The Premier Soccer League, PSL, together with the South African Police Service, SAPS, recently announced a historic partnership that will play a strategic role in crime prevention, more especially among the youth.
The PSL Chairman, Irvin Khoza, with the Minister of Police Mr Bheki Cele, made the announcement on September 6. The initiative will commence at the opening festival of the MultiChoice Diski Challenge in Hammersdale in KwaZulu-Natal.
It will be rolled out throughout the country during the nine Diski Challenge festivals.
Speaking at the launch, Khoza said football has a vital role to play to help the SAPS to address some of the challenges.
“As football, we cannot fold our arms and say the challenges our country face in relation to crime are not our problem. Instead of the blame game and finger-pointing, we have to ask ourselves ‘what can we do to make a difference’. Prevention is better than cure. With this initiative, we seek, through action, not just words, to play a meaningful role in the revival of the value system, more especially among the youth. It is this value system that will moderate social cohesion. We would like to thank MultiChoice for being a good corporate citizen.”
The PSL chairman thanked Cele for his pro-active approach in combating crime.
“As a nation, we cannot ask for a better minister of police. Given our challenges, it is important that we have a responsive person like Minister Cele ably assisted by the national police commissioner, General Khehla Sitole.”
Khoza also thanked KwaZulu Natal government for hosting the first Diski Challenge in the province.
The PSL and SAPS have also announced that a joint task team has been established between the two organisations to look at a number of operational matters relating to football matches.
Sitole said: “Between us and the football community, we are now guided by the same vision. We want to see safe and secure events. The task team between us will be to work towards creating a smooth working relationship between us.”
Cele said: “Policing is about partnerships with the communities, and that is why we are excited about this partnership with the PSL. I believe we are at the right door because football is the biggest sport in this country. We thank the PSL for giving us this opportunity to get closer to the youth. As the police, we have many challenges. Our correctional services (prisons) are overcrowded and we have a lot of young people there. We hope this will help reduce crime among the youth.”
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