Manenberg marches for answers

2015-08-25 06:02
Manenberg residents received pamphlets containing safety information during a community walkabout held on Friday evening with provincial minister of community safety, Dan Plato, the Manenberg Community Police forum, police and neighbourhood watches.

Manenberg residents received pamphlets containing safety information during a community walkabout held on Friday evening with provincial minister of community safety, Dan Plato, the Manenberg Community Police forum, police and neighbourhood watches.

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The Manenberg Safety Forum say they are demanding answers from various departments after discussing pertinent issues on Thursday evening at a public meeting.

According to residents who attended the meeting, they want to find a way forward for the community and are demanding that action be taken.

Safety forum chairperson Rugshanda Pascoe said there are three main issues the community has to deal with.

“At the moment we have issues that are unclear to our community and we want answers regarding this. At the moment we are sitting with issues relating to the closure of schools in the area as well as the future of the GF Jooste hospital and the upgrading of the flats,” Pascoe said.

Fuming residents said they are unhappy about rumours doing the rounds that two schools in the area may close down.

“We do not want them to take away our schools. They can rather add to them than take away - our children need education and where do they think these children will be accommodated at the end of the day of they don’t make provision for them?” asked Pascoe.

Parents echoed that although the schools were located in an area where gang violence was prominent, they did not want to see educational facilities being removed from the area.

“Why should our children have to go to a school outside of Manenberg? They need to focus on bringing services closer to our community instead of taking them away,” said a parent, who did not want to be named.

However, the Western Cape Education Department says they have not discussed school closures in Manenberg.

Pascoe added that if resources left the community they would be left with nothing at the end of the day and this would be an injustice to the community.

“As you can see now, they are taking away GF Jooste and we do not have a hospital. Why leave a community without that basic service? We are entitled to health facilities in our community and we are demanding that the departments take note of our concerns,” she added.

“It is about time Manenberg’s people take back their ground. We should not allow the government to dangle carrots in front of our noses and make empty promises. Once elections are over we sit with eviction notices on our doors. We are saying ‘Manenberg has had enough’,” Pascoe stressed.

In an effort to ensure safety and security in Manenberg, a walk about with provincial community safety minister Dan Plato, the Manenberg Community Police Forum, police and members of the neighbourhood watches was held on Friday evening.

Plato emphasised during the march that residents should get involved with their neighbourhood watches to help make their areas safer.

“Safety is a united issue. I encourage residents to become part of the neighbourhood watches so that we can fight crime together. I take my hat off to the people who have come out tonight to show support for this cause, and to all neighbourhood watch members who give selflessly of their time,” said Plato.

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