The idea for the formation of a new and independent charitable foundation to focus on crime reduction and community safety in Africa was conceptualized in the United Kingdom.
The concept was subsequently shared with authorities in Ghana and Rwanda before being introduced to South Africa, where the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) sponsored a specially convened ‘Experts Roundtable’ event held in December 2011 at The Protea Hotel, Midrand.
It was here that the concept was tested by a number of academics, union officials, civil servants, NGOs, business people and senior government representatives.
The delegates heard that the foundation’s work would primarily focus upon:
- The mobilisation of under resourced communities to build their awareness and ability to work in partnership with service providers inorder to strengthen the community’s ability to ‘fight against crime’.
- Foster a better understanding of community safety issues and improve relationships between the community and the law enforcement agencies.
- In addition to its work with communities, the foundation would seek to actively contribute to the national discourse on crime and community safety matters by undertaking research, advocacy and campaigns.
- It was agreed that the sustainability, efficiency and effectiveness of the Safer South Africa Foundation will largely be dependent upon its ability to secure funding from the domestic and international corporate sector, grants from international institutions or national government, and private donations.
Delegates were keen to participate and contribute to the many debates thereby helping to shape the future direction of the foundation and in doing so provided a mandate to further develop and progress the initiative. The Roundtable event in Midrand was deemed to be a success and an important milestone for the provisionally named ‘Safer South Africa Foundation’.
The work to further develop the business rationale and policy of the Safer South Africa Foundation resulted in the following building blocks:
Strategic Aims of Safer South Africa Foundation:
- To mobilize and empower local communities to join hands in the fight against crime in order to contribute to the improvement of their community.
- To promote an enhanced level of security in South Africa’s communities by providing an independent perspective on community policing, road safety and successful reintegration of offenders to curb reoffending.
- To work in partnership with all community based formations and others to help improve safety in communities.
- To educate the public about the criminal justice system, encourage and support research to inform community based crime prevention strategies.