Torture for shack dwellers

Ndithini Tyhido Khayelitsha

This week, residents of this city will be telling completely different stories about the very same rain that has fallen.

Some in the north of this city will reminisce about how soothing it was throughout the night, and how it replenished their water harvesting reservoirs and helped their plants.

Others, just under 40km to the south east, risk having their livelihoods ruined completely by the rain.

Mothers with children on their backs have, since the rain started, been trying to get the water out of their shacks in the Taiwan, TR, QQ, RR, BM, BT, Blikkiesdorp, Gwaveni, Ndlovini, Nuwe Begin, Tsepetsepe, Europe, Barcelona and Slovo Park. It is not because they don’t want the rain, but because the 1994 democratic breakthrough did not impact on their socio-economic conditions.

Surely, to these people the Democratic Alliance is the devil for removing Patricia De Lille as the mayor of Cape Town.

Anyone who removes any political authority that promises the residents of Cape Town the “reversal of apartheid spatial planning” as a basis for development and redress is an enemy of progress, hence an enemy of the people.

Cape Town desperately needs the rain to sustain itself and its people, but the rain is also a reminder of what it means to be a black African and to tax paying resident of Cape Town.

We call on our national government to give attention to the developmental peculiarity of Cape Town.

We pray to God, the Lord of our forefathers to please be with all informal settlement dwellers of our City, protect them, give them the vision to see, that these ones in the blue are not our cousins if they failed to spend more than R300 million of the Urban Settlements Development Grant (USDG).

Lizalise Idinga Lakho, Thixo, nkosi yenyaniso. Uz’ungayithobi ingqumbo yakho luze lufe usapho lwakho. Bona izwe lakowethu uli xolele izono zalo!

* Ndithini Tyhido is the chairperson of the Khayelitsha Development Forum (KDF), but he writes this letter in his personal capacity.