Pretoria, 06 November 2017: The South African Police Service held it’s first Head Office Women’s Network and Men for Change Excellence Awards on Friday evening in Pretoria to honour and recognize the outstanding efforts of employees, both men and women in blue who went beyond the call of duty to perform selfless and kind acts to the people of South Africa.

This prestigious event, celebrated employees who ploughed back to society ensuring that they too make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

Amongst the categories presented were General Worker of the Year, and Disability Employee of the Year awards.

The Best Community Outreach Programme Team was awarded to the Technology Management Service Division and The Best Community Outreach Programme under category individual, went to Mrs JM Phalatse from the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Unit.

These individuals were recognised for assisting in the following projects:

* Building a three-bedroomed house for Mrs Maphothoma, an elderly woman who resides in Klipgat. During a visit in the area earlier this year, the team discovered that the elderly woman was living in a one-bedroomed shack with her eight grandchildren who are all orphans. The men and women in blue took it upon themselves to garner funds to not only build the elderly woman a home but also provide food parcels.

* A home was also built for Mr Kekana, a groundsman who hails from Kwa-Mhlanga in Mpumalanga. Earlier this year, his house was gutted by fire and in the process lost all his valuable belongings. The team who were hard at work and ensured that they re-build Mr Kekana a home.

* The good Samaritans in blue also adopted Dirang Primary School in Klipgat in the North West Province, where Women’s Network and Men for Change continue to assist learners mostly from disadvantaged backgrounds, with school uniform and day-to-day necessities. To date, the team has provided 476 school shoes to the disadvantaged learners.

* Food parcels, blankets and other necessities are being provided to orphanages and old age homes nationwide throughout the year.

The beneficiaries who were in attendance, thanked members for changing their lives for the better.

During her keynote address, founding member and champion for the Women’s Network and Men for Change structure, Deputy National Commissioner for Human Resources Management in the South African Police Service, Lt Gen Bonang Mgwenya thanked and encouraged members to continue with their humanitarian aid of saving lives, alleviating suffering and maintaining human dignity.

“You have executed these tasks with commitment, passion and dedication over and above your normal daunting office or policing duties. You went beyond the call of duty to uplift disadvantaged members of the community, especially women and children. We congratulate and appreciate each and every nominee and award winner and trust that you will aspire to reach even higher heights in the years to come and in the process, to be role models to those around you and to inspire them to also make a difference in the lives of those who need it the most”.

The Women’s Network and Men for Change structure was established for the sole purpose of championing the rights of the most vulnerable groups in society.

Since its inception, the structure has played a pivotal role in aligning itself with community building projects, fighting gender-based crimes, with a strong focus on moral regeneration and to ensure that the SAPS ploughs back to communities they ought to serve and protect Winners and runner-ups were awarded with trophies, certificates and gifts amongst other tokens of appreciation.

The Women’s Network and Men for Change also thanked the support of the business community for continuously supporting the Service in donations to ensure that the SAPS continues to give back to society.

This awards ceremony coincided with the Human Resources Utilization Division Unit Excellence Awards which took place earlier during the day at the Burgers Park Hotel in Pretoria. The Divisional Commissioner for HRU, Lt Gen Sello Kwena was joined by DNC Lt Gen Mgwenya in recognizing employees for their hard work and commitment during the past financial year.