William Simmers, co-ordinator of the Mitchell’s Plain Community Advice and Development Project (MPCADP)
Mitchell’s Plain Community Advice and Development Project (MPCADP) is proud to have been associated with the Plainsman over the years.
With the different challenges the people of Mitchell’s Plain face, the Plainsman has been constant in its reporting of both the good and the bad – everything from the Station Strangler to the success stories of local people.
The advice office was started more than 30 years ago during the apartheid era to assist political detainees with access to justice.
It was one of the first established advice offices in the Western Cape and one of the first community-based organisations in Mitchell’s Plain.
We have provided free legal services to the community of Mitchell’s Plain and surrounding areas.
We have established long-standing relationships with both government departments and local organisations.
The Plainsman has been one of those entities that have promoted and reported on the work of the advice office.
Mitchell’s Plain is the largest, predominantly “coloured” township in the southern hemisphere, with a population of more than 1.8 million people. It’s a community plagued by very high poverty levels because of unemployment.
This has given rise to all sorts of social ills – gangsterism, violence against women and children, substance abuse, school drop-outs and serious criminal activities.
Mitchell’s Plain was a ghost town in the past, a place where people only slept before travelling to Cape Town CBD for work.
During those times, there were no trains from Mitchell’s Plain. So, we had to take a bus to Manenberg to the nearest train station. Going to Cape Town was a day adventure.
Back then, we had no spaza shops, and we had to wait for the mobile vans that came once or twice a week, mostly Fridays, to buy the basics, which we take for granted these days.
Our milk was delivered to our doors, every morning in glass bottles. No one stole the money we left in the empty containers
In our continuous effort to promote human rights, through our advocacy campaigns and workshops, we take the slogan of “Each one teach one” to heart, and, since 1979, we have campaigned against many issues, including high water and electricity tariffs, and we are still struggling.
Getting a general hospital in Mitchell’s Plain, getting a small-claims court and an equality court – these were just some of our fights, and the Plainsman was always there to report them.
We wish you a happy anniversary and thank you for always helping us.