About Metro Police
The Metropolitan Police Services (MPS), known as the Municipal Police in South Africa, is the territorial police force that is responsible for law enforcement. It is established in the terms of Section 206 (7) of the South African Constitution and Section 64 (E) of the South African Police Services Act. The Municipal Police in South Africa are exists entirely independently from the South African Police Services (SAPS) and are funded by, and accountable to, local or city governments.
Details about the establishment of a municipal police service can be found in the South African Police Services Amendment Act No. 83 of 1998. The act says that any municipality (urban or rural, large or small) may apply to establish a municipal police service. The Metropolitan Police Services in South Africa (Municipal Police) that are currently operating are Johannesburg Metro Police, Cape Town Metro Police, Ethekwini Metro Police, Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Police, Tshwane Metro Police and Ekurhuleni Metro Police.
In the South African cities, the municipalities are often referred to as ‘metropolitan councils’, hence in these cities, the people refer to ‘metro police’. The acronym ‘MPS’ is used whether it is referring to municipal or metro police services – or MPD for a police department.
The powers and responsibilities of South African municipal police are more restricted than those of the South African Police Services. The Municipal Police is responsible for traffic policing and enforcing local by-laws within the municipality. They also work in cooperation with the South Africa Police Service to prevent crime and maintain public order. According to Section 64E of the SAPS Act, the statutory functions of a municipal police service are:
- Traffic policing
- Policing of municipal by-laws and regulations
- Preventing crime
While the first two functions are fairly clear, some people mistake the meaning of ‘crime prevention’ as that the MPS should engage in, or be responsible for, all types of crime prevention, which would include:
- Primary prevention, with potential perpetrators and victims
- Secondary prevention, with those who are already defined as victims or perpetrators
- Tertiary prevention, with the general public
This assumption makes the council’s crime prevention functions seem centralised in the MPS. Others believe that the MPS will only engage in traditional policy-type crime prevention, which is based on the idea that the mere presence of ununiformed police officers will deter crime, and hence emphasises visible policing strategies, such as patrols.
Municipal police forces do not conduct criminal investigations. Anyone arrested by the municipal police on suspicion of committing a criminal offence must be handed over to a SAPS station as soon as possible.
Metro Police Learnerships
The metropolitan cities of South Africa provide skills development opportunities to not only their employees but also to residents of the municipality. The opportunities that include bursaries, internships and learnerships are all available to the young generation. Specifically, they have offerings for those who are interested in joining the police forces – a Metro Police Learnership programme.
A learnership is a Vocational Education and Training Programme that combines theory and practice, culminating in a qualification that is registered with the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA). The learnerships target matriculants who are yet to obtain higher education qualifications. The aim is to train them so they can be employable in the future. Learnerships are advertised in newspapers when available.
The duration of the learnership programme will be 18 months in total, which consists of 12 (twelve) months training for the traffic officer qualification and 6 (six) months of training in the police skills programme. Trainees will be subjected to the terms of the learnership contract and will be awarded monthly stipend in compliance with the area’s policy.
In order to be fully admitted in the Metro Police Learnership programme, candidates will need to undergo the following recruitment process.
- Physical fitness evaluation
- Driving evaluation
- Psychometric assessment (if necessary)
- Medical assessment
- Complete an English proficiency pre-requisite test (if necessary)
- Verification of fingerprints and qualifications
Admitted candidates will be subjected to the terms of the learnership contract and they must be willing to undergo intense training including after hours. Trainees will be taught in the aspects of the National Road Traffic Act and Regulations, Legal Subjects, SAPS Act, By-laws, Domestic Violence Act, Social Crime Prevention Act, Firearm Training, etc.
Please note that permanent employment is not guaranteed after the completion of learnerships.
General Requirements for the Metro Police Learnerships
In order to be admitted for a metro police learnership programme, candidates must first consider whether they meet the following requirements or not.
- A South African citizen in possession of a legitimate RSA Identity document (ID) – a certified copy of ID must be attached.
- Resided in the metropolitan area where the Metro Police Department that the applicant is applying to for the learnership, is located – proof of residence and affidavit must be attached.
- Aged between 18 and 35 years old
- Possess a valid Senior Certificate (Grade 12) or Matric – a certified copy of such certificate must be attached.
- Submit a comprehensive and updated Curriculum Vitae (CV)
- Physically and mentally healthy, proven with an original Medical Certificate.
- Have no criminal record(s) or illicit activity recorded – fingerprints will be taken for purposes of checking criminal records.
- Have not been declared incompetent to possess a firearm in terms of Section 102, 103 or 104 of the Firearms Control Act 60 / 2000.
- Proficient in English
- Possess at least a valid Code B driving license (manual transmission) – a certified copy of the license must be attached.
- Reliable, honest, patient, have a positive attitude and able to work under pressure and under any weather condition as well as shift hours.
How to Apply
Individuals who are interested in joining the Metro Police Learnerships may apply online on the relevant Metro Police Department’s webpage. Applications will not be considered if the necessary required qualifications and documents are not attached to the online application. Applicants may be requested to submit proof of the NQF level applicable to the qualifications that they have obtained.
Application documents should not be sent by fax or e-mail, otherwise it will not be accepted.
Applicants who are not notified until 8 weeks after the application deadline should be regarded as having been unsuccessful with the application.