Gauteng Premier David Makhura says an audit is being done of communities neglected both during Apartheid and under the new democratic government.
He was responding to a group of people representing predominantly Coloured communities in Gauteng who marched to his office in Johannesburg on Friday.
The group handed him a letter demanding that he conduct an audit of how many Coloured people were employed by government and how many Coloured-owned companies benefited from government contracts.
They’ve given him seven days to respond to their demands.
A group of people representing predominantly Coloured communities including Riverlea, Eldorado Park and Ennerdale, marched to Makhura’s office as part of their so-called Blood Friday protest.
The aim was to commemorate those who died in incidents of crime and gang-related violence.
But they were also there to express the frustration these communities feel.
They say they are neglected and marginalised by the current government in terms of economic inclusion.
“I’m 43 years old; I don’t have a house; we don’t have proper education; I don’t have a job. We need jobs. They don’t see us at all. That’s why I am here … we need to get rid of drugs in our areas. People are dying. Even my son is on drugs and there is a problem because there are so many drug dealers. So, we need help.”
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The organisers were not too happy about the numbers that showed up.
But they stressed that it was a history-making event as Coloured people had not marched in a long time.
March organiser, Anthony Williams says, “We want to start at the beginning where our forefathers were murdered. Nobody has atoned the blood of our forefathers. It is calling from our land. That’s what blood Friday is about. It’s about understanding where we are coming from.”
Coloured communities have been in the news recently following the death of Westbury mother, Heather Peterson.
She was caught in the crossfire during an alleged gang-related shooting. Her death sparked a wave of protests in predominantly Coloured communities.
They feel government is paying lip service to their socio-economic challenges, including the high crime rate and drug abuse.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura, who accepted their memorandum, indicated that he was already hard at work addressing the plight of poor communities.
“That audit is already underway because I also want to see in the communities that were neglected under apartheid, because you were neglected under apartheid, I want an audit of everything.”
They say they’ll hold another march next week, but this time it will be to the offices of Johannesburg mayor, Herman Mashaba.
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