Nyanga children empowered with life skills

Scores of children attended the school holiday programme in Nyanga.

Nyanga Community Policing Forum (CPF) held an informative and educational school holiday programme aimed at cautioning the youth about the dangers of crime.

On Thursday June 20, various stakeholders gathered at Shawco hall to share words of wisdom, advice and ways of living a healthy lifestyle. The CPF said they wanted to help police reduce crime in the area and contribute toward repairing the tarnished image of Nyanga which had become known as South Africa’s murder capital.

Dumisani Qwebe CPF secretary, said they wanted to involve other stakeholders, among them churches, whom he felt had been left out of many crime-fighting efforts. He added that their programme targeted children between the age of 11 and 18 as they were the ones at risk of being lured to crime and drugs.

Mr Qwebe said they had informed children that crime did not pay but ruined one’s life — and that of the entire community.

Among the many factors that led to children committing crime, he said, were a lack of role models, parents not playing an effective parenting role and broken families. In addition to this, he said, the lack of extramural activities was also a major contributor. “We want to make Nyanga a better place to live. We want our children to walk freely in the streets. We want reclaim our community. We can’t live in fear because of criminals. We want our children and grandchildren to live in a society that encourages them to dream big. We want a better society and country,” he said. Nyanga police spokesperson, Captain Ntomboxolo Sitshitshi, said police welcomed any support for their efforts to combat crime.

She said they informed children about the dangers of crime and encouraged them not to have a criminal record. Inga Hlongola said she hoped to share the information with her peers.