W Cape pledges education funds to fight gang violence

The Western Cape government will divert R6-million from education to the City of Cape Town to use it in efforts to curb gang related violence, Premier Helen Zille and mayor Patricia de Lille said on Sunday.

"This budget will have to be diverted from other priorities in education. The City of Cape Town, together with the Western Cape government, met with residents in Manenberg on Thursday evening to discuss new steps that could be taken to meet the safety concerns of the educators of shut schools," the Democratic Alliance (DA) leaders said in a joint statement.

They said the provincial government and the city had limited powers in the fight against crime and violence but would continue to play their respective roles.

"Both the Western Cape government and the City of Cape Town have no powers when it comes to investigating crimes and securing convictions in a court of law," they said.

"While we are doing everything possible to make communities safer through crime prevention programmes, we will never successfully tackle gang violence if the gang members responsible for violent acts and criminal behaviour are not brought to justice and put behind bars."

Increased violence
Gang-related violence has been on the rise in areas such as Manenberg, which has affected learning as pupils and teachers say they have been afraid to go to school for fear of being trapped in a fight between gangs. Other members of the community have also been caught up in the crossfire.

As part of a plan to combat the violence, a commission of inquiry was established in Khayelitsha.

Among efforts to fight the violence, Zille and De Lille sought to pass a safety Act, conduct policing needs and priorities, watched briefs and formed partnerships.

They appealed to the SAPS to deploy additional resources to Manenberg, particularly during this increasingly violent time.

"We also repeat our calls for President Jacob Zuma to authorise the employment of the South African National Defence Force in gang hotspot areas," they said. – Sapa

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