Two young people die in Cosmo City during youth month

A dark cloud hung over Cosmo City youth after two young people were attacked and killed in separate incidents in the month of June. Both of the deceased were graduates.

One youth was shot during an alleged road rage incident on 9 June. The other youth allegedly tried to protect a girl who was being robbed by a group of men on 16 June. He was stabbed.

Community members marching to hand over a memorandum at Cosmo City police station

The untimely death of the two was so hurting, said Ward 100 Youth Forum secretary Sandiile Khanye. “I was totally shattered when I received the news,” he said. “Losing potential leaders of the society is something that you can’t easily accept. We are still grieving and feeling the pain.”

It hits even harder that the incidents took place during the youth month, Khanye said. “These incidents totally seek to undermine the hard work and potential that the young people of this country possess in rebuilding this damaged society. It is so defeating, considering that these incidents happened exactly on the month that we celebrate bravery and selfless leadership.”

Community members during a march against crime also remebered the two young people who lost their lives

In South Africa, June is considered youth month, a time when young people commemorate the role played by South African youth during the apartheid era. “After these tragic incidents in the community during the month when youth expect to be celebrating, this month proved to be a sad one for many.”

“I worked with the two (deceased youth) in the youth forum,” Khanye said. “They attended youth forum meetings. They engaged on how to improve our lives as young people, how to uplift our societies in terms of empowerment. I remember one of them had so much interest in entrepreneurship. They were forerunners of the struggle against economic emancipation for young people in this ward.”   

There has been a sense of fear among the youth surrounding these incidents, and they are demanding more visibility from the police and security.

“The community needs to come together to combat this pandemic of crime in the ward,” Khanye said. “I strongly believe that the perpetrators of such criminal activities are within the community. Therefore, the community needs to work hand in glove with law enforcers so that we do not have such casualties in future.”

Shincheonji Church Helps Clean Cosmo City Secondary School

“It is crucial for students to learn in a clean environment,” said Shincheonji Church representative Patrick Chikaonda during a clean-up campaign held at Cosmo City Secondary on 22 June 2022.

 More than 10 Shincheonji Church volunteers worked alongside students to clean up the school.

“Learning in a clean environment creates a sense of pride and safety amongst the students,” Chikaonda said. “When all these things (cleanliness, a sense of pride, and a feeling of safety) come together, they improve the learning experience of the students. When we invest on such things and get the students involved, they will get a sense that they are very important to us. I think we need to do more of this kind of work to prepare a good environment for the learners.”

During the clean-up campaign, the Shincheonji Church members encouraged students to take care of their environment. Together with the students, the volunteers cleaned the school’s soccer field, basketball court and the school garden.

“We came here to shine the light on the students by cleaning up the school,” said Shincheinji church member Liteboho Pitso. “I think other stakeholders should also do the same to maintain a healthier environment for the learners.”

“It is healthy to be always in a clean environment,” said Grade 9 student Thandile Ndlovu. “The clean-up event taught me a lot about cleanliness. Operating in a dirty environment will make us sick, so it is important to be always in cleaner surroundings.”

She also highlighted the importance of celebrating youth month. “It is our month and as students we should enjoy it.”     

Residents express shock at murder of local pastor

Cosmo City residents who live in extension 7 expressed shock and concern over the tragic death of a pastor who was shot and killed during a church service on 15 June.

Armed robbers entered the church during a service and demanded money and cell phones from the congregation. Then they opened fire on the pastor in front of horrified church members.

“I am so hurt to see such developments happening in my community,” said Snini Baloyi. “Such incidents give a very bad outlook about our beloved Cosmo City. Being attacked at church shows how unsafe we are.”

A church member who preferred to be anonymous said that the shooting negatively impacted her. “Pastor was a very happy soul, and we will remember him for his good teachings. We hope the police will get to the bottom of the story.”

Honeydew police spokesperson Captain Balan Muthan confirmed reports about the incident.

“Attacking church members and killing a pastor shows that crime is rapidly increasing in the community,” he said. “Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the shooting.”

GETS launches its Sector 1 in Cosmo City

Gauteng Education Transport Services (GETS) engaged scholar transporters and launched its sector 1 structure at Multipurpose Centre on 25 June.

The GETS sector 1 comprises scholar transporters that operate in Johannesburg North, including Cosmo City, Diepsloot and Honeydew.

 “Our top priority is to make sure that scholars are safely transported,” said GETS Public Relations Officer Henrich Block. “We have more than 20 scholar transporter associations in Johannesburg, and we have five that are operating in Sector 1. So today we were introducing the GETS executive to the scholar transporters in Sector 1.”

Block said that it is very important for scholar transporters to join transporter associations to work in a good environment to keep school children safe. He said it becomes easier for government to engage with the scholar transporters if they operate under a certain association.

“There are many transporters who do not belong to any association,” he said. “However, we are busy trying to rope them in to join the associations and enjoy the benefits. One of the benefits is that when you join an association you get an insurance policy. The insurance will cover the member, spouse and six children.”

At GETS, Block said, they do not condone the overloading of scholars. Scholars’ injuries are likely to be more serious if they are in an accident with an overcrowded transporter, he said.

“Scholar transporters have a tendency of undercutting each other,” he said. “Scholars will definitely go for the cheaper transporters and this results in overloading. We are trying to get rid of such activities and make sure that all transporters use the same fee.”

 Block added that it is always dangerous to ferry school children if you are not a registered transporter.

According to the National Land Transport Act Amendment of Section 1 of Act 5 of 2009, “transporter association” means a group of operators formed not for gain, whose object is to promote the interest of its members and whose funds are to be applied in promoting those interests.

It is very important for scholar transporters to be reminded about how they should operate in the community, said GETS chairperson Victor Magagula. “GETS is now recognised by the Department of Roads and Transport, and we are trying to bring scholar transporters together,” he said.

The event was organised by GETS and Greater Johannesburg. Izwilabantu also attended the event to support business initiatives.

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