Opinion: Homeless, hopeless

28 04 2009

The following letter was written in response to this article published in the Cape Times and Cape Argus.  For more on why AEC communities did not vote, see the policies of political parties on issues that matter to our communities.

April 23, 2009 Edition 1
Source: Cape Times

I am saddened, being afforded the democratic right to vote in the elections, that pavement dwellers in the Cape Flats township of Delft had no inclination or motivation to cast a ballot. Could they really be blamed?

This downtrodden sector of our community has been let down terribly by government housing officials in failing to provide them with homes, hence their apathy towards the elections and decision not to vote. What and who will they be voting for if mere empty promises were made for the past 13 months – the most gruelling time they’ve spent on the dusty pavements of Delft?

These backyard dwellers, who illegally took occupation of the new houses in Delft and were evicted onto the pavement, allege that not one single politician responded positively to their impassioned pleas for help. Only days ago a political party had offered them an advocate to fight their court battle, and a consolation T-shirt in return for their votes.

It is pathetic how low certain parties have stooped to garner votes. But these Delft folk have become aware that broken promises and bribes were mere carrots dangled in front of them and cunningly used to hoodwink them in the solicitation of a vote.

How will the ruling party ever restore credibility to its governance or ability to provide shelter and housing to this disillusioned sector of society who wanted no part in the general elections?

We hang our heads in dismay – they have been failed.

Mark Kleinschmidt





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