Drugs, gangs the 'new normal' in Western Cape - ANC

2017-03-15 17:52
Western Cape ANC secretary Faiez Jacobs (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Western Cape ANC secretary Faiez Jacobs (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town - The Western Cape government must urgently tackle the drug and gangsterism crisis that has become the "new normal" in the province, the African National Congress said on Wednesday.

"We need to save this generation, just like we did with HIV/Aids," provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs told the Cape Town Press Club.

"Where's the political will for this? Or are all our politicians complicit?" he asked, after a session explaining the ANC's rebuilding efforts after a poor showing in the 2016 local government elections.

He said, when the ANC controlled the province, until 2009, there was a proper focus on eradicating drugs and gangsterism. At present, nobody seemed to care enough.

It was told where the drug dens were, and used law enforcement agencies to reclaim the city.

Now people knew where drugs could be bought and where the drug houses were, but nothing was done about it.

Public participation process

The drug underworld on the Cape Flats had spawned a large informal economy, with international trade links amounting to billions of rand. One couldn't get rid of this with a media and marketing campaign, he said.

Jacobs claimed that apartheid security forces had brought drugs onto the Cape Flats to "pacify" people.

Young people were attracted to the drug trade because they saw it as the only step up in life. Players in the supply chain drove expensive cars and did well financially.

"What is now happening, if you want to make it big, you must be part of the informal economy, and the gangs are a recruiting place."

He called for an open public participation process to discuss the best strategy to deal with the problem.

"But there must be a will. If there's one fundamental problem we must deal with on the Cape Flats, it is the drugs."

Jacobs is facing trial on an assault charge laid by a former ANC colleague, Wesley Seale. His suspension from the party for three years was lifted because he showed remorse.

The party has still not appointed a new provincial chairperson to replace the ousted Marius Fransman because his appeal process is still underway.

Read more on:    anc  |  faiez jacobs  |  cape town  |  politics  |  crime

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