Shutdown protests

Children call for an end to violent crime in Hanover Park.

Hanover Park, Bonteheuwel and Bishop Lavis joined shutdown protests against rampant crime in Cape Flats neighbourhoods.

More than 200 people protested in Bishop Lavis last Wednesday, and taxi drivers blocked Lavis Drive with their vehicles and with burning tyres.

Roads in Hanover Park and Bishop Lavis were closed for a few hours and reopened at 10am

Beverly Fortuin, a member of the Bishop Lavis Action Community organisation and organiser of the Bishop Lavis shutdown, said Philippi police had failed to accept a memorandum demanding, among other things, more visible policing, better street lighting, and more teachers to reduce class sizes.

Women2Women leader Yaseen Johaar said none of residents’ demands had been met since the start of the shutdown protests a year ago. Gunfire could still be heard frequently in Cape Flats neighbourhoods despite the presence of the army, he said.

“What is the point of them being here? Our demands still have not been met, and no one is doing anything about it? No one was here to receive it (the memorandum) even. Our people are tired of asking for the same thing over and over. We want safety and security.”

The memorandum also called for a greater police presence in crime hot spots; an end to the army’s deployment; permanent base camps in hot spots, the reallocation of police from safer suburbs to hot spots; jobs; training, sport and drug-rehabilitation centres; more social workers; the declaration of the Western Cape as a disaster area and better policing of public transport.

Philippi police station’s Captain Lance Goliath said that he had been in Hanover Park on the day of the protests but had not received a memorandum of demands as he had been unaware of it.