SANDF troops arrived in townships of the Cape Flat. The troops’ arrival was celebrated by residents in gang-hit areas. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - The 4 Us-Peace Initiative involving 27 organisations from civil society, religious and business leaders as well as political parties is to going to draw up a policy document to tackle crime in the province and has called on the government to hear its plea.

On Monday, the group met at the Old Assembly in Parliament where they shared shocking details about how communities are being torn apart by the drugs and gangsterism that are destroying the youth.

Included were Taking Back our Streets, Bonteheuwel Civic, The Voice of Parkwood, Lavender Hill, Manenberg, and Mitchells Plain.

They met to discuss a peace summit and how they were going to deal with crime, and write a policy document that speaks to the government, so that communities can sleep safe at night. They are planning to present this document to the government on Women’s Day on August 9, when the group and other sectors plan to march to Parliament.

They are hoping that the document serves as a guideline for Police Minister Bheki Cele and community safety MEC Albert Fritz.

Lorraine Moko, a social worker and local pastor in Vrygrond, said: “This is not a safe community. If you are out there after 8pm, you can expect to be robbed. Almost everyone living in Vrygrond has been a victim of crime.

“We have got a lot of the youth committing suicide. Today, there’s a memorial service for a 17-year-old girl who committed suicide.

“The circumstances are too much for our youth.

“The government must know they cannot govern without us. We've got over 450 MPs, but we never see them. It’s like they work in silos,” she said.

The 4 Us-Peace Initiative is intent on tackling crime in the province. Supplied

Paul Philipps of Parkwood said life and death had become a political weapon that was being used for political point-scoring and goal-setting.

“In Parkwood the abnormal has become normal, and many of our residents have accepted the gang violence. The daily shootings have become part of life here.

“Over the past few days a rehab centre operated by a community leader was razed to the ground. The bad don't want this good work in our area. Adjacent to this, a church building was also affected.

“The objective and ultimate plan of gangsters is to make our children addicts who are dependant on a system that they (gangs) have devised.”

A local pastor from Lavender Hill, Dorothy Soetwater, explained that her house was surrounded by rival gangs. When they start shooting, the bullets whistle past her house.


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Cape Argus