We have had enough. Crime must fall! This was the call of angry Portland residents on Freedom Day, Wednesday April 27, as members of the area’s block committees protested against drugs and gangsterism. The march started on the corner of Merrydale Avenue and Spine Road and continued until Wespoort Drive.
Out in the cold from around 9am, residents held posters which read “No to drugs” and “Enough is enough, no violence”.
“Break-ins, robberies, drugs and violence, when will it stop? As the neighbourhood watch and block committees we are doing our best to reduce crime, but we need more people to come on board.
“Freedom Day, is an important day on our SA calendar. On this day we were set free from racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination. We find it fit to protest on this day as the community are not able to move freely and live in a free environment,” said Anita Forbes, chairperson of Portland Neighbourhood Watch.
Cecil Lubbe, sub-forum chairperson for Portland, said residents are fed up with the ongoing violence in Mitchell’s Plain. “Our people cannot live in fear daily. It’s not right. It is not what our people fought for in the apartheid years. Myself and Portland resident Chris van der Vent set up eight block committees and we are impressed by the growing numbers. Now, all we need is the assistance of our safety authorities as we cannot fight crime alone,” he said.
Mr Van der Vent, from Block F, said break-ins and robberies are regular occurances in his area.
“We are doing our patrols in the mornings and evenings. Why must our youth and pensioners be victims of violence? We will keep highlighting our concerns until we see change in our community,” he said.
Sakeena Daniels from the Tafelsig West sub-forum said: “We need to claim our streets back. We cannot sit and watch how crime increases, we need to stand up and take action. Drugs are destroying our community and that we cannot tolerate. So, the more we patrol and alert the police, the cleaner your street becomes.”