‘Claim back the area from criminals’

2019-08-27 06:00
Antonio van der Rheede, ward councillor (left), and Owen Munro (mayoral outreach team member) at the community meeting. PHOTO: siphesihle notwabaza

Antonio van der Rheede, ward councillor (left), and Owen Munro (mayoral outreach team member) at the community meeting. PHOTO: siphesihle notwabaza

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Coming together to fight crime was the at top of the agenda at a recent community meeting held at Hanover Park Civic Centre.

Chaired by ward councillor Antonio van der Rheede, the meeting also sought to keep the community updated on current issues and upcoming projects.

In the meeting, Van der Rheede gave residents the opportunity to ask him questions about any issues in their community.

He was joined by some officials from the City of Cape Town.

Van der Rheede called on residents to claim back their area from the criminals. He alleged young people from the area get involved in criminal activities and gangs because they lack positive role models.

According to him, locals who succeed in life tend to move out of Hanover Park, and he advocated for that to end.

“People must come and plough back. We need positive people in this area to inspire our children.

“Our children need to be exposed to positive things,” he said.

He said the negative narrative about the area that is portrayed in the media needs to change. He believes it will take the community to change this perception.

“Hanover Park has a rich, positive history. Not the history of gangsterism.”

He also introduced the Life Counts initiative to residents. This programme was started by the City of Cape Town last year. It is all about mobilising young people to create a positive change in their community.

According to Van der Rheede, the Life Counts initiative has already given birth to a youth movement called Chain Breakers.

Chain Breakers seeks to get the youth involved in fighting crime in the area. They will roll out community activities to keep the youth busy. According to its chairperson, Kaashiefa Isaacks, their first project is to revamp the local park.

“We want to stop violence. We want to make Hanover Park a better and safe place to live in. Not what it is now. At 18:00 we have to be indoors because they (the gangs) start shooting,” Isaacks said.

She said she appreciates the gesture from the ward councillor and is looking forward to seeing the change and the results.

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