‘We need to get Mitchell’s Plain working’

Westridge Neighbourhood Watch members want to help the youth in their community learn a trade and encourage them to find or create work opportunities.

Members of the Kronendal block watch have identified five young people, who were at risk of joining a gang or becoming drug addicts.

VD Cables directors Kashief Swartz, Ganief van Dieman and Violet Swartz, Kronendal block watch chairman Wayne Fisher and Westridge neighbourhood watch chairman Daneel van Boom.

On Saturday June 5, they invited youth to register to be participants in a fibre optics training programme offered by VD Cables.

Block watch chairman Wayne Fisher said one of their candidates was about to finish a drug rehabilitation programme.

“His mom almost lost their house (through his involvement in) gangsterism.

“Now when he comes out he needs an income to help his family,” he said.

Mr Fisher said they would like to give the youth hope.

“We want to try a different approach. Instead of our kids going into drugs and gangsterism, we are pushing them to VD Cables. We want them to be employed. We need to get Mitchell’s Plain working. We need to get our economy working,” he said.

Mr Fisher said they know which children in the area need assistance and “we want to turn the black sheep into an out-of-the-ordinary person,” he said.

Ganief van Dieman, a VD Cables director and Kronendal block watch member, said they would offer the training and thereafter 30 participants would be assigned to work with technicians.

“They will get on-the-job training and have the prospect of employment,” he said.

Mr Van Dieman said there was a demand for training in fibre optic installation, and that its uses were endless.

Fibre optic cables transmit data at very high speeds, which is used for the internet, cable television, the telephone, computer networking, at medical surgeries, dentists, lighting and decorations, mechanical checks, military and space applications.

Another director, Violet Swartz, said the programme would start within three weeks and that it would be interactive.

Participants need to have completed Grade 10 and must be willing to complete the training.

“We are giving them hope. Many of them do not have their matric certificates. With this course we want to encourage them to further their studies, whether it is completing matric or going to college,” she said.

She said they were targeting people aged 16 to 35 years old and that each participants who finished the programme, would receive a certificate of completion.

Ms Swartz said Mr Van Diemen and his wife Fowzia, who is also a director, were instrumental in identifying the need for this partnership in their community.

Westridge neighbourhood watch chairman Daneel van Boom said he was grateful for the partnership between VD Cables, the block watch and the neighbourhood watch.

“I love the idea of taking the youth off the streets (and) giving them an opportunity – giving them something to fall back on and giving them a skill, which would prevent them from joining the gang and getting addicted to drugs,” he said.