As a resident of the Cape Flats, I have witnessed more young people die than old folks, and I don’t see much being done to save us from this tragic state, says the writer. File picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency/ANA

For Youth Day we asked first-year journalism students from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology to write for us.

Here's what Sharidyn Rogers had to say: 

Fear of gang violence has escalated and residents who are witnesses seem to have lost all hope. If we don’t receive drastic intervention for the state of our country, then it is sad to say – things will only become worse.

Recently the country witnessed many youngsters being killed in relation to gang violence. Innocent people lose their lives daily being caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. As a resident of the Cape Flats, I have witnessed more young people die than old folks, and I don’t see much being done to save us from this tragic state. 

Recently in my area, several residents took to the streets and spoke up against the issue of gang violence and drugs, and just like in the past – the police were a hindrance. They tried to silence the voices of the very people that fall victim to violence when it is those voices who should be given a platform to speak. 

At the end of the day we may ask ourselves the question: Are fed up residents wrong when they react to situations that cannot be controlled by the state? Or has the system once again failed us?

I see no police patrol and I don’t feel safe where I live. We love our neighbours and would not want to leave behind the home where our grandparents have nurtured us, but it seems as though our only survival is out.

* Speak up like the youth of ‘76 by tweeting your opinions and challenges to the new @GovernmentZA's Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with  Disabilities: Minister Maite Emily Nkoana-Mashabane using #speakup76 @IOL or write to IOL at [email protected]