In the first six months of 2019 almost 2000 people were murdered in the Western Cape. The bulk of these murders are related to gangsterism. The government has no solution, so it sent in the military. The main weakeness of government is that it assumes the problem is the gangster and not the conditions that make gangsterism possible. These condition are in the main socioeconomic and directly created by colonialism and apartheid.
Until we eradicate these conditions gangsterism shall continue to fester and thrive. Government cannot police poverty out of existence. Meaningful steps are necessary if government is serious. One thing for sure, we are in a deep crisis right now.
Black First Land First (BLF) therefore makes the following modest proposal – as a framework to address gang warfare – which must be seen as part of a multi layer intervention strategy that emphasizes socioeconomics as a priority:
1. Make peace amongst warring groups (make immediate intervention).
2. Undertake a massive social reconstruction program (build schools, hospitals, houses, roads, colleges, etc).
3. Through this social reconstruction program, create mass employment (cut unemployment by up to 80% within two years).
4. Undertake upskilling of the youth through further training.
5. Create and protect local industries so as to diversify employment opportunities and ensure sustainability.
6. The military must not come in with guns but must unleash skills and development in conjunction with the community.
End gangsterism through development, not through bullets.
Gangsterism is a function of the neoapartheid reality of the Western Cape. For the Western Cape to remain the enclave of white opulence, it needs to divert attention through structurally promoting gangsterism. Gang warfare distracts us from addressing the legacies of colonialism and apartheid.
Issued by Black First Land First, National Coordinating Committee of (BLF NCC)
13 July 2019
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