'Govt must lead fight against gangsterism'

Community members call for urgent action.

CT residents say drastic measures are needed to address the issue of gangsterism in Western Cape schools. Picture: SXC.HU

CAPE TOWN - A Khayelitsha resident accused government on Tuesday of failing to take the lead in the fight against gangsterism in schools and communities.

He claimed government was instead leading "communities to hell".

The sentiments emerged during a public dialogue on gangsterism in South African schools in Cape Town, on Tuesday evening.

60 percent of all gang and drug-related crimes in South Africa occur in the Western Cape, said Community Safety MEC Dan Plato.

Officials agree something drastic needs to be done to address the problem.

The resident, who participated in the gathering, said government needs to lead the way.

"We must face the fact that our government is failing us. I think they only say, 'we must do this' and 'we must act together' but we need someone who will take the first step."

According to a report on the _Times Live _website, the period from January to September 2011 saw 194 assaults and 41 knife attacks reported at Western Cape schools.