Schauderville residents flock to DA meeting: The Herald

‘ The most 10111 calls in the province come from Bethelsdorp. It is time for an all-out war on gangs’

A PACKED Jarman Hall in Schauderville, Port Elizabeth, hung on every word the DA said when residents from Ward 11 had the chance to meet leaders from the party.

DA MPL and spokesman for safety and security Bobby Stevenson attended the fifth in a series of public meetings the DA is hosting across the city.

Stevenson and fellow MPL and spokesman for education Edmund van Vuuren addressed the crowd about gang violence, drug abuse and the state of schools in the northern areas.

“Drugs and gangsterism destroy hope, dignity and opportunity. The most 10111 calls in the province come from Bethelsdorp. It is time for an all-out war on gangs. Stamping out these gangsters and drug dealers must be a national priority,” Stevenson said.

He said the community, especially churches, played a key role in the fight against crime, and that intergovernment cooperation, between groups like the police, Social Development and Correctional Services was very important.

“On March 21, we had a big march against drugs and gangsterism in the northern areas.

“The good news is since that march there has been an increase in police presence throughout the area, and a number of arrests have been made. The national police minister has visited the area, and we’ve seen helicopters flying over the northern areas. We sent the government a message, and they have heard us,” he said.

A passionate Van Vuuren, speaking after Stevenson, brought up key issues regarding the state of education in the Eastern Cape.

“We have seen 38 000 pupils leave the Eastern Cape to attend schools in the Western Cape. A total of 1 049 schools are without proper sanitation, and 2 930 schools do not have enough desks. And the MEC for education still says there is nothing wrong with education in the Eastern Cape.”

The crowd cheered loudly, with people shouting anti-ANC slogans: “DA in! ANC out!”

“We are tired of empty promises. The ANC abuses our people’s desperation, by promising them jobs and houses in exchange for votes. But we have had enough! Viva DA!” a man in the crowd said.

DA MP Donald Lee was the last to address the gathering before people started leaving.

“Look at the so-called security upgrades at Nkandla.

“There the people are safe. Even the cattle and chickens are safe now.

“Now where are the northern areas’ security upgrades? When will our people be safe at their homes?”

He mentioned that he planned to retire, but would stay in politics until 2016, “because that is the year the DA wins the metro”, for which he received a standing ovation.