Port Alfred medals
More than 70 medals were handed over to SAPS officers in Port Alfred on Thursday morning during a medal parade. Image: Hennie Marais

More than 130 medals were handed over to members of the SAPS Port Alfred Cluster in adverse weather conditions during a medal parade that took place in Port Alfred on Thursday morning.

The medals consisted of 30, 20 and 10-year loyal service medals, the SAPS 10-year Commemoration medals and the SAPS Soccer World Cup medals.

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Deputy Provincial Commissioner, Major-General Z Mki, was present to hand the medals over to recipients.

Rain intervened at the start of proceedings but stopped while alternative plans were put in motion to get proceedings underway. But then it cleared up and proceedings started as planned originally. Lead by the SAPS band the recipients marched onto the parade ground where Port Alfred cluster commander Brigadier Morgan Govender officially opened proceedings in the presence of General Mki after Reverend Zantsi blessed the event during which he made a valiant request for the rain to hold off “so that this parade can be completed”. This was not to be!

During Govender’s speech, the skies opened with a proper East Cape vengeance forcing all the medal recipients, now soaked, into tents with a decision that the handover of medals will be concluded there.

Then the rain stopped again and the recipients were hauled back to the parade ground where General Mki and Brigadier Govender handed the medals over.

General Mki said that it was on occasions such as these that he felt especially proud to be part of the SAPS and that he was honoured to be part of today’s proceedings.

According to him, it should be a key objective in any department’s organisational plan to motivate employees as a motivated workforce is more creative and productive.

“Innovation is necessary to produce quality work. Only driven employees would put in the effort to find better methods to deliver quality output in the most efficient manner possible,” he said.

Motivated employees are also likely to reduce turnover whereas demotivated employees lose interest.

“We are gathered here today at an event which is about recognising the members who served this organisation with loyalty and dedication and most of them very long years’ service. We are also recognising those members who have rendered an exceptional service in the cluster’s operational environment. These members have displayed bravery against all odds. They went out of their way to risk their lives in protecting the lives of others,” General Mki said.

“As management, we cannot afford to ignore the aspirations, aptitudes, and commitment displayed by our men and woman in blue,” he said.

He reminded the recipients to remain focused in joining government’s plight towards the most vulnerable groups in the society by embarking on a multi-sectoral approach with all government departments, NGO’s, business sectors, e.g. to engage with communities in sharing strategies to attend to issues relating to gender-based violence in the various communities.

“I will be failing in my duty if I do not thank the husbands, wives, partners, and families that support our men and women in blue. Thank you for your sacrifices and for allowing our men and women in blue to remain in the service to others. We appreciate your support and care,” General Mki said.

A light lunch was served after proceedings.

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