Kids join picket for space at H.Park civic

Kids join picket for space at H.Park civic

DONT HOG: Children were among those to demand equal use of the Hanover Park Civic Centre, after womens forum was evicted

Children picketed outside the Hanover Park Civic Centre, calling on organisations “hogging” the venue to create a safe space for them in which to play.

They were joined by the Hanover Park Civic Association, whose spokeswoman Nawaal Nazier, says the children have nowhere to play in the crime-infested and gang-ridden area.

Nazier says it was unfair for certain community organisations to hold the civic centre “hostage” while children dodge gang bullets outside.

Nazier said their association, “the oldest in Hanover Park”, supported the eviction of several organisations from the centre by the City of Cape Town.

The Hanover Park Women’s Forum, the umbrella body for 15 registered women’s organisations at the centre, was told to vacate the centre this week.

Mayoral Committee Member for Safety, Security and Social Services, JP Smith, explained that many organisations have been occupying space without formal agreements being in place.

He said all the organisations would be able to re-apply for space at City-owned facilities.

Nazier tells the Daily Voice: “We are in support of the eviction. Children need a place to feel safe and should not be victims or in danger because a safe space they might have is being hijacked by community organisations.

“It should be available for our children to play.”

The children, waving placards, stood outside Ward Councillor Antonio van der Rheede’s office, demanding the right to play.

“We want to play,” they chanted, holding up their homemade posters which read “Community hall for all”, and “Don’t hug (hog) our facilities”.

The Hanover Park Women’s Forum says pensioners who have used the facility for the past 30 years were among those evicted.

Forum chairwoman, Muriel George, says they were given no notice of eviction.

“On Friday, a facility officer was sent by the new facility manager to tell us to vacate,” she says.

“We were shocked. We heard rumours about evictions, but no one ever came to confirm those rumours. Where must we go now?”

Recommended for you