An intervention by the provincial Department of Community Safety has been credited with helping to reduce crime and violence in Marikana, Philippi East.
On Wednesday October 11, the department held an extensive youth Safety Outreach in Marikana, at the African Gospel Church, to provide positive alternatives for young people.
Community Safety MEC Dan Plato addressed the youth at the event.
He said the programme was a peace-building approach to curtailing violence in communities across city and that his department would embark on more youth outreach programmes around the metro.
“The aim is to prevent youth from being lured into negative social behaviours such as gangsterism, drugs and specifically alcohol, while presenting the various opportunities for development, further education and partnerships available through the department,” he said.
After addressing the youth Mr Plato was adamant that things would improve in Marikana. “It is very important for us to reach out to our people so they can hear things we can do for them. It is the beauty of any government to encourage its citizens, especially young people. There is indeed hope for them. I am happy they came out in their numbers to listen and register with Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges (TVET). We offer a couple of programmes with Chrysalis academy and with TVETs,” said Mr Plato.
Former Cape Peninsula University of Technology student Simbulele Jonas commended the programme. While the young people had “a lot” of influence in the community, he said, many of them had “resorted to alcohol because they have nothing to do”.
“This is a good initiative that might turn the tables. Many might reform and be something in life,” he told Vukani.
Mr Jonas was forced to drop out of CPUT because he could not afford the fees. He said he identified a course from the initiative and he hoped it would help him. “I have trust in what they told us. I hope the government will not let us down,” he said.
Another youth Gcotyelwa Nkwali applauded the department for reaching out to young people.
“The information that we got was extensive and helpful. This is too good to be true, but I have trust in the people that were here.
“At home we are four and others are currently at school. This will definitely help us. Most parents are unemployed, so this will be helpful. I am adamant that things will change for good here,”she said.
Community leader Joseph Makeleni said he was happy that something was being done to reduce crime and violence.
He said he was excited that many of the young people would undergo training in different fields and hoped that there would be behavioural change.
He said the interventions had come at the right time.
“I am excited that young people will be developed. We welcome the initiative with both hands. This might look little but this is good step in the right direction. We are happy that many would be placed in different colleges and probably at workplaces by the department. We are grateful,” he said.