South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the 78th United Nations General Assembly

President Cyril Ramaphosa welcomed 1,400 new police recruits to strengthen the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the nation's fight against crime.

Speaking at the National Defense Force's 3 South African Infantry Battalion in Kimberley on Thursday, Ramaphosa commended the newly trained police officers, and said they will be deployed to various police stations alongside public order policing, visible policing, family violence, child protection and sexual offenses specialized units.

A number of ceremonies will be taking place this week across various provinces where a total of 10,000 officers have completed their basic training.

Ramaphosa noted that the first task, among others, of these new constables will be to ensure the safety and security of South Africans during the upcoming festive season, hinting at Christmas Day and New Year celebrations.

"Police members are the first responders. Police members are [the] first point of contact with victims of crime. Police stations are the places people go first when a crime has been committed. Suspects who have been apprehended or arrested are taken away in police vans or detained at police stations," SA News reported, citing Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa thanked the new recruits and emphasized that being a police officer was the "path of the bravest of the brave," as they involved grueling training, extended periods away from friends and family, while working hard in difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions.

"This profession puts you at the frontline of service to our citizens, who come to you for help and in the frontline in the fight against crime. And yet it is a path you have chosen. The path of the bravest of the brave, the path of service and dedication. For this, we thank you and we salute you," he said.

Meanwhile, the president noted that crime has been affecting the country's economy, especially small and large businesses, and blocking economic recovery.

"A strong, capacitated and well-resourced South African Police Service is critical in the fight against crime," the president said, adding that the new recruits were part of a new front in the fight against crime.

"We are tired of criminals operating with impunity. We are tired of the abuse and violence directed at women, children and other vulnerable groups. We are tired of the rule of law being undermined," he said.

In February 2023, during the State of the Nation Address, it was announced that the SAPS would train 10,000 new recruits in addition to the 10,000 recruits from last year.

Ramaphosa revealed that high-density operations under Operation Shanela across the country led to over 250,000 arrests, seizure of more than 3,200 firearms and recovery of 1,700 stolen vehicles.

In addition, the police have made notable strides in tackling crimes like cash in transit heists, drug smuggling, illegal mining and protecting critical infrastructure.

Since the start of this financial year, the police have secured 247 life sentences for 187 perpetrators of gender-based violence by coordinating with the National Prosecution Authority.

On Sunday, Police Minister Bheki Cele assured the nation that it will be "all-hands-on deck" by law enforcement officials to ensure a safe holiday period in the country.