Residents came out in their droves in the New Woodlands and Bonteheuwel areas at the weekend. The respective communities have joined hands in the fight against gang activities, drugs, crime and social ills.
Last week Friday, the New Woodlands area in Mitchells Plain hosted an interfaith meeting. Chairperson of the Rates Payers Association, Shaheen Van Nelson said that he was delighted to see pastors, and imams come out and put their differences aside with the sole purpose of putting the people first.
“A very big shukran to our stalwart religious leaders,” thanked Van Nelson.
It was a breath-of-fresh air to see that the ‘armchair critics’ have rolled their sleeves up and actually taken the initiative to get their hands dirty for the sake of their community, children and elderly, he said.
“This is something that we need to grow into the community, it is something the community needs to get used to. We need to teach our people to stop sitting on Facebook, stop sitting on social media and complaining. Come out and be a part of whatever programme there is to make a change in the community,” urged Van Nelson.
Following the prayer session, religious leaders and community members in attendance took to the streets to make a spectacle of themselves as to remind residents that the time has come to undertake the plight against all immoral acts.
Furthermore, Nelson said it was a step in the right direction with officials in attendance putting their political differences aside to deal with the scourge at hand.
“It doesn’t matter if your ward councillor belongs to another party than you do, the important part is to put all that a side and think of your community,” reiterated Van Nelson.
“It is time we join hands because a lot of us have forgotten that there is a God, there is an Allah upstairs.”
Meanwhile, in Bonteheuwel activist Henriette Abrahams reported that on Friday residents of Bontheheuwel took it upon themselves to rattle the drug merchants in the community by threatening the legality of their homes.
“Joined by SAPS and Law Enforcement we went around to five drug dens and pela-pose and we said to them this is enough. If you don’t stop now we are going to come for your houses,” said an exacerbated Abrahams.
Abrahams said they would be getting different entities involved to assist in putting these houses under the microscope such as Metro Police and SARS.
Abrahams said it was unfortunate that only a handful of people joined in the march but she understands parents put their children’s heinous behaviour before the lives of others.
“For us it was a very nice engagement, we went peacefully to people and did it in a nice way but people were shocked,” said Abrahams.
The people residing in the pela-pose were shocked when a threat was put forth on their houses, Abrahams said as the threats are ordinarily against the people , not their homes.
“We don’t want to kick them out, we want them out,” Abrahams said indifferently.