Social Intervention and Human Rights
South Africa has been experiencing thousands of protest stemming from community unhappiness about poor living conditions very high unemployment and unprecedented government leadership corruption.
The city of Cape Town has been particularly affected in 2013 and 2014. Rommel Roberts was requested to attend a special in augural meeting of the launching of a Concerned Citizens Group spearheaded by Professor Ellis and other prominent and eminent leaders. Including persons like Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, Arch Bishop Thabo head of the Anglican church of South Africa, and many leading academic's.
Rommel's role is that of a coordinator and facilitator for the CCG creating links with the affected communities and several civil society networks, as well as the political leaders of the Western Cape.
The civil society intervention lead by the Concern Citizens Group has already produced a wide ranging number of results. This has included direct intervention with protest leaders who are based in the informal settlements surrounding the city.
To maintain a level of calm and discipline as opposed to earlier protest acts of ill disapline and illegal acts of hooliganism. In return for gaining the support of religious and civil society leaders in support of their fight against ill justice and demand for the fulfillment of basic human rights in-line with the constitution. This has created opportunities to met with government leaders to address their communities cry's of non service deliver and critical housing conditions.
Through the CCG they have been able to address the media, to speak with church leaders and attend a joint walk of witness in the informal settlements.
The concerns township residents have also have been heard in the banking and investment with whom further decisions have been held with a view to potential private investment intervention.
The Walk of Witness in December 2013
The Walk of Witness was an attempt by the Concern Citizens to bear witness to the horrors of the peoples living conditions, as opposed to the contradictions and claims by government officials. It was also to be in a position to be listening to the cry's of the people's needs and their question "How is it possible that 20 years of promises of the new democracy that our condition remains the same and even worse, than during apartheid?"
Conflict Resolution and Social Intervention
The Mdantsane Peace Plan Program intends to create a climate of peace and non-violence in South Africa – starting in Mdantsane. Mdantsane, which was created during the era of apartheid, is the second biggest black township in South Africa. Compared to the rest of South Africa, rates of rape, HIV/AIDS, domestic and school violence are extremely high. This is where the Mdantsane Peace Plan Program takes action.
The Mediation Centre is located at the Mdantsane Magistrate Court in NU1. Currently there are two fulltime volunteers working at the Mediation Centre. Our volunteers mediate several types of cases with local court permission. The so-called "complainer" and "accused" are brought together to find a peaceful solution of their problems. Mostly, the cases are about: family-, love affair-, neighbourhood- or witchcraft disputes.
Victim Support Centres
We are currently running two Victim Support Centres at the Police Stations in NU 12 and NU 14. The four volunteers are getting involved when children or women become subject to any sexual or male dominated violence. They try to protect, support and counsel these victims whilst their interaction with the police.
Silent Witness Program
The two volunteers of the “Silent Witness Program” are placed at the Ulwazi High School, which is located in one of the most dangerous and corrupt units of the Mdantsane Township. Drugs, violence, sexual harassment and abuse (also by teachers) had been daily problems of Ulwazi High School for a long time. Including our two volunteers into the school environment has made Ulwazi High School safer and helped to create a safe environment.