Religious leaders, Mayor Patricia de Lille and Democratic Alliance leader, Mmusi Maimane, joined the community of Manenberg to pray for an end to violence in the area.
The prayer meeting was held at the Duinefontein community centre, in Manenberg, last Thursday, June 9.
Ms De Lille said one needs to look at the history of Manenberg to figure out why the community was in its current state.
“Manenberg never used to be like this, but we also need to go back to the history of Manenberg. People were forcibly removed from Claremont, Kenilworth, and District Six, all the so-called white areas, and they were dumped here. People were not used to living in the conditions they were forced to live in in these flats. The social ills soon started to grow in the communities. They had to build a community away from everything,” she said.
She said parents must be honest and admit that they have failed their children.
“We have to be brutally honest with ourselves if we want to find a solution. We must admit that we have failed our children. You have given up on our own children. Those gangsters and drug dealers are our children, they come from our community, we need to break the silence and say where they live,” she said.
Ward 46 councillor Junade Hoosain said people needed to pray for peace in the area.
“Our youth and young adults, mothers and fathers, have died due to gangsterism and drugs. Those who live here duck and dive from bullets every day. We have to pray for our community and restore the peace,” said Mr Hoosain.
He urged the community to take charge of the area they live in. “Government plays its role but can only do so much,” he said.
Residents Sharon Botman took to the front and explained how her 14-year-old grandson was killed.
“Tino was a lovely boy, he crept into everyone’s hearts. He left a young life behind. They hit him with a concrete slab and killed him. We don’t want the suspects to get bail even though they are young. We want justice to be served,” said Ms Botman.
Mr Maimane said that everyone has a dream for their children to become successful.
“When you look at your children or your neighbours’ children you pray for them to have a long life and achieve the dream the parent wants for them. We want to be proud South Africans as doctors, lawyers, and teachers, not drug dealers,” he said.
Ms De Lille said the City of Cape Town launched the first phase of the anti-drug campaign in 2012, and created 14 000 jobs.
It targeted young people who were not yet involved in drugs.
The second phase of the campaign was aimed at the families of drug users.
“In the third phase we targeted the supply and demand for drugs, for as long as there is a demand for the drugs, the supply will grow. They give our children the first three shots free of charge and get them hooked onto drugs and from there their lives are messed up. They have to make a plan to feed that addiction,” she said.
The fourth phase was launched last Wednesday, June 8. The City took youth who had passed the 16-week programme at the matrix clinics and trained them to bring other substance abusers to the clinics.
“We realised that once the youngsters come out of the matrix clinics it is easy to go back to drugs, we had to find a way to keep them busy. We started employing them and trained them to go out and bring other people to the matrix clinics,” she said.
She urged residents to call the City’s 24-hour number to phone for help for their families – 0800 435 748.
She said parents must teach their children to stay inside when shootings occur. She said young lives are lost because of children wanting to see what is happening outside.
Ms De Lille said all the flats in Manenberg are council-owned and those selling drugs will be evicted.
“We evicted 23 families in the past two years, and put families in there that deserve it. Enough is enough, we can’t be kept hostage in our own community. The time has come to put our children first,” she said.