Update March 14, 2022: The Criminal Record Centre (SAPS CRC) has re-opened with a huge backlog in Police Clearance Certificates.
Update March 08, 2022: The Criminal Record Centre (SAPS CRC) has again closed and posted a notice of indefinite closure on their doors (see image). This time, the issue appears to be unpaid rent and not a utility issue.
Update February 21, 2022: SAPS has resumed the services at the CRC after their landlord apparently paid the defaulting amount.
Many South Africans were outraged by the Police Clearance Certificate backlog they experienced from SAPS during February 2022. The headquarters of the South African Police Service (SAPS) had their utilities cut by the City of Tshwane. This was due to non-payment of electricity bills by the building’s landlord. However, in February 2022, the City of Tshwane confirmed that electricity had been restored after an account of R5 million was settled.
On Wednesday, 16 February 2022, the South African Police Service said services would start continuing as usual at its administrative headquarters, where all Police Clearance Certificates are issued, despite an earlier announcement of the discontinuation of municipal service due to debt.
This was the result of the Tshwane va tima (Tshwane switches off) campaign. The aggressive campaign targeted defaulters by switching off their utilities.
A word from SAPS
SAPS spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe explained that SAPS is a tenant in the building, whose municipal bills had not been paid by the landlord.
“It was initially reported that utility services had been disconnected by the City of Tshwane following reports of non-payment of such services. The SAPS can confirm that the Wachthuis building is leased by the national department of public works and infrastructure (DPWI) for use by the police service,” she said.
The DPWI settles the rental payment on a monthly basis to the landlords in accordance with the lease agreement.
“The landlords have a responsibility to pay for municipal services, on a monthly basis. DPWI then recoups such monies from the SAPS as per the devolution agreement.”
Delayed service delivery leads to a backlog in the issuing of South African Police Clearance Certificates
Many South Africans that urgently needed their Police Clearance Certificates were furious with the delays caused by the suspension of water and electricity services at the SAPS headquarters.
Estimated turnaround times were delayed by roughly a week following the event. It must be understood that the problem is not due to slow delivery on Apostil.co.za’s account.
Closure of CRC happens again
Yet, in March 2022, the door of the CRC displayed a message from the landlord citing closure for non-payment of rent, not utilities. Rumours have circled that SARS owes the landlord more the R100 million in unpaid rental.
The expected delays are at least one week, if not longer, should the unpaid rental issue take longer to resolve or be paid.
Planning for possible delays in the future
Hopefully the matter will be dealt with appropriately and as swiftly as possible. However, it is clear to see that a SAPS PCC departmental shutdown of this magnitude has detrimental effects on many South African citizens.
Here at Apostil.co.za, we always advise our clients to apply for their essential documents like police clearance certificates well ahead of time. This will help them to account for possible delays.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about the timely planning of your documentation needs!