The Manenberg Safety Forum (MSF) are looking to shakeup the ‘top-down’ approach, which they claim has had little benefit in addressing the issues that continue to plague the community. The forum will host a mini-imbizo on Monday 11th May, in which they will pose their plans going forward to several top provincial government officials. On the agenda will be education, social welfare, healthcare, infrastructure, and gang violence.
The MSF have been somewhat critical of the fact that in similar meetings with local government, they have often had to take the backseat and listen to potential solutions. However with the imbizo, they are hoping the community itself will “do the talking”, whilst government listens to its complaints and related objectives, said chairperson Roegshanda Pascoe.
The MSF itself will be conducting a presentation as to what progress they have made thus far in addressing these challenges, as well as why the respective government departs are important for the community’s growth.
“For one we’ve always had to listen. The second thing that is significant is that all the time the people was in a position where they almost always had to beg to be listened to, to be assisted, and to be helped. What we are saying is, this will come from the people, and we will demand our rights,” said Pascoe.
Despite Manenberg’s crippling gang situation, the meeting is not expected to have a sole focus in the regard. Instead, the MSF will seek to take a broader approach in their demands.
“What we are saying is that we can start in Manenberg by bringing the change our people really want to see,” she said.
In the build up to the Imbizo, the forum have organised a series of pre-meetings that will take place at the Downville Primary School. These meetings will seek to prepare residents in bring their best foot forward ahead of the imbizo, as well as providing better insight as to its focus.
“This pre-meeting is open to the whole of Manenberg; religious sectors, the CPFs, NGOs and even our teachers that are staying and teaching here. We really want them to play an active part (in this meeting),” a hopeful Pascoe stated.
The MSF have drawn up its own plan of action to address the community’s persisted problems.
The imbizo will take place on Monday the 11th May, between 6:00pm and 6:30pm. Residents are urged to attend. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)