A useful insight into South African society: why we have more crime and corruption despite being a middle-income country?

The South African Police Service (SAPS) wants to re-enlist former police officers. But are police salaries good enough to entice former officers back to work or to keep serving members motivated? Many people don’t think so, but compared to most South African police are paid fairly well.

In 2018, constables earned between R175,000 and R213,000, sergeants between R222,000 and R270,000 and warrant officers between R278,000 and R407,000. These are all non-commissioned ranks which can be attained without any post-school training outside of what the organisation provides.

Senior SAPS managers can earn up to R2-million a year but most police will remain non-commissioned officers throughout their careers. Eighty-four percent (125,890) of officers employed in 2017/18 were constables, sergeants and warrant officers.

This is a feature of the occupation, not the SAPS. Police organisations must be bottom-heavy. While many officers enter the profession with aspirations of climbing the rank ladder, relatively few will as there will always be a limited number of managerial posts. ….more