The government has only been ticking boxes and not yielding good results in its efforts to curb crime, according to anti-drug activist Dereleen James.
James was commenting after several people were shot dead and others injured around Eldorado Park, Sophiatown, and Coronationville at the weekend.
Five people aged between 20 and 40 were killed in a shooting in Eldorado Park in the south of Joburg. James believes the mass murder was related to gang violence and turf war.
“There are ongoing gunshots every weekend. The boots on the ground approach has failed us,” she wrote on social media platform X.
Police spokesperson Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi said the deceased sustained multiple gunshot wounds.
A day before the mass shooting, police in Sophiatown were called to the scene of a shooting at Fiona Flats.
Upon arrival, they found one person already dead and two others injured. The survivors of the shooting were admitted to the hospital.
On the same day in Coronationville, also in the south of Johannesburg, three people were reportedly killed by unknown gunmen.
James said police should strengthen intelligence and provide communities with feedback about their successes since the deployment of the anti-gang unit.
She added that the shootings are traumatic for residents, especially for young children.
“The witnessing of dead bodies on our streets has almost become a sub-culture [in coloured communities],” she said.
“We have been forced to adjust to this as a norm, and it is not normal. Our communities are going through it for the longest time with the past two years being the worst.
“To the youth, remember that this is not who you are. This is not God’s plan for your life. Taking out your own brothers and sisters is not the answer.
“Let’s start rebuilding and stop breaking down our own future.”
Police say the circumstances surrounding the shooting incidents are not known and no one has been arrested.
Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela said extra resources, including the deployment of the anti-gang unit, have been mobilised to work on the cases.