The year 2011 was always going to struggle to live up to the unprecedented excitement our country experienced in 2010. What a year we had hosting the FIFA 2010 World Cup with crime virtually non-existent during the entire event.
No sooner had we slapped ourselves on the back and it was back to reality with crime escalating, including the horrifying trend of "cop killings" dominating much of the headlines in 2011.
The abuse of women and children in our country is a great cause for concern and SHOUT is also urgently and respectfully calling on the President of the Republic of South Africa, all government departments and agencies such as welfare, health, housing, medical, social services, all civil society NGO's and renowned world experts to address and come up with a national plan and strategy to combat the war that is being waged against our women and children.
The abuse of the most vulnerable in our society is going to have an adverse effect on generations of South Africans now and to come and we urge for a national intervention program to stop the beatings & killing of our people.
We are at war with one another and this is just not right. The shocking and tragic image of Andries Tetane dying before our eyes will be etched into our memories as we struggle to understand why this had to happen when all people were doing was protesting against a lack of service delivery.
Our Police Commissioner, Bheki Cele, was embroiled in a lease scandal and was eventually removed from his office by our President. Sadly we saw Willie Hofmeyr vacate his position suddenly as head of the SIU (Special Investigations Unit). Thank you, sir, for your tireless and dedicated service to our country.
SHOUT would be remiss if we did not single out our Public Protector - Thuli Madonsela.
She has kept us on the straight and narrow, faced a tsunami of criticism from politicians and her employer, the SA government, but has always kept steadfast to her values, morals and mandate, the Public Protector truly deserves the title "The Keeper of the Nation's Ethics."
Thank you Ma'am, you are an inspiration to all of us. Long may you serve South Africa - this nation is better because of you.
Crime statistics showed some signs of encouragement but clearly not enough. The investment in the training of our policeman and women must be a top and urgent priority and SHOUT calls on the Minister to invest in crime fighting technology and other programmes to defeat those intent on our destruction.
The need for a DNA bank is critical for convictions and files that go missing due to an antiquated system that clearly has not kept up with modern technology and methods.
The attack on farmers and their workers remains a massive problem and of serious concern; we must find ways to stop this as a priority.
Drugs and substance abuse is destroying this country as drug lords find new and willing customers and markets amongst our vulnerable youth. SHOUT is committed to work in this area and we will continue to visit communities and support any organization that wants to end this scourge.
Alcohol consumption, including binge drinking, amongst South Africans is out of control with drunk driving a major contributor to the record number of deaths of our people on our roads.
The partnership between the police and civil society remains a bright spot on the horizon with organizations like KHULISA, Business against Crime, Crime Line 32211 and CrimeShouter on Twitter all trying their best to assist in stopping crime in its tracks.
The attitude of apathy remains unquestionably the biggest problem we have in our country with armchair critics espousing solutions and ideas from a distance but never getting involved in their own communities to help make a difference and a dent in crime in their neighbourhoods.
ETHICS, EDUCATION and EMPLOYMENT remain a focus and priority at SHOUT and we will continue to push this agenda with the people of South Africa, the SA government, business leaders and civil society. Maybe we could all start by buying Proudly South African and let's keep jobs here.
SHOUT is excited about 2012 and looking forward to the release of the follow-up song to SHOUT - which won a SAMA in 2011 and was the most downloaded song of the year.
Take a bow South Africa and thank you for being such committed activists and putting your money where your mouth is.
Watch this space in March 2012 when we will begin our campaign to launch the new song that has been recorded and will be ready for release soon.
To the incredibly talented proudly South African musicians, artists, actors, celebrities, sportsmen and women, singh&sons, Velocity Films and The Fort Films for their contribution to the new SHOUT campaign, we are eternally grateful as what you have done for SHOUT will set new records, standards and precedents in the world of charity, cause marketing and fund raising activity. Thank you.
My personal thanks and appreciation to the SHOUT Board of Trustees Elana Afrika, Leann Manas, Faizal Motlekar, Kabelo Mabalane and Danny K, who are leading the way to make this country better and safer for everyone of us. To serve with you is truly a privilege.
To our partners, sponsors, donors and beneficiaries we will never allow the grass to grow under our feet and we vow to fight for justice and the right to walk in our streets without fear. You have walked this journey with us every step of the way, not once stopping to relax. These are the partnerships that will make our country great. Thank you.
To the greatest nation on earth - SOUTH AFRICANS - your resilience, your courage and your spirit to face whatever is thrown at you and to rise above and conquer is precisely how we will defeat crime and become a leading light amongst the nations of the world. What we did to apartheid, we will do to crime.
A better ME, a greater WE.
Gavin Koppel – Chairman