Gang-related shootings have become a norm for Bonteheuwel residents

Gunshots could be heard in the distance as adults and children march through the streets Bonteheuwel.

Children holding placards of young victims of gang-related shootings during a demonstration in Bonteheuwel. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Bonteheuwel community members say gang-related shootings in the area are commonplace.

A group of residents, mainly of children, marched through the streets on Saturday calling for peace and an end to violence.

They have handed over a memorandum to officers at the satellite police station.

Gunshots could be heard in the distance as adults and children march through the streets Bonteheuwel.

A reminder of why they are matching, to call for an end to the violence.

The protesters barely flinch as the shots ring out because, as this resident says, it’s normal and has become their way of life.

“A lot of shooting happens… did you see anybody running? Nobody was running, it’s a norm.”

While residents are calling for more police visibility in the area, they also want an inter-departmental approach to keeping children off the streets.

Sixteen-year-old Umr Mayman says he sees many children his age drawn to a life of crime.

“What are they going to do if they’re not doing something that’s going to benefit them? That’s why many of the kids, kids I grew up with are now gangsters and doing drugs because we never have extra curriculum activities.”

This is not the first call for more police resources in crime hotspots like this on the Cape Flats.

Police minister Bheki Cele has previously promised he has a plan to address the issue.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)