In a bid to combat the scourge of ever-present gangsterism and violence in the Western Cape’s notorious Hanover Park, inter-religious groups are coming together in a show of unity to help the community win back their public spaces that are otherwise the venue of turf wars and senseless crime.
Members of the Muslim, Christian and other faith-based organisations will be hosting a community safety awareness initiative at Phillans Park, Hanover Park this weekend.
The multi-religious gathering, coordinated by the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC), the Hanover Park Society, and Islamic Relief South Africa (IRSA) amongst others, aims to address the rampant issues of crime and gangsterism in the area.
“Crime, especially gangsterism, affects us all,” said Programme co-ordinator and MJC Member Moulana Tahaa Rodrigues. “Not only Muslims but non-Muslims are affected too. It’s about time we work together to take ownership of our streets and community.”
Phillans Park, also known as the Jungle Park, was earmarked for an upgrade by the City of Cape Town last year but construction workers left the site in August 2017 and never returned.
“Jungle Park was declared a red zone because gangsters are always shooting across the park,” Moulana Rodrigues continued. “Two months ago, the construction workers who were tasked to build a state of the art recreational park for our children, downed tools and never returned because their lives were in danger. This is adults we’re speaking about. What about children who are meant to use the park? What’s the use government invests in our areas for lavish parks but children cannot make use of the facilities? The issue of gangsterism must be addressed first.”
How can you get involved?
The community safety awareness programme starts on Friday, 27th October from 7 pm to 10 pm and includes motivational talks from religious leaders, an address by the ward councillor, the Community Policing Forum and the Newfields Neighbourhood watch.
On Saturday, from 10 am until Sunday 3 am, children will have a chance to play freely without the threat of violence. There will be jumping castles, face-painting facilities, netball and soccer matches as well as other games that aim to entertain the youth. The Church choir, Qasida groups and other entertainment will be made available. Residents have the option to camp out the entire evening until 3 am the next morning.
Caring for our future generation
Religious leaders of Hanover Park called on IRSA to supply the children with Party Packs.
“As Islamic Relief we take particular interest in the well-being of children. We believe that all children have a right to personal dignity and protection from abuse, and recognise the special responsibility and duty of the community to create a safe environment for children,” said IRSA CEO, Yusuf Mohamed.
“It is essential for all community stakeholders to engage in proactive measures to protect children from physical, psychological and emotional harm.”
“It is our sincere hope that this initiative will be the beginning of religious and community leaders playing a meaningful role in developing and building the community of Hanover Park,” he continued.
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