The rape and murder of women and children should be declared a national disaster.  The call was made at a protest march by the Western Cape United Safety Front in Cape Town on Wednesday.

The newly established organisation brings together various civic groupings to engage government on the scourge of violence, crime and gangsterism in the province.

Fed up, tired and desperate for change, various organisations including churches and Non-Governmental Organisations gathered under the banner of the Western Cape United Safety Front.

Their aim is to bring together organisations to find solutions to crime and violence. “Only through being united in our numbers we will be able to muster enough to engage government because they are the centre of power and we need to engage government so we’re looking at forming this united front and speaking from one voice and not being divided by crime and violence in our communities,” says organiser John Cloete.

Marching to Parliament, the protesters demanded an end to gang violence and the implementation of a Children’s Commissioner.

“There are 40 000 women in the last financial year that reported rape, now let me give you the true stats.  Only one out of 9 women report rape so if you take 8 times 40 000, 320 000 women never reported rape, you know why…because she wore a burka and the baby wore a nappy and granny was sick and then they raped her.  So let me tell the national government, Honourable Cyril Ramaphosa we do not want to come to your fancy summit in Jo’burg, come to Cape Flats, the women leaders of the Cape Flats are here,” urges NGO’s Philisa Abafazi’s Lucina Evans.

The group also handed over memorandums to the police and the Cape Chamber of Commerce at the provincial legislature.

“Each and every day our members are being mugged, robbed and killed as they go to the taxis or when they go to the bus stops to take transport to come to work. We are calling on government to make it a point to begin to listen to us as a society, “says Congress of South African Trade Unions’ Motlatsi Tsubane.

African Progressive Movement Youth leader Ravon Nobel says, “Because of the divisions in the older generations the youth has followed the same path and as the youth I feel we should stand together and we can call out these gangsters because it’s our friends that are being murdered, it is our little brothers and sisters that we need to bury, so we need to stand together.”

Both provincial and national government were given 14 days to respond to the demands.