Cape Town - UCT has teamed up with the City of Cape Town to look at ways of tackling gang violence on the Cape Flats.
The university is working with the city’s Violence Prevention Through Urban Upgrading programme and recently held a seminar to discuss gang violence in Hanover Park.
Astrid von Brucken, programme head, said the seminar was initated as a way of gauging what the different role-players in Hanover Park were doing and how they could work together.
Some of the role-players at last week’s seminar included the police, NGOs working in the area and residents.
Von Brucken said a lot of attention was given to the Ceasefire model (also known as Cure Violence Model), which included having locals work as “violence interrupters” to try prevent violence from escalating.
The model was adopted from a similar programme in the US.
Von Brucken said the Ceasefire project would address the problem of young people who were already in gangs.
However, she said there were other young people who are not involved in gangs but were also at risk.
She said that the programme’s American counterparts would be back next month to begin training shortlisted candidates for the Ceasefire programme.
Guy Lamb, director of UCT’s Safety and Violence Initiative, said there was a lot of frustration from residents with the Ceasefire programme.
Lamb said it should not be seen as the “silver bullet” that would rid the area of gang violence.