We all need to be realistic
Recently a colleague raised a worrying issue in a ward committee meeting.
Ostensibly, the process required to select people for Council housing was completed in his specific ward. However, when those selected, were informed, some declined the “free” housing. They were unhappy with the location of the houses and chose to live in squalor, rather than move elsewhere.
I advised, the Councillor to inform the media. My reason was simple. Councillor’s are often accused of not doing enough or being indifferent. However, few realize how difficult some people can be.
Example, very often land invasions are orchestrated plans to disrupt service delivery. Cape Town has a housing backlog of about 500 000 units. So, some are on the housing list, often for decades. When those who are not or low down on the housing list, decide to riot and engage in anarchy, the agenda is to hopefully subvert the list process and coerce and catapult themselves higher–up on the list.
Oddly, many also create their own problems. Example, a woman told me that she gave “her house” to her husband. She met someone who left his wife with “his house”. They both now wanted access to Council housing. Ironically, once you owned any property you are not eligible for Council housing.
Though none of us are perfect and we all make errors, the idea that some believe they are entitled to “free” repeat housing at ratepayers cost because that is the way it must be, must come to an end.
Currently, our economy is struggling. Covid 19, corruption and unwise leadership advises less tax and rates income is likely. Service delivery will be impacted especially the supply of “free” housing. So, those who rightly seek social / class transformation must generate realistic and practical solutions.
Example, allocating a few homes in the CBD is far too costly when equated to building on the periphery of the city. Increasing social demands must be logical as tax/ratepayers are suffering.
The belief of a few looking after many, whilst income dwindles and corruption increases is stupid.
The rate/taxpayer is the goose that lays the golden eggs but it is the duty of government to ensure the revenue is spend sustainably and not stolen. Also it is the duty of citizens to behave responsibly.
We can plod along a path of futility and talk about human rights whole day but then nobody is held answerable for anything. Then, we will really be part of Africa from which so many seek to escape.
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress