Activist community

Eldorado Park community demands integrated approach to drug and crime crisis

Susan Baadjies’ son was shot eight times in January as he sat in his car. She accused the local police of incompetence, adding that she only started to see progress in the case after pressuring the investigator by approaching the district office.

“It was not a good scene, shots in the face. Why? He wasn’t a drug dealer. He was a married man with two children. On the day of his shooting, there was not a single police officer on the scene. His case was delegated to an officer who was not even on duty.

The community called for an integrated approach to the social ills that continue to plague this community; these include a lack of basic services, drug and alcohol abuse, violent crime and a high number of rape incidents.

Anti-drug activist and spokesperson for the ‘Yes Eldos Again’ movement Dereleen James said she has faced incidents involving minors engaging in sexual activity due to poor living conditions in their homes.

“What are we showing our children by not providing homes? This is our reality here. An integrated approach. We say when you come to us, don’t just say you’re going to, we want to see that budget,” an emotional James said.

Activist claims families of up to six share a two-room house and children as young as nine have sex with each other because they are exposed to sexual activity at home due to lack of ‘space.

She says teenagers are shot and killed or become addicted to drugs before they have had a chance to fulfill their dreams of furthering their education.

She attributes this to the lack of recreational facilities.

Meanwhile, during his visit to Eldorado Park police station on Monday, Johannesburg Mayor Dada Morero promised to give the community weekly updates on efforts to address their grievances.

“We are going to up the game when it comes to security issues. So it will be the short term and the roads matter. So we will sit down, look at the basket of priorities and then see what can be prioritized based on the resources we have,” he said.

The Mayor met with community leaders and introduced 10 new MMCs who had been sworn into Johannesburg Council earlier in the day.