAPS

There are many requirements that must be met in order for an individual to be eligible to apply for SAPS careers. Here is the full list as laid down by the SAPS. According to the SAPS, you need to:

• Be a South African citizen by birth
• Be at least 25, but under 40 years of age, of which documentary proof must be furnished
• Complete a health questionnaire, at his or her own cost, which is confirmed by a registered medical practitioner
• Be medically, mentally and physically fit to perform duties
• Be of good and sound character
• Fit the psychometric profile and must successfully complete any other test that may be determined by the National Commissioner
• Be in possession of at least a senior certificate (Grade 12) or must have successfully completed a SAQA accredited NQF level 4 qualification, of which documentary proof must be provided
• Be able to speak, read and write at least two official languages, of which one must be English
• Allow his or her fingerprints and a DNA sample to be taken
• Be prepared to undergo such training as may be determined by the National Commissioner
• Be prepared to take the prescribed oath of office
• Understand that his or her services may be terminated at the age of 60
• Complete an assessment questionnaire
• Be vetted or screened
• Be employed and provide proof of employment
• Provide proof of his or her residential address
• Not have a criminal record or any criminal or departmental cases pending against him or her (all criminal or departmental cases must be declared)
• Not have a tattoo which will be visible if the person wears a uniform

**South African Police Service, What are the requirements for appointment? Source:**

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