Learners and parents in areas riddled by gang violence live in fear daily. Learners who attend schools in Westbury, Riverlea, Eldorado Park, and Langlaagte find it difficult to get to school safely and on time because of gangsterism.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has already written to the MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko, and the Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela, requesting more visible policing in these areas.
This follows numerous complaints from concerned parents and educators regarding the safety of learners.
In particular, Westbury Senior Secondary and Coronationville High School have been hardest hit by gangsterism.
In the latest incident at Westbury Senior Secondary, a fight broke out between two rival gangs on the school premises. One group of learners allegedly part of the so-called Fast Gun Gang was suspended and entered the school premises without permission last week.
This resulted in a fight between two alleged gangs. Parents armed with firearms protested outside the gate and threatened to deal with the matter after school as the gates were locked.
Furthermore, the safety of learners residing in these areas is under threat because of the ongoing gang violence. This is worrying, as exams are currently being written. If a learner cannot get to school on time, they miss out on adequate time to write exams.
The DA has proposed to the Community Safety Oversight committee to establish a committee of inquiry to address the gangsterism in these areas. Despite an engagement with the committee and police stations, nothing further has been done. The DA will further write to the chairperson of the Community Safety Portfolio committee and the Speaker of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) to request a timeline for this inquiry.
It is important that our learners feel safe when going to and from school and that they can learn in a conducive environment. Visible policing will assist in ensuring the safety of learners and the community.