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'If the Cape Flats doesn't rob you of your dreams, it takes your smile or life'

22 September 2021 11:21 AM
Tags:
Gang violence
Gangsterism
Gangs
Cape Flats
cape gun violence
Life Changers Foundation

Morning Review host Lester Kiewit chats to Brandon Eckardt, the CEO of the Life Changers Foundation, about violence and gangsterism on the Cape Flats.
  • The CEO of the Life Changers Foundation says there are not enough social interventions on the Cape Flats
  • Brandon Eckardt says young boys are dying on an ongoing basis as they get lured into gang activity

FILE: The Gang and Drugs Task Team patrols the streets of Manenberg. Known for its gang violence, Manenberg is home to a new tech which is attempting to curb gun violence. Picture: Anthony Molyneaux/EWN

More social interventions are needed on the Cape Flats to help vulnerable and traumatised youth in the area, says Brandon Eckardt, the CEO of the Life Changers Foundation.

Eckardt says young men on the Cape Flats are lost to gangsterism, alcoholism, and drug addiction because they don't see any other possibilities or opportunities.

The Life Changers Foundation works closely with young men who are actively involved in gangs to help give them a brighter future.

Over the weekend, a young man named Austin, who received assistance from the foundation, was shot dead.

Eckardt says he's attended countless funerals of young men on the Cape Flats.

"This is what the Cape Flats has the power of doing. If it does not rob you of your dreams, it takes away your smile and may take your life too", he wrote in a recent Facebook post.

The CEO says more counselling and social services are needed on the Cape Flats to help families deal with the pain, grief and mental impact of gang violence in their communities.

"The trauma is not being treated", Eckardt tells CapeTalk.

I sit and often think about the boys that we bury, and it's not an easy thing to do.

Brandon Eckardt, CEO - Life Changers Foundation

Austin is one of the many boys over the years. We've buried so many. For this year already, I've been at nine funerals of boys that we know. It's painful and hurtful.

Brandon Eckardt, CEO - Life Changers Foundation

Yes, a lot of these kids are actively involved in gangs, but this is something the Cape Flats does... You have gangs who suck guys in for a pair of Jordans. Mother can't buy this, the father can't buy that, they can't provide them certain things and they want it elsewhere. So, gangs provide them with that.

Brandon Eckardt, CEO - Life Changers Foundation

The Cape Flats was built in the apartheid regime to break down the way people think. It was socially engineered to destroy. The people on the Cape Flats were socially engineered to kill each other.

Brandon Eckardt, CEO - Life Changers Foundation



22 September 2021 11:21 AM
Tags:
Gang violence
Gangsterism
Gangs
Cape Flats
cape gun violence
Life Changers Foundation

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