From the news desk

New civil society to address community issues

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A new civil society movement says its made a breakthrough in the gang-ridden community of Valhalla Park, following the area’s first incident free weekend in several years. The Wes Kaapse Kleurlings Ontwikkelings Organisasie (WKKOO) has said that an intervention facilitated on its behalf has led to a truce between rival gangs in the area.

The recently established non-profit and apolitical organisation has sought to get actively involve itself in the bettering of conditions for the ‘coloured majority’ within the Western Cape.

WKKOO spokesperson, Ghalieb Essop said the organisation had come into existence after a group of individuals within the gang-invested area became disorientated with the fact that despite representing the majority population within the province, coloured people were rarely represented as such.

“Over the years coloureds have been giving away power through our votes to different political platforms, believing that this majority vote we were giving was going to bring us some type of salvation or hope. This hasn’t happened,” he stated.

Despite constant promises from the various local governments that had taken office over the years, Essop said the coloured population continued to witness ‘decay’ within their respective communities. This had led to the conclusion that there could be no political solution to the issues plaguing the community.

“This is when we decided that is enough is enough. There is this curse on the coloured community, and the conditions are becoming worse and worse. People are going to sleep hungry; our children are going bare feet to school. This is sad to see from a majority in a province,” he said.

The WKKOO has attempted to unite the coloured community under one uniform platform and voice. Essop said they would seek to redirect this ‘power to go knock on the proper doors’, suggesting they were keen to take a more active role in tackling the communities issues.

As for their involvement in bettering Valhalla Park’s gang issue, he Essop noted that several community leaders working for the WKKOO had sat down with gang leaders to put together a process, whereby a peace truce could be agreed between the rivals.

“They have decided to put down their weapons and go forward as community leaders with the goal of developing the community,” he reported.

Despite being no more than two months old, the WKKOO has reportedly attracted around 36 000 members already. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)

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