Forum aims to bring back the old days

The executive, the members, Steenberg police and Sullivan Street Neighbourhood Watch members who partnered with them.

The Steenberg Community Forum (SCF) teamed up with police and Sullivan Street Neighbourhood Watch to host an event for children of the area on Saturday.

SCF was founded in September by residents who were concerned about the gradual deterioration and disintegration of the Steenberg community, said its secretary and spokesperson Peter Martin.

The event on Saturday November 7 at the First Steenberg Scouts Hall allowed children of the area to play together and kept them away from social ills.

Mr Martin said Steenberg used to be a vibrant community with numerous activities.

“To mention a few: Sundays there would be soccer and netball tournaments on Solo Street Sports field; residents would flock to the sport field and spend their Sundays in the community. The youth were involved in social and youth clubs and knew each other.

Church brigades, the First Steenberg Scouts, Christmas Bands and Minstrels, community bazaars and events were a regular feature of the community. There was social cohesion.”

One objective of the forum is to restore vibrancy and social cohesion, he said.

As the main focus is the youth, SCF will develop and implement alternative youth programmes such as leadership and cultivating love and appreciation for sport, culture, heritage, the arts, environment and community.

Chairperson Kenneth Hoffman said the organisation wanted to bring back the “old days” when sport was freely played without restrictions.

“Sports fields are now reserved for clubs only, and we are aiming to get the community, especially the youth, to get back into playing sports such as rugby, cricket, etc.”

The non-profit organisation aims to show the children that there are “people who care about them besides their parents,” said member Desiree Africa.

On Saturday, sack racing, egg catching and trash collecting were some of the activities the children took part in.

Treasurer Lynn Jacobs said: “The children were playing games and having good fun instead of gambling as few of them often gamble on the corner. So, they were introduced to a different way of having fun.”

Although there were quite a number of children on the field, the absence of their parents were noticeable.

“We would have loved to have more adults or young adults present but I was quite successful and positive as we have not only reached the children in our area, but those on the outskirts as well.

The neighbouring neighbourhood watch offered us their services, the police representative made a great impression on the kids and the policeman,” said another member Rochelle Atkins.

Mr Martin said a central objective of SCF is to establish community partnerships.

“In this regard, partnerships were established with First Steenberg Scouts for the use of their Scouts hall for community meetings, events and learning programmes and with One Stop Driving School. SCF will in partnership with One Stop Driving School present a free learners programme for unemployed youth.

After completion of the learners programme, candidates will be assisted in curriculum vitae preparation and provided with guidance in job seeking.”

The SCF regularly monitors open spaces, fields and parks for dumping and have already requested clean ups.

Ward councillor Marita Petersen said the councillors were introduced the SCF’s mandate which is broad “but very enlightening to see Steenberg coming together and wanting to address the concerns and as Ward 68 I am looking forward to engaging them going forward. “

  • Steenberg Community Forum in partnership with One Stop Driving School will present free learners’ classes for unemployed youth between the ages of 18 and 35 years. The classes will be held on Saturdays. Applicants must have a valid RSA identity document (ID).

Email steenbergcommunityforum@gmail.com or WhatsApp 071 265 6798 or call Lynn Jacobs on 071 265 6798 for more information.