Living by the gun

Solomon Philander, councillor, Ward 79

In recent weeks we have seen innocent people being killed by the bullet. These violent acts in our community cannot be justified by any person. We live in a community with our families with the hope to protect them but a few keep us ransom. The violence impact on the whole community.

Our children are living in fear on their way to and from school; the working class are living in fear; and our youth are living in fear.

In recent days I have heard horrible stories where children have had to run for their lives, innocent young people killed and most of all our sick people, who are in need of ur-
gent medical care, are waiting hours for emergency services to reach them, due to the violence.

This month, Mitchell’s Plain Community Health Centre (CHC) rolled out a community-orientated primary care programme in Eastridge. This project will take primary health care to the people by ensuring that the people access health care. Once again the lives of members of Arisen Women, who are working on the ground, are in danger due to these violent acts in the community. Last week the ladies reported that they had to run for their lives because of a shooting, while they were walking the streets, offering healthcare to those who need it.

I am always asked what is the government doing? It is clear the battle against crime is not one-sided but it needs a whole community approach.

Gunshots and killings have become a regular occurrence in Eastridge and it leaves the community traumatised.

When I hear that someone was shot, the shock of the community is short-lived, because of the next incident, happening in quick succession. I want to express that our lives matter and that we must stand together in dealing with the crime we face today.

To the perpetrators of crime in Eastridge – your violent acts are leaving the community traumatised. Whatever your motives, our children and innocent people are living in fear. The community does not have to pay for your crimes.

We need an increase in police visibility and swift action by the justice system to bring the perpetrators to book.

We have the right to live in peace in our community. Why must families live in fear? Children who are going to school to learn are the ones who are traumatised and not protected.

Children in Boekenhout Street are the ones who must fight for their lives in hospital due to shootings. Why are the authorities not giving the community peace of mind in patrolling our streets and acting on these incidents?

We continue to pray for peace in our community.