Manenberg matrics working hard to 'escape'

Manenberg pupils say they will strive to work hard so they can leave the gang-infested community they live in.

FILE: A group of men stand with their hands against the wall after the house where they were gambling in was raided during a combined Metro Police and SAPS operation in Manenburg. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Some Manenberg grade 12s says they're striving to achieve top marks this year so they can escape their dismal circumstances.

The suburb has long been dogged by gang violence which in the past has even seen schools in the area shut down.

With the new academic year starting yesterday, authorities and learners are determined not to allow gangsters to impact on schooling there.

Matriculants at Phoenix High School have high hopes for their final year.

Jamie Petersen says her motivation for studying hard this year is to get out of the gang infested community she currently lives in.

"Being a witness to daily shootings, poverty and tough circumstances in our area is actually a booster for me as I don't want my children to have to go through that. I have to work hard so I can get out."

Petersen says she's had enough of always living in fear and running for cover when rival gangs open fire on one another.