At the Subcouncil 12 Area Coordinating meeting (ACT) 30 Jan 2014, informal traders complained about drug addicted beggars that are making life hell. Since then, criminality and anti-social activities has increased. People’s Post front-page “Security beef-up” March 3rd captures the current frustration.

According to officials working with vagrants, 83 out of 107 street people identified at Mitchell’s Plain Town Centre (MPTC) refuse rehabilitation.

Since drugs are sold at the MPTC, 70 000 people who use the transport interchange and the informal traders will remain easy victims. Thus criminals have no reason to change their lifestyle.

Addicts steal anything that is not secured; this costs ratepayers millions in annual repairs. The inability of the South African Police and the City of Cape Town law enforcement to defeat this criminality is an issue. The “Corrupt cops” story 3rd March confirms what residents of Mitchells Plain know. Some police are corrupt thus a threat to the average resident. Corruption must be ruthlessly exposed to ensure the police remember that they serve the people and not themselves or politicians.

Every human has value, but since some addicts refuse to change their behaviour, society must consider sterilizing addicted street people and criminals to save on cost. This may limit those who reject help from creating more social problems. The idea is not be to punish people for being poor but to inspire behaviour change amongst those who are an obvious liability to themselves and society.

While it may seem nasty, a rural kibbutz styled enforced labour internship where addicts and street people have limited choices but to work for training and welfare sounds practical. While addicted, they must remain interned as the results of release are obvious, back to a life of crime and chaos.

Local traders also complain that foreigners operate illegal food stalls at MPTC while simultaneously selling drugs. It is sad that criminals rob hard working local people to enrich foreign drug dealers.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress