Ma­nen­berg re­newal a 10-year plan

Cape Argus - - Front Page - Ja­son Felix

THE FRUITS of gov­ern­ment’s bold plan to im­prove gang-rav­aged Ma­nen­berg will only be seen in the next 10 years, Premier Helen Zille said.

She was speak­ing at a meet­ing of the West­ern Cape Leg­is­la­ture’s stand­ing com­mit­tee where she and her depart­ment pre­sented its an­nual re­port for 2016/2017.

“I have been do­ing many read­ings. The Shot-spotter sys­tem gave me a very wor­ry­ing pic­ture. There was in one week 100 gang shoot­ings in the heart of Ma­nen­berg. That is equiv­a­lent to a civil war in that so­ci­ety.

“We’re pump­ing in mil­lions into the area to try and fix it. We are plan­ning to re­struc­ture Ma­nen­berg. We will only see the fruits of it in 10 years.

“We are pro­tect­ing young peo­ple from be­ing sucked into the gang sys­tem.”

Zille was re­spond­ing to a ques­tion from ANC MPL Cameron Dug­more who asked about the prov­ince’s strat­egy for the youth.

“We pre­vi­ously had the Bam­banani School Safety pro­gramme. When we look at the Game Chang­ers like the Al­co­hol Harms re­duc­tion... why is there not an in­te­grated ap­proach with youth?” he asked.

Said Zille: “Ev­ery­thing has to work ac­cord­ing to the con­sti­tu­tion and the law. Most of our game chang­ers fo­cus on the ar­eas where we do have power. We spend large amounts of money to in­te­grate the youth into the econ­omy. It’s the best an­ti­dote to get them out (of gangs).”

In 2015 the City of Cape Town and the West­ern Cape gov­ern­ment un­veiled bold plans to trans­form Ma­nen­berg, one of the most volatile ar­eas in the city, and up­lift the com­mu­nity. Res­i­dents were promised a R3 bil­lion “sky­scraper” med­i­cal fa­cil­ity as part of the plan to ur­banise the area through the Vi­o­lence Preven­tion through Ur­ban Up­grad­ing project.

Gov­ern­ment plans on build­ing a youth life­style cam­pus com­prised of six precincts that will in­clude ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­i­ties and stu­dent res­i­dences, sport fa­cil­i­ties and “green open spa­ces” that are linked. The plans also high­light the de­vel­op­ment of a “safe pedes­trian and cy­cle net­work” as well as the “en­hance­ment of build­ings”.

Roegshanda Pas­coe of the Ma­nen­berg Safety Fo­rum said the com­mu­nity needs greater en­gage­ment with au­thor­i­ties. “We have asked for many ad­di­tions and that plans be amended be­cause the com­mu­nity felt it would not fit. It seems though the au­thor­i­ties has its own plans al­ready.”

Zille said: “Young peo­ple need an al­ter­na­tive to al­co­hol and drugs. We need to put them on a path of op­por­tu­nity.”

PIC­TURE: PHANDO JIKELO/ANA

PLAY­GROUND: Ma­nen­berg chil­dren in a park. It will take a decade to im­ple­ment a plan to change, ac­cord­ing to Premier Helen Zille.

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