COSATU congratulates its Affiliate, POPCRU, on reaching a historic milestone of 33 years

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) congratulates its indefatigable affiliate, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) on reaching its historic 33 years of militant struggles on behalf of police and prisons officers.

POPCRU was launched during the dark days of the liberation struggle for police and prisons officers, who refused to be used by the then apartheid regime to suppress the desires and aspirations of the people for a democratic, non-racial, and free South Africa.

This progressive union has dedicated itself to improving the lives and conditions of its members and their families and won many victories for its members. It has become a loud and consistent voice of SAPS, Correctional Services (DCS) and the overall security cluster personnel.

Its tireless efforts have seen the wages, pensions, medical and other benefits of SAPS and DCS personnel improve.

POPCRU has not been content to focus solely on championing the causes of its members, but has consistently contributed towards its Federation, COSATU, and has helped lead working class struggles.

The union has tirelessly continued to push its employer to improve the conditions of its members, ranging from ensuring that public servants can earn a living wage, to protecting their salaries from inflationary erosion.

We expect the union to lead in ensuring that employers respect the sacrifices that our SAPS and DCS members make daily to keep South Africans safe and enforce law and order.

The employer needs to respect collective bargaining, pay public servants a living wage and ensure that they can afford to house and educate their children. The police stations and correctional service centres need to be sufficiently resourced. The nation cannot afford to see police officers trapped in dilapidated containers masquerading as police stations. Our prisons cannot afford to deal with 200% overcrowding levels.

Parliament needs to expedite the Revenue Amendment Bill allowing highly indebted workers limited access to their pension funds when in need.

The NPA and judiciary need to ensure that those who attack, wound and murder SAPS and DCS personnel meet the full might of the law and are sentenced to life in prison.  It is a national shame that on average 1 SAPS member is murdered every week.

SAPS resources and personnel need to be redeployed from head offices to stations. The gangs running havoc in our prisons need to be dealt with.

The Police Secretariat and Parliament need to prioritize the Fire Arms Amendment Bill to help reduce the flood of firearms putting the lives of SAPS personnel and ordinary South Africans at alarming risk.

COSATU will continue to walk side by side with POPCRU as we wage battle on behalf of its members and the working class.

Issued by COSATU   

Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794