More must be done to make Eldorado Park a safer place for children
The City of Johannesburg used murder victim Shaynice Talla's funeral as an opportunity to appeal to community of Eldorado Park to take a firm stand against the social ills plaguing the area.
Four-year-old Talla was found ditched in a drain hole in a koppie in Eldorado Park Extension 2 on September 27 after she was reported missing.
Speaking at the service on Wednesday‚ City of Johannesburg MMC for Health and Social Development Mpho Phalatse said Talla's death was an indication that all was not well in Eldorado Park.
Phalatse challenged the community to work with relevant government structures to make Eldorado Park a safe place for all.
"When an innocent life of a little girl is taken in this manner we need to ask ourselves what is wrong with our community. There is a sickness in our community and we have accommodated it for far too long‚" said Phalatse.
"Its time for all of us to regroup and take a stand against these social ills. It can't be business as usual. Things need to change in Eldorado Park‚" she said.
During her address Phalatse mentioned that the City will soon introduce programmes meant to improve conditions in Eldorado Park.
Some of the challenges faced by this community include substance abuse‚ crime and unemployment.
President Jacob Zuma visited the area in 2013 to launch a massive drive against drugs.
Members of the tactical response team were deployed in the area to clean out drug dealers and users.
Eldorado Local Drug Action Committee chairperson Cheryl Pillay said not much has changed in Eldorado Park despite government's intervention.
Pillay said the community has partly failed Talla's family. She said Talla's killing should be a call to community leaders to rise up to the challenges.
"Lots of improvement has been made since 2013 but when we have incidents like this we must ask ourselves have we done enough. Have we failed another child? When is it going to stop? As community leaders we must go back to the drawing board and look at what we can do to make this area a safe environment for our children‚" said Pillay.
Mourners packed the Body of Christ Ministry in Eldorado Park to bid farewell to a child described by many as the “queen of kolletjie hood”.
Talla will be buried at the Klipspruit Cemetery on Wednesday afternoon. Funeral proceedings are under way.
No arrests have been made in connection with her death.
Police spokesman Kay Makhubela said a case of murder is being investigated.