Open letter to Housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela from the Mandela Park Back Yarders

26 11 2009

Dear Housing M.E.C (Madikizela),

Once again the Back Yarders together with the general community of Mandela Park would like to invite you with a special request to come and tell our impatient community exactly when the department will resume its next housing project in our area. Neither you nor any of the people in your department thought it relevant to attend our housing indaba two weeks ago. We hope that you do not ignore us this time.

The negligence demonstrated by the leadership of your department which your are aware of but choose not to interfere with is a worrying signal and it raises a lot of questions about your credibility. As you know, nothing happens in a vacuum and people who are normally law abiding and friendly people. People do not just start willy–nilly burning tires on the street and damaging properties.

  1. Firstly, blaming Back Yarders for the misunderstanding and branding them as hooligans has afforded you an easy excuse for your failure to deliver your promise to us.
  2. Secondly, your actions confuse those who are genuinely trying to get real solutions to the Mandela Park shame. You’ve been visiting the community radio station (Zibonele) more often in the past 2 months using them as a platform to relay your confusing messages regarding the Mandela Park “CRISIS”.

Even with your continued collaboration with the dysfunctional ward 97 councillor and its weak steering committee, you should not loose sight of what is real the problem.

Lack of communication and direction are your two biggest enemies so far – if the community knows exactly where they stand, half the battle is already won. Tell people what is the future plan! Be transparent and honest about it.

What then would be the solution for this mess that is brewing? The misprint by Cape Argus about last week attacks on the new houses alleging Back Yarder involvement is viewed by us as government’s motive and desperation to blame it on someone and to tarnish the image of residents of Mandela Park.

These are signs that there could potentially be something big brewing under the surface elsewhere. This is an issue that should not be ignored and swept under the carpet but rather something should be done about this. Because we have no control over the actions of a few community members, this crisis has the potential to escalate and turn into serious violence.

As government we understand your concern about people’s safety. We, too, are concerned about people’s lives. Christmas is around the corner people want a sense of security – not one’s attitude. We warn you not to keep stirring fights between poor people by building housing projects that do not benefit local residents. Stirring up this trouble might just bring the chickens home to roost in the end.

We submit to you our last letter for this year and we hope it might trigger a sense of love and caring in your heart. As the law abiding and good citizen that you are, we request that you at least give this community your ear.


The Mandela Park Back Yarders

For more information, contact:

Sluja at 071 433 1101, Nosipho at 073 587 8980, Mhlahlo at 0716230546 and Loyiso at 073 766 2078




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