Local gov has share of blame

2018-07-17 06:00

The letter “Pandemic of rape calls for a state of emergency” by Mark Kleinschmidt of Kenwyn (People’s Post, 10 July) deserves a lucid response.

Kleinschmidt has previously called for the reinstatement of the old corrupt Gang Unit and appears to hold national government responsible for all the ills in our city and province.

When the Social Justice Coalition led evidence at the Khayelitsha Commission on Policing, they referred to the relationship between Khayelitsha’s degrading socio-economic conditions and its high levels of violent crime, and by extension the failure of the City of Cape Town and the provincial government to address these failures with sensitivity and on an inclusive basis.

Professor Catherine Ward of UCT also testified that “gangs in South Africa have been created in a particular crucible of economic disenfranchisement and there is little hope that prevention will tamper with their existence”.

She further testified that “gangs are primarily a phenomenon of economically deprived areas where gangs offer young men, in particular, a space of belonging and protection”.

At the invitation of the Commission, residents of the area also testified to the poor service delivery of housing, lights, water, road infrastructure, sanitation, schools, jobs and other opportunities, not just in Khayelitsha but in all working-class black communities (sourced from BDlive).

In the 2013/14 financial year, the City of Cape Town failed to spend R1b of its budget prior to financial year end (IOL).

So when a brand new police 4 X 4 vehicle gets damaged when driving over a pothole, due to no street lighting in our ghettos – you cannot blame national government for a “lack of policing”.

The City and its councillors, like Kleinschmidt, needs to do their bit in addressing chronic service delivery failures so as not to provide a climate for the formation of gangs.

Yes, there is a state of emergency. However, it’s inside the DA’s caucus who, instead of focusing on service delivery, wastes public time plotting how to deal with their internal rogue factions.

Colin Arendse Wynberg

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