MARCH FOR YOUTH & LEARNER SAFETY!
Tomorrow, 25 August 2016, marks the second anniversary of the release of the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry’s (the Commission) final report. The Commission sat in 2014 and was a groundbreaking process that uncovered deep, systemic issues with policing not only in Khayelitsha, but across the country. It laid the groundwork for improvements to policing, safety and justice, yet many of its recommendations have still not been implemented fully and in some cases not at all.
Tomorrow, the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) and Equal Education (EE), two of the organisations who originally called for a Commission to be established in 2011, will march to the Office of Premier Helen Zille.
We will be marching because of the failure of the Western Cape Government, and in particular the Department of Community Safety (DOCS), to implement Recommendation 12 of the Commission’s report.
This recommendation calls on DOCS to convene a multi-sectoral task team on youth gangs, which should include, amongst others, representatives from the Provincial Departments of Education, Health and Social Welfare. The recommendation also states that the convened task team should develop a strategic plan to address the issue of youth gangs and that the plan should be implemented within six months of the Commission’s report. We are now a year and a half past that six month’s period and there is still no plan.
Earlier this month there were a number of incidents of school gang violence at Bulumko High School in Khayelitsha including a pupil being stabbed. Equal Education’s research into violence at schools conducted in April this year (more than 200 schools in the Western Cape with more than 200,000 pupils) shows that 1 in 9 schools had experienced a stabbing in the previous 12 months and that 1 in 6 schools had a gang presence in the previous 3 months. It is clear that these are issues that continue to disrupt learning, violate basic rights including safety and freedom, and require urgent attention.
In the memorandum we will release tomorrow we will be demanding:
1. Full implementation of Recommendation 12 of the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry to ensure a safe environment for learning and youth development.
2. A directive to all relevant provincial MECs and departments to act on the recommendation and to implement the safety plan to be developed by the multi-sectoral task team on youth gangs within 6 months.
3. Renewed political commitment to the implementation of all 20 of the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry’s recommendations.
The Commission provided us with a unique opportunity to begin addressing a range of problems that affect everyone living in South Africa. It is unconscionable that two years have passed and in many respects nothing has been done to act on these recommendations.
Please support and join us tomorrow!
Details of the march:
Date: 25 August 2016
Time: Assemble at 9h30, begin to march by 10h00, event to end by 13h00
Route: Assemble at Cape Peninsula University of Technology parking lot (corner of Tennant and Keizersgracht Streets) and march to the Western Cape Provincial Legislature on Wale Street
For comment please contact:
Sifiso Zitwana (SJC) – 078 865 0897
Nishal Robb (EE) – 079 511 6790