THE police will keep up security in the country after the World Cup, General Bheki Cele said in Johannesburg yesterday.
While policing could not be sustained at the same level as during the tournament, the police would maintain efforts to keep the country safe, he said at Primedia's Star of the Star Award.
Cele and Deputy Police Minister Fikile Mbalula accepted the award on behalf of the South African Police Service.
The award is presented every month to a police officer for outstanding work.
"We are not going to go back (to crime levels of before the tournament)," Cele said. "These South Africans ... it is their right to be safe.
"Let me say, it (policing) cannot be on the same scale as it was happening on the 2010 in the months of June, July, but definitely it (crime) can't go back to beyond or at the same level as it was happening before the World Cup.
"South Africans cannot just sit in South Africa and see foreign visitors enjoying the better, safe South Africa and they themselves don't enjoy it."
Cele said SAPS men and women were "putting their heads on a block, that today will never be like yesterday and tomorrow will be definitely better than today".
He said police officers, deployed in cities and townships during the World Cup would stay there.
"That is why we are trying to manage the situation in Western Cape, so you have heard people responding there. The police are ready, because they are doing a lot of job in Western Cape at the moment, including 14 people who have been arrested."
On Sunday night a number of foreign-owned spaza and container shops in Cape Town and surrounding towns were burnt and looted.
Cele said the situation in that province was not caused by xenophobia, but by youths hiding behind xenophobia to commit crimes - "... a new trend that is happening".
He said South Africa was "rubbished" in the rest of the world ahead of the tournament and the police's World Cup team literally had to live on a plane to reassure the world that the tournament would be safe.
The police management would meet at the end of the month in Mpumalanga to plan the way forward after the World Cup. - Sapa