In a bid to address safety concerns in the area, the Heideveld community embarked on a march against violence on Saturday. Since the inception of the Heideveld Community Care group a number of programmes aimed at community upliftment and development have surfaced in the area. This march was one such action toward improving living conditions of a largely impoverished community on the mother city’s cape flats.
A committee member of the local masjid, Anwar Ebrahim said nearly one thousand concerned citizens residing in Heideveld and surrounding areas joined in the march which began at the Heideveld sports ground which is known as the cape flats sports ground at 11am.
“We are saying enough is enough. No more violence, no more innocent lives will be lost in Heideveld. We need to take stock of our community while we still can,” Ebrahim added.
Residents then made their way to the Manenberg Police Station to hand over a memorandum, requesting better police visibility and regular foot patrols in the area. “There have been many innocent residents who have either lost their lives of that of their loved ones due to the gang related violence in Heideveld. While police and the media are focused on regular hotspots such as Hanover Park and Manenberg, we are often forgotten,” Ebrahim explained.
The issues we experience in our community and especially the challenges our youth face is largely attributed to the socio-economic downfalls of this area. Unemployment, drug and acohol abuse along with poverty is heady combination and more often than not, the result is a negative one. But we want to call on the community, those who did not attend the march, we want them to come out and join in on our efforts to improve life here in Heideveld.”
Another resident, Vanessa Adriaanse has centred her life and role as a resident in the community to improve living conditions for all. Adriaanse has already began a soup kitchen on her doorstep in the flats, which feeds hundreds of hungry residents on a daily basis.
Adriaanse, a member of the HCC, with the help of her fellow community members, has raised money to assist in the rehabilitation on youth members addicted to drugs or alcohol. All these efforts go toward bettering the community and according to Adriaanse, getting it back to what it was before. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)