A few weeks ago Cllr Van Der Merwe, Chairperson of the Planning Portfolio visited the Energy and Climate Change Portfolio where I raised the issue of building homes in places that was unsuitable.

The discussion initially involved the moving about of sand dunes in Hout Bay and Simons Town where I witnessed a train delay due to massive dune movement. The train tracks were obstructed although ugly huge walls were built on a pristine beach to stop the sand.

The bottom line is that Mother Nature cannot be stopped or tamed and what we do to the earth will ultimately and foreseeable come back to bite us.

I also raised the issue of the fire break that separates homes from the natural surroundings. Approaching Glencairn and Simons Town area, it is evident that the fire break was meandered to accommodate a few wealthy people. In retrospect and with the flames engulfing the mountain, building in spaces that are not conducive is now visibly unwise. Rich people building on intrusive slopes are just as unwise as poor people building shacks in water logged areas. Ironically while the rich have many options, the poor have none.

What requires a response is why some rich people are allowed to build homes in spaces that are a visible and visceral intrusion. Thus when fire approaches as it does every year, huge resources are spent on saving the homes of a few wealthy people. What is required is for urgent and greater densification of liveable spaces as is planned by the City.

In the words of the wise, the earth we abuse and the living things we kill, will in the end, take their revenge; for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress