Help us keep our kids off the streets

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - COMMENT -

YOU KNOW it’s elec­tion time again when you see the politi­cians “take to the road” can­vass­ing for votes.

This is also the time when ne­glected con­stituen­cies high­light the non- de­liv­ery of ser­vices ei­ther through protests (vi­o­lent or peace­ful), or, for those who have the means, through the print or elec­tronic me­dia.

I will use the lat­ter as it is avail­able at the lo­cal li­brary, is less de­struc­tive and it ap­pears that politi­cians read the SMS col­umn and Cape Points.

I re­side in Pel­i­can Park ex­ten­sion 1,2 & 3, where we have no­ticed the fluc­tu­a­tions of dif­fer­ent elec­tion pe­ri­ods in the 20-year his­tory of democ­racy. Al­though this area was de­mar­cated for the In­dian com­mu­nity un­der the apartheid gov­ern­ment, this area has from the on­set had a mix­ture of all the com­mu­ni­ties due to racial in­ter-mar­riage.

There is a strong at­mos­phere of com­mu­nity in­volve­ment among in­di­vid­u­als within in the com­mu­nity, be it in sport, the neigh­bour­hood watch, the ratepay­ers as­so­ci­a­tion, ac­tiv­i­ties for the youth, re­li­gious ac­tiv­i­ties and so on.

How­ever, the ef­forts are some­what cur­tailed due to the lack of or the slow as­sis­tance by the city (cur­rent and pre­vi­ous). I was mainly in­volved in or­gan­is­ing sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, par­tic­u­larly soc­cer and cricket for the youth.

We were promised on many oc­ca­sions a de­cent sports­field, from the very in­cep­tion of this area more than 30 years ago.

Many politi­cians rep­re­sent­ing the dif­fer­ent ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties have come and gone or passed-on but have not hon­oured their prom­ises.

Like many ar­eas on the Cape Flats, we have also seen youth from de­cent fam­i­lies be­ing de­stroyed by drugs and our ef­forts to pre­vent this through sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties have been cur­tailed by those in power who have not ful­filled their prom­ises.

We have seen dur­ing ev­ery elec­tion the slid­ing board at Mossie Street Play Parks be­ing re­moved and painted a dif­fer­ent colour and then re­turned, be­ing driven through the area on a trailer on a weekend so that all the res­i­dents who are at home on a Satur­day can to see that the “city works for you”.

We have had meet­ings over the years with the dif­fer­ent coun­cil­lors, politi­cians and se­nior of­fi­cials of the dif­fer­ent city de­part­ments to as­sist us in up­grad­ing the open field next to the play park.

This field was al­lo­cated as a kick­about fa­cil­ity for the young­sters in the area to play ball games such as soc­cer, rugby and cricket.

We also sug­gested a bas­ket ball/net­ball court or cricket nets sim­i­lar to those in ar­eas like Hanover Park, Ma­nen­berg and Khayelit­sha.

We need to cre­ate ac­tiv­i­ties for the teenagers as this is the age where the chil­dren are side­tracked and in­flu­enced in the wrong di­rec­tion.

This has now be­come more ur­gent as the area is be­ing ex­panded to in­clude 5 000 more houses.

I hope and pray that some­body in power is will­ing to as­sist us.

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