Address challenges of youth

2016-06-28 09:34
#GangsterismMustFall picketed at the social development offices in Wynberg in demand of youth programmes and youth employment to stop youths at home from joining gangs.

#GangsterismMustFall picketed at the social development offices in Wynberg in demand of youth programmes and youth employment to stop youths at home from joining gangs.

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The collective known as #‎GangsterismMustFall picketed outside the offices of the social development department in Wynberg on the morning of Thursday 23 June in demand of youth programmes.

The purpose of the picket was to highlight and advance the plight of youth in communities such as Lavender Hill, Parkwood and Ocean View who are affected daily by gangsterism. The picket was attended by about 30 people – mainly the youth.

Roscoe Jacobs, convener of the collective, says they will continue to advocate for youth programmes to prevent and disengage youth from joining gangs.
“We will continue to fight issues that perpetuate gang violence. We will ensure the challenges our youth are facing, are addressed. We can’t watch and sit when things go wrong; issues have to be addressed.”

The group also handed over a memorandum to a social development representative. In the memorandum they stated they want issues of drugs and youth unemployment addressed, and to have more youth programmes so that there is no room to join gangs.

“We want funding to start programmes to keep the youths off the streets. Tough socio-economic conditions are the main challenge faced by the youth and they end up joining gangs. We believe if we also tackle these other challenges from grassroots level, we will win the fight against gangs. Youth development is needed.”
#‎GangsterismMustFall gave the social development department seven days to respond.

Albert Fritz, provincial Minister of Social Development, confirmed they received the memorandum, however, his department “refuses to be drawn into a political game with aspirant fringe politicians”.
“Our priority remains delivering services to all communities in the province. It is unfair on the vulnerable segments of our society to be deprived of key DSD services whilst vested interest groups disrupt services. The department recognises the democratic right of citizens to protest peacefully and bring their concerns to the attention of government. However, among the group of about eight adults protesting, about seven children (most of school going age) were also seen (during school hours). There can be no excuse for using children and disrupting their schooling to fight community and/or political causes,” he says.

Jacobs has lambasted Fritz’s claims, saying they are non-political.
“That is a frustration coming from the department. We want issues addressed. We lobby for communities and we want safe communities. We will continue to campaign and not politicise the plight of the people,” he says.

The movement says they will continue to make their voices heard and to fight for the youth.
They are planning a bigger march soon.

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