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Welcoming address SAPS Women Indaba: Deputy National Commissioner, Human Resource Management, Lieutenant General BC Mgwenya

Gauteng, 06 June 2018

Programme Director
National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Sitole
Deputy National Commissioners of the SAPS present
Divisional, Regional and Provincial Commissioners
SAPS senior women managers in blue
Members of the SAPS internal media
Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my distinct honour and privilege to welcome you at the first of its kind SAPS Women Indaba 2018 here at the Velmore Hotel in Gauteng.

A special word of welcome is extended to our National Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole whose strategic leadership, guidance and support leads us as women and senior managers to reach greater heights and to become the best that we can be.

Welcome to all our senior managers, our female Lieutenant Generals and Major Generals who came from all over the country to attend this very important, groundbreaking Indaba.

It is heartwarming to see so many women in top management positions in the SAPS. It is truly an honor to be in the company of women of your caliber. To work side by side with you to advance and empower women in our organization is an exciting challenge, one I have championed for many years and a journey with which I am exceptionally proud to be associated.

I am thrilled that there are various initiatives that are gaining momentum to address the issues that affect women in our organization. The support of our National Commissioner in steering many of these initiatives is indicative of his dedication and commitment to emancipate and empower women under his leadership and we are grateful for that.

During our previous work session in March 2018, when the women lieutenant generals gathered, he took time from his busy schedule to join us, outline the SAPS turnaround vision and hear some expectations from attendees. He stressed the vision rationale, vision deliverables and the vision description so that we as female managers could understand and buy into these concepts and to enable us to sing from the same hymn book.

General Sitole furthermore discussed the vital role that female officers play in some of the turnaround pillars, making examples of open spaces that pose risks in terms of sexual violent crimes, engagements with civil society, the contribution of female officers as mothers with regards to moral fibre investment and initiatives to assist other women in communities towards economic advancement. Our National Commissioner also spoke about mentorship and succession plan strategies that need to be developed.

I am sure that all women lieutenant generals departed from the work session with a clear vision and understanding of what is expected of us as female managers and the crucial role we play in the upliftment of our other female members. Although it is a daunting task, we need to continue to support each other as senior managers and we also have to look after other female officers on lower levels. We have to work in unison as senior managers and leadership, as members on lower levels easily note when there are problems in the top structure and this causes uncertainty and instability.

Allow me to acknowledge the crucial role played by the SAPS Women’s Network which has worked tirelessly to further the women agenda within the organization and beyond.  Just yesterday in Soshanguve we reached out to a needy orphanage and highlighted the scourge of police killings through the dedicated efforts of the Women’s Network and Men for Change.  We, the women in the SAPS, have made our mark as women leaders in law enforcement in South Africa, the region and internationally.  Let this Indaba allow us to bring new and innovative ideas to the table as we pass the baton on to the younger generation of women leaders.

Let us remember that this is the year that we celebrate the centenary of the birth of the international human rights icon, the late Tata Nelson Mandela. Allow me to quote our great leader: “As long as women are bound by poverty and as long as they are looked down upon, human rights will lack substance” 

During this Women Indaba let us reflect on our roles as police officials and champion the fight against crimes against women and children.  Let us lift these crimes to another level of priority.

In conclusion, once again welcome to each and every one. May we really be productive during these three days in reaching the objectives as set out in the agenda. We don’t often get the opportunity to solely focus on issues that affect women, so lets embrace this opportunity and give it our best.

Thank you.