Marching for delivery

2016-09-08 06:00
 Members of SJC marched to the Premier’s office last week demanding that government must act on township crimes.

Members of SJC marched to the Premier’s office last week demanding that government must act on township crimes.

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Concerned with the lack of visible policing in schools ravaged with gangsterism in the townships, members of the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) marched on to the offices of Premier Helen Zille last weeeek.

They were joined by members of various organisations, including Equal education, Sonke Gender Justice, Inkundzi, the Right2Know Capaign, Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and supported by communities from Kraaifontein, Khayelitsha and Nyanga.

The marchers said police were never seen patrolling schools in areas mostly affected by crime, and wanted to bring this to the attention of the premier.

However, on their arrival, the premier was nowhere to be seen and their memorandum of grievances was accepted by her spokesperson instead. Sifiso Zintwana, a member of the SJC said one of the contentious issues they wanted to raise with the premier was the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the Commission of Inquiry held in Khayelitsha in 2015 and headed by Advocate Vusi Pikoli.

Some of the recommendations dealt with schooling problems faced by pupils in the areas. “What we thought of doing is to put pressure on the Premier...we want the recommendations of Khayelitsha(Inquiry) to be implemented, one of the things we look forward to is the establishment of a task team that will observe the problems pupils in Khayelitsha schools encounter.

Zintwana said in the memorandum, they have given the Premier six months to look into the recommendations, and if nothing came of it, they “will then sit down as SJC structure and see what we come about but this is our first step”. SJC’s Chumile Sali led the march, while Michael Mpofu of the premier’s office accepted the memorandum on Zille’s behalf.

One of the recommendations spoke on the matter of safer schools in the province.

Mpofu was seemly surprised that the SJC would march to their offices on a matter which they already acting on.

“Well, basically, as it pertains to Recommendation 12, as far as we are concerned, there is a youth task team that is involved in Khayelitsha that we are a part of... SAPS is part of that team too, including other stakeholder partners the SJC, so they are well aware of that.

We are really surprised, in fact, it is disingenuous of them to be here today, when they know we are well on track.

In fact, we have gone an extra mile and said that we want to expand our influence in terms of the anti-gang strategy, including giving input to the national strategy which the national SAPS is currently looking at.”

What is of concern to us is that today they are not marching to SAPS headquarters, as 13 of those 20 recommendations pertain to SAPS and it is up to them to implement them,” he said.

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