University for Peace, Den Haag, Urban Peace and Security: A South African Case Study Prof Erwin Schwella SPL and SIGLA University of Stellenbosch Leiden Leadership Centre, Leiden University
Apartheid to Al-Shabaab and Afrikaans to Arabic: How Bellville, South Africa and Mogadishu Somalia got Connected
Apartheid to Al-Shabaab and Afrikaans to Arabic: How Bellville and Mogadishu got Connected• A Tale of 2 Cities on the same Continent that moved from Worlds Apart to being Closely Connected“Behind a main road lie a huge array of retail shops, all in a small area buzzingwith activity as people stream into colourful, jam-packed bargain shops andbrowse around pavement stalls. The area is marked with people in distinct,long Islamic scarves and dresses worn by Somali women with many of themtagging their children along wearing similar outfits in miniature.This is “Somali Town” or “Som Town”, and it is in the midst of the BellvilleCBD, at the end of Durban Road. It has been dubbed “Som Town” as it is thecentral or safest place for Somalis to live and run a business. Over the pastfew years, thousands of Somalis fled the civil war in their country hoping for abetter life in South Africa, but xenophobic attacks have left them fearfulexcept in this central spot in Bellville.”
Between Deep Blue Sees and the Devils in many Disguises• Somali shops closed, looted as 2008 trading agreement enforced in Khayelitsha West Cape News 4 September 2012• A South African local business woman who attended the meeting, but refused to give her name, said the Somali traders had to “pack up and go” by this weekend. “We are suffering because of them. Police are aware of the agreement, but are failing to do their job of closing the (new) shops.” She alleged the police were being bribed by the Somali shop owners and the local business owners would take matters into their own hands.
Between Deep Blue Sees and the Devils in many Disguises• A Somali shop owner near the Bellville train station:• “It is hell-fire in South Africa. It is hell-fire in Somalia. – We do not feel safe here at all, but we cannot go back home because of war. This month only, nine Somalis were killed in Cape Town – “The criminals break in all the time and we are defenseless. When we go to the police station to report, they just open a case. They do not act. If we follow up, they will just ask for your case number, then they will tell us they will phone us and it ends like that. I have been living in South Africa for eleven years. Since the break-out of xenophobia in 2008, I have struggled economically because I lost my business when they attacked and looted my shop in Kraaifontein
Between Deep Blue Sees and the Devils in many Disguises• From Groundup July 2012• “They hate us because we care for and support the community. And we do not double our profits like them. Our Muslim religion forbids us to double profits and emphasises helping the community. We buy our business goods in the same local market with the South African businessmen. I am disappointed by the way they escalate their prices to their community."
Bellville a ‘safe haven’ for Somalis• Newspaper Article 2011 A community of Somalis have made several blocks of downtown Bellville their refuge from war at home, as well as locally where they have become victims in neighbouring districts of commercially-motivated violence and killings.
Innovative and Inclusive Responses Knowledge Based Facilitated Change towards Effective and Ethical Service Delivery DEVELOPMENT PROACTIVE Current Reality Ideal Current Reality Ideal STRATEGIC OPERATIONAL Lead with vision, purpose Manage implementation, projects, performance Current Reality Ideal Current Reality Ideal REACTIVE REGULATION AND POLICING
Institutionalising Innovative and Inclusive Responses• Voortrekker Road City Improvement District (VRCID)• “The vision of the VRCID is to create and maintain a clean and safe urban environment along the Voortrekker Road corridor,” he says. – Its goals include: • Reducing crime significantly by proactive visible patrolling and cooperation with existing SAPS, Metro Police and Law Enforcement efforts in the area. • Creating a safe and clean public environment by addressing issues of maintenance and street, pavement and public space cleansing. • Seeking to provide jobs for homeless people. • Supporting the promotion of the VRCID as a safe and clean environment to work and live in. • The sustained and effective management of the VRCID.
Institutionalising Innovative and Inclusive Responses• The Greater Tygerberg Partnership Knowledge for the City: From Ambition to Action: Turning Potential into ProsperityVision: To inclusively and innovatively facilitate the creationand sustained existence of a vibrant thriving, desirableand value adding economically prosperous area forthe benefit of citizens and inhabitants, by introducingand utilising world class cutting edge knowledge-based strategies, structures and dynamics.
Conclusions• Innovative and Inclusive Partnerships“To make their cities attractive places to live in, civicauthorities need to harness the energies of all the individualsand businesses flocking into their metropolises. They need tofoster the innovative spirit of social entrepreneurs who canstep in with new solutions to meet demands for services andinfrastructure. They must increase their political clout byforming productive partnerships with the private sector andcivil society groups.”Quoted from: Liveable Cities: Challenges and opportunities forpolicymakers. Economist Intelligence Unit, 2010.