22 September 2017

South Africa: Balancing the Scales for Weary Officers

Police officers are participating in the 25th installation of the Police Music and Cultural Association's national unity festival.

The festival kicked off on Thursday at the Heartfelt Music Arena in Pretoria. The festival seeks to showcase SAPS' rich diversity in song with members from all nine provinces.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said at the festival opening that the gathering provides an element of balance for the hardworking men and women in blue because officers are exposed to many horrific events.

"Policing has evolved to mean the face of government, from people who are lost, to those who have their vehicles broken into on the streets, to victims of theft and violence. We are there when there is a fire, a storm or other disasters - be they natural or manmade. We are emergency midwives, first aid providers and comfort givers."

The festival will see more that than 1 000 members of the South African Police Service participating in competitions related to choral music, ballroom dancing, traditional dancing, cookery displays and cultural exhibitions.

Minister Mbalula said the festival was critical to officers' wellbeing as they are still human who feel hurt, stress, worry and anxiety.

"Even though our work is about helping those in danger and in great need, we are not super human. I want us to relax, reconnect with our humanity and rekindle the human spirit..."

Today the festival will see choristers from all nine provinces vie for glory in three categories namely Own piece, Western piece and African piece. They will also take part in a potjiekos competition and a cultural exhibition competition.

The SAPS band and choir groups will also compete with each other for best band performance and best choir performance.

The unity festival will culminate in an awards ceremony, which will be held on Saturday afternoon.

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