[LISTEN] The truth about life on the Cape Flats...by the people who live there

Murder, drugs, gangsterism and gun wars.

All commonplace on the Cape Flats, an area of Cape Town often described as "apartheid's dumping ground".

On Thursday's John Maytham Show on CapeTalk, five residents from Hanover Park, Bontehuewel, Wesbank, Elsies River and Lavender Hill told their personal stories of what life is like living on 'The Flats'.

'Am I going to get out of this area alive?'

Ashraf Allie has been working in Hanover Park for nearly five years.

You'll be in a meeting and you hear the gunshots and you wonder: "Am I going to get out of this area alive?"

Ashraf Allie, Chairperson - Hanover Park Cricket Club

He's also the chairperson of Hanover Park Cricket Club.

On so many occasions we've had to cancel meetings or practices because of a shooting in the area.

Ashraf Allie, Chairperson - Hanover Park Cricket Club

'The drugs they use make them crazy...'.

Patsy Solomons lives in Wesbank - a small township situated between Blue Downs and Kleinvlei in Eerste River.

She says shootings and other gang-related activities have plagued her neighbourhood for 15 years.

In a street next to me, six people died in one year...around us there's a lot of shootings happening.

Pasty Solomons, Wesbank resident

You must see the little ones, they're so trained, if they hear a gunshot then they will start running home.

Pasty Solomons, Wesbank resident

Patsy has two sons aged 20 and 22 - one is a recovered drug addict and former gang member who these days, with 12-year sobriety under his belt, teaches in China.

She says drugs have an enormous role to play in the troubles in Wesbank.

The drugs that they use now, it's like it makes them crazy; they don't care.

Pasty Solomons, Wesbank resident

'Why is life on the flats so cheap?'

On July 2, 100 officers from the City of Cape Town's new neighbourhood safety team were deployed to the gang-ridden community of Bonteheuwel

Resident Mary-Ann Davids says there has been a marked difference since their arrival.

For now, it's calm...I just hope it lasts for a little while longer.

Mary-Ann Davids, Bontehuewel resident

A road away from me some guy was shot and killed randomly in the early hours of the morning and it raises the question, when are they coming to my street?

Mary-Ann Davids, Bontehuewel resident

Why is life on the flats so cheap?

Mary-Ann Davids, Bontehuewel resident

'You are constantly looking over your shoulder'

Imraan Mukkadam runs a delivery distribution service in Elsies River.

His job requires him to travel to some of the most dangerous parts of that neighbourhood.

We get up every morning with the reality that we might not come home.

Imraan Mukkadam, Elsies River resident

Imraan says it's a small minority of people who are giving Elsies River a bad image.

The majority of our citizens are hard-working, good people. We don't want the stigma of Elsies River being such a bad place.

Imraan Mukkadam, Elsies River resident

"I was cooking on the stoep, a bullet went through the pot'

Charmaine Joseph lives in Lavender Hill and says the community is held hostage by the gangs operating there.

Over the holidays our children were prisoners in our own community.

Charmaine Joseph, Lavender Hill resident

Chairmane runs a feeding programme for young children in the area, every week making a pot of porridge or samp and beans, but she says for the past four weeks she's been unable to run the programme due to shootings.

A bullet went through the pot...I was cooking on the stoep.

Charmaine Joseph, Lavender Hill resident

Listen below as residents in the Cape Flats share their stories:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : [LISTEN] The truth about life on the Cape Flats...by the people who live there


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