Kwezi Kobus, Langa
Police seem to be absent when youngsters addicted to dangerous drugs such as the notorious tik terrorise our beautiful community of Langa, which appears to be at peace to outsiders looking in.
Robberies and other crimes have become the order of the day.
People on their way to catch public transport to work in the early mornings fall prey to marauding gangs of 16- to 18-year-olds who rob them of even their ‘izikhafthina’ (lunch boxes) besides wallets and cellphones.
Identity cards, bank cards and South Africa Social Security Agency cards are thrown away in the nearest alley.
You cannot step out of your house to quickly go buy bread or milk from the nearby spaza (where money is usually snatched from children sent by parents or drugs are also sold by youths hanging around there) without returning to find the security gate to your home broken open and your valuables, which invariably include your cellphone, microwave or TV gone.
There are reports of a BMW car from Hanover Park that comes to buy these stolen goods that is just a phone call away.
A lady visiting her late mother’s grave early on Saturday morning was lucky to escape being robbed, raped or killed by four panga-wielding, drugged, drunk maniacs by fighting and tightly holding on to her handbag before running to her car and driving off with already slashed tyres.
A security company supposedly has a tender from the City of Cape Town to guard the cemetery. Dololo.
Patrols with the help of taxi operators may be an option as only women come out to patrol the streets on Fridays and Saturday nights.
Men usually don’t respond to patrol, offering excuses such as Bafana is playing etc, while they relax in their favourite drinking holes.
A senior citizen who is a veteran of community anti-crime activism advised, “bizani amadoda entlanganisweni. Ezi ntwana aziboyiki oomama.”
Maybe we should invite police minister Fikile “Razzmatazz” Mbalula, Community Safety MEC Dan Plato and the provincial police commissioner, Major General Khombinkosi Jula, to account to the community of Langa about how they plan to address the crisis of crime that is destroying our beautiful community.
What are parents doing about the high rate of school drop-outs from grades as low as Grades 6 to 9?
What do they say when their 14-year-old son stops going to school?
What happened to the government’s threat of not allowing children of school going age to roam the streets?
Children as young as nine or 10 fight as different gangs from different areas of the township and chase one another with knives.
Maybe the City’s Department of Social Development should initiate youth development programmes that can take youth at risk of falling into drug addiction and a life of crime by providing life skills.
Other communities like Khayelitsha and Gugulethu have at least made headway in dealing with crime and drugs.
It is about time the community stands up and faces this scourge head on and finds an integrated intervention solution.
Our future is dying. Let us do something about it before it is too late.