Forum assists jobless youth to help curb sky-rocketing crime

Residents attending a Mlungisi Development and Anti-crime Forum community meeting          Picture: SUPPLIED

The newly-formed Mlungisi Development and Anti-crime Forum plans to elect a structure that will ensure the mandate of the formation, which is to assist community members, is carried out efficiently, on February 28.

The interim structure of the forum also plans to elect sub-committees in several cluster areas of Mlungisi that will assist the community in various facets of need like youth development, crime, social issues and unemployment.

The forum interim secretary, Sivuyile Yawa, said at their recent meeting they also discussed issues affecting residents like increased crime statistics fuelled by various factors.

“Statistics received from the Mlungisi police station indicate crime has increased by 80% in our area which is very concerning. The lengthy closure of schools contributed immensely because the youth had nothing to do all day and instead, indulged themselves in substances which led them to conducting criminal activities like house break-ins and robbery,” he said. Yawa indicated that in their efforts to develop unemployed youth who resorted to crime as a means to make a living, the forum was recruiting former thugs who had since joined the forum to work with Sean Russell of Russell and Son Funeral Directors, in his projects to keep Komani clean.

“The young men will work free of charge. However, we plan a fundraiser so they may get some sort of income as some are not from Komani and have no family here.

“We have a committee that is in the process of collating data of unemployed youth in Mlungisi, whose details will be sent to places of employment that may require skilled or unskilled people. The district municipality recently called for unemployed people to register with them so they may be considered when an opportunity was available and we encourage people to register,” said Yawa.

He indicated he has been tasked to be in charge of youth sport development in Mlungisi so that children may participate in sporting codes like cricket, hockey, netball and rugby to keep busy.

“While the grass on the fields is still long, we will ask some local schools to avail their fields to us so we may practise.”

Yawa warned against taking advantage of poor people by fellow residents at the Mlungisi and Queenstown post offices, indicating desperate people coming from places outside Komani had to pay a fee for a spot in the queues.

“This is pure exploitation of poor people who sometimes sleep outside the police station because they have no transport fare. Making them pay for a spot in the queues is corrupt and does not assist in what government is trying to do because instead of them taking home R350 for food, they end up with R250 out of desperation. The service by both post offices is poor, hence people stand there all day without being assisted. Something urgently needs to be done because the elderly are even robbed while standing there.”

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