From the news desk

Local activist group seeks to bring peace between rival gangs

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Gatvol Capetonian and the Cape Coloured Congress leader Fadiel Adams has taken on an ambitious campaign to bring all rival gangs together in an effort to bring peace to the Cape Flats. Gang violence continues to cause devastation across various communities, with hundreds of people losing their lives daily. Ahead of the festive season, there is renewed concern that violence could spiral out of control. For those who risk their lives every day, the government has lost the fight against gang violence.

“Gang violence has become part of the DNA of those living on the Cape Flats. Our people have been desensitized to the high levels of gang violence and gang-related crimes in our communities. All these murders taking place on our doorsteps represents a son, daughter, brother, sister, mother or father. These cannot simply become a number,” said Adams,

Victims, many innocent bystanders, end up as “cold cases” or dismissed as gang-related crimes, which does not deserve thorough attention or investigations from the state.

“The sad reality is that gangs have been around for many decades and we have too easily accepted that this is the way it’s going to be. Unfortunately, the authorities and those in power have turned their backs on our so-called gang-infested areas and left us to fend for ourselves. There appears to be absolutely no real efforts being made on the part of the government to deal with the high gang and drug issue, especially on the Cape Flats and particularly in the so-called coloured communities,” said Adams.

While the movement wants to stem the tide of violence, it firmly believes that it needs to look at alternatives to a life of crime, drugs and gangs.

“We know that the government makes available billions of Rands via the various SETA’s to up-skill the youth and to create opportunities for these young people. However, we simply do not see these benefits on the ground, our people don’t know how to access these opportunities and most importantly, we don’t know where these billions of Rands are ending up,” said Adams.

“As part of these discussions, we are hoping to engage all SETA’s and other government agencies in an effort to heighten awareness around available opportunities for our youth and how these opportunities could be used as part of our carrot approach to getting these young people off the streets, away from the gangs and turning them into productive members of society. However, to achieve these objectives we’ll require some serious and sincere partnerships with all the key stakeholders, including local, provincial and national government.”

Adams believes there needs to be a higher level of direct investments into poor and marginalised communities, increased levels of employment opportunities, higher property values and better amenities for residents.

“Mitchell’s Plain and other parts of the Cape Flats has an untapped market for tourism opportunities. We should be having hotels and other tourist and recreational facilities in our areas, however, the gang problem is preventing this from happening. Investors are looking at peaceful and stable communities to come and invest in where they know their investments would be safe. It is really a no brainer, more peace means more investments, which means more jobs and prosperity for all. Unfortunately, we can no longer wait for the government to sort out our problems. We have to do this for ourselves and we urge everyone to join us on this journey as we seek to bring peace to our brutalized communities living in constant fear,” he continued.

He said the ultimate objective is to get all parties around the one table and make lasting peace a reality in 2021.

“These efforts cannot simply become another talk shop. We need to come up with lasting and tangible solutions to the gang and drug problem in our communities. We need to approach this issue with some degree of sincerity and a willingness to finally put an end to this other pandemic, which has been a plague for many decades.”

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