The Edenvale Social Crime Prevention Unit, in collaboration with the Edenvale Community Policing Forum (ECPF), and Edenvale Police Youth Desk took to the streets of Edenvale on 16 June, Youth Day, to protest against drugs and abuse, and to make a stand for the rights of the community’s youth. The march was organised by Sergeant Jacob Mashile, head of Edenvale Police’s Social Crime Prevention Unit, and members of the newly-formed Youth Desk.
Joining them were officials from the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Policing Department (EMPD) and private security companies, as well as local ward officials.
Before the march commenced, ECPF public relations officer Joanne Taylor explained it was great to bring the community together in support of such a worthy initiative. She said they would be walking down main roads in Edenvale through areas where drug dealers often traded, in a bold statement that the community had had enough. “The youth are rising up in protest and we as officials are showing them and their offenders that we are backing them up all the way,” she said.
Resident Liezel Ackerman was among those joining in the march. She arrived with her husband and daughter and told tame TIMES, “We want our daughter to grow up aware of the things happening around her and this is a part of that.”
Ward 18 councillor Heather Hart, also present at the march, said: “Considering how the student uprising of 1976 changed the future of our country, it is important that we never forget the tragedy of that day nor the role of the youth in our society. For me, the fact that our education system is in crisis and our youth are not only subjected to violence and abuse but often battle to be heard, makes this day even more significant. It is a day when they get to set the agenda.”