Dialogue sessions to raise issues

2017-10-05 06:00
Wiseman Mpepo, chairperson for SJC, speaking during the dialog, on Thursday, at Isivivana Centre, in khayelitsha.PHOTO: Mbongiseni maseko

Wiseman Mpepo, chairperson for SJC, speaking during the dialog, on Thursday, at Isivivana Centre, in khayelitsha.PHOTO: Mbongiseni maseko

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The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) has once again hosted a dialogue session between organisations to address issues related to the betterment of the life of residents in Khayelitsha.

Held at the Isivivana Centre, the third annual Policing and Social Justice Dialogue series is aimed at bringing together various people to discuss issues faced by poor and working-class communities.

Dali Weyers, Senior Researcher for Safety and Justice Programme for SJC, said the event engages on issues of crime and street lighting, including safety and security.

Also up for discussion was the excessive use of force by the police against residents.

The recommendations of the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry also came up for discussion.

“The campaign based on appropriate street lighting is successful. There is an additional R40 million that is set aside (by the City of Cape Town) for street lighting in Khayelitsha. We will continue having the dialogue,” Weyers said.

Zwelinzima Vavi, General Secretary of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU), raised his concern that the culprit responsible for the murder of his nephew, Busisa Siziba,25, in 2014, is yet to be brought to book.

Vavi said Khayelitsha is not the only area that is facing dire conditions regarding the safety of its inhabitants, but the country at large.

“We are in a war, but not with other countries ... with ourselves, in the 2015/2016 financial year, about 18 683 people were killed.

That was a 4.9% increase compared to the previous financial year.

This means 51 people were killed every day. We are number two in the world when it comes to killings after Syria.

The problems that we have will not be solved by the death penalty, but by improving our justice system.

There is inequality even in our justice system. It is true that the thinking of hungry people is different. People who do not have dignity to lose, just do things out of frustration,” Vavi said.

He also said the rate of convictions for cases such as rape, murder and burglary is very low in the country.

Vavi also took a swipe at the Congress of South African Trade Unions(Cosatu), which fired him as general secretary, in 2015, for taking part in march against state capture and corruption, last week.

He said the union was no longer the same.

Edna Ngwana, a resident of Site C, said she is tired of promises made by government officials.

“The levels of crime are very high. Our children kill each other every day. They deal with drugs and alcohol abuse. There is nothing done to eradicate them, only promises,” Ngwana said.

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