The oxford dictionary defines justice as “just behaviour or fair treatment” and so on.

Presently there are protests across our nation. From Grabouw to Limpopo people are burning state property. While this action is illegal it ensues anyway. After the student riots, the municipal protests, imply danger ahead. Though some have genuine needs, others utilize the protests for wickedness.

While logic suggests that humans were not made to sleep outside, the DA and ANC cannot grasp that reality. Thus, while breaking down illegal structure is correct, authorities must provide realistic options.

On the flip side, the previously advantaged that enjoyed the best years of Apartheid are also protesting. They refuse to pay market rates for state housing that is located in expensive suburbs.

The state owned underutilized properties in Naruna Estate in Plumstead, Rugby, Sandrift and De Waal Drive in the CBD are worth billions of Rands in the hands of an honest developer. The income generated will add hundreds of millions to municipal coffers from development fees and rate tariff etc.

The problem is a few people who think that it is their right to have free housing while others must pay millions to live in the same suburb. Ironically the occupiers who refuse to pay market rates were not deprived as others were during Apartheid. Many simply enjoyed the subsidised housing for decades.

In contrast, hard workers who have been on housing list for year’s give-up waiting and make effort to buy property. Sadly many, who do this, cannot manage the bond and often lose out as they are removed from the housing list forever. Ironically those who made no effort and just wait, receive houses. Thus it does seem as if rate and taxpayer are rewarding those who make the least effort.

In the City of Cape Town council meetings I have said that it is not the duty of the ratepayer to carry on funding inter-generational members of the same family. Example, there are families whose grandparents and parents received municipal housing. Today the grandchildren also demand housing, where will it end? Is it justice when families inherit municipal housing which was build and maintained by the state from ratepayers monies and what is the moral criterion used to justify this?

While those who are blessed have a moral duty to care for the less fortunate, what is the duty of the less fortunate towards their own? Example I know two brothers who both had ordinary jobs and lived in municipal housing. One brother sacrificed luxury, no DSTV, no BMW, no parties, no alcohol or smoking, no holidays and he send his two kids to Model C schools and then to university. The other family enjoyed life and his four kids attended township schools. In one generation the smaller family moved into the suburbs while the other family remained in the township.

Often the situation is unbelievable. For example, in Mitchell’s Plain, the C3 notification Housing maintenance report for period February to April 2016 proves that some people will do nothing to help themselves. The council has to maintain and renew letter boxes, fix leaking taps, repair door frames, window handles and so many small things while those who pay so little just do nil on the property. 

In the words of the wise, we are not all equal in this life or in the next. We are entitled by the God of Abraham to reap and enjoy the fruits that we plant even if it takes years or a generation to do so.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress