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Community links lack of recreation facilities to rising crime rate

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By Lee-Yandra Paulsen

The Gugulethu community in Cape Flats has raised concerns over the escalation of crime, attributing it partly to the lack of recreational facilities. Addressing this issue, Fransina Lukas from the National Community Police Forum (CPF) shed light on the matter during an interview with VOC Drive Time on Monday.

Lukas emphasized the significance of recreational spaces for youth engagement, stating, “Many of our townships and communities on the Cape Flats face this challenge, where we don’t have enough recreational facilities.” She noted that the absence of such facilities leads unemployed youth to channel their energy into criminal activities, exacerbating the crime epidemic prevalent in the Western Cape.

Highlighting the need for political intervention, Lukas asserted, “The lack of recreational facilities needs intervention by politicians, whether in the province or in the city or nationally.” She underscored the urgency for collaborative efforts to address this issue comprehensively.

Acknowledging community frustration with crime, Lukas cautioned against the growing trust deficit between communities and the South African Police Services (SAPS), warning of the potential for vigilantism. She stressed the importance of proactive measures, including social crime prevention programs implemented by CPF and its stakeholders.

Lukas emphasized the importance of empowering young people through job opportunities and skills development programs. She asserted, “What the young people need are job programs to upskill themselves. So they can contribute positively to the community and the economy of South Africa.” Lukas highlighted the necessity for sustained efforts to integrate such programs into communities effectively.

Furthermore, Lukas addressed the issue of school dropouts, urging parental involvement to prevent youth from becoming a “lost generation.” She emphasized the need for community ownership of initiatives, asserting, “If a community does not buy into a program, you can implement it, but it wouldn’t be sustainable.”

Lukas called for collective action to tackle the root causes of crime, stressing the importance of community engagement, political support, and parental responsibility in fostering safer and more prosperous communities.

VOC News

Photo: Pixabay

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