Townships: Let’s stand together

2019-07-24 06:01

FORTY years on and crime still grips the lives of every South African, especially those in the townships.

As Echo celebrates 40 years this year since it was established, in 1979, I took some time to browse through the archives to see what made headlines when the newspaper was first circulated.

I came across an article that was published on July 19, 1979 — a month after Echo first hit the streets.

As a person who lives in a township, I was drawn to the article, titled “Crime wave hits townships” — it touched me and I felt my heart sink.

After reading that article I asked my self: “Will we ever win in this fight against crime?” I also answered myself but swiftly brushed it off as I didn’t want to pay attention to the negativity that came with it. The only difference now is that there are serious crimes that are happening in the townships, violent crimes like murder, rape,car hijackings, whereas back in 1979 there were more break-ins at tuckshops.

I always ask myself: What is it that makes the rate of crime so high? Is it because of the lack of jobs? Where do all these criminals come from and why are they targeting the townships? And, guess what?

I still don’t have answers. I don’t think anyone has.

But never the less, although crime in the townships still exists, we have made progress.

Back then there was only one police station, in Plessislaer, and it serviced all areas of Imbali, Edendale, Sweetwaters and Dambuza to mention a few.

The police station has since been developed, and there is even a satellite police station in Imbali.

Lets talk truthfully; there may be thousands of police stations around us but the police cannot fight crime alone.

We may not have the training, skill or resources but it is high time we all stand up and fight crime together because some of the criminals are known in our communities.

Expose them and help the police get rid of the rot that’s spreading and destroying our homes, families and people.

As a journalist, I meet people from all walks of life and it is heartbreaking to interview family members of those who have been murdered, others who are sobbing because they have been hijacked, and others whose homes have been broken into and thieves fled with literally all that they have, things that have spent years saving for.

So let’s stand together, not only for us but for future generations too.

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