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Look at the bigger picture


Hopefully one day I will be given a fighting chance to be the proud owner of my own RDP house.

Hopefully one day I will be the proud owner of a RDP house. File picture: Sisonke Mlamla

I SAW a very interesting thing on the web this week. It was about a white family staying in Kimberley but living in a tent somewhere in Minerva Gardens.

It was written in a very “ag shame, let us all feel sorry for them” type of way.

Is it the publication and the journalist’s way of saying Kimberley residents should feel sorry for them just because they are white?

I have just re-read the story again and nowhere does the couple say that they are actually actively looking for employment to get themselves out of the situation they currently find themselves in.

Instead, they carry on about how they have been from pillar to post to try and find alternative accommodation.

Also, according to the story, when people reported these white squatters to the municipal authorities – a very upright and honourable thing to do – they were offered a shanty in the township which they could pay off. This they refused.


A couple of months ago we had the same situation in the middle of town where a couple of squatters also erected tents. They were summarily removed.

Now, the glaring question here is why were they removed and not these ones?

I do not understand the thinking of the squatters in Minerva Gardens and also I do not know the finer details of the reasoning of them being put out of the caravan park where they were staying.

Obviously, there must have been a reason and we can’t judge unless we have all the facts.

A lot has been written about white squatter camps around South Africa. According to a British news site there are approximately 80 white squatter camps dotted around South Africa. 

Yes, I understand that a lot of white people have fallen on hard times and people are forced to provide shelter for themselves and family no matter what.

However, we as South Africans need to start looking at the bigger picture.

No matter what, we are always going to have a squatter problem in our country.

In 1994, if memory serves correctly, for the ANC to get the vote residents were promised free housing, health care and education.

It has now been 24 years and residents still don’t have housing. Some don’t have access to basic services which is a testament to the amount of protest action our Province has been experiencing recently.

Now, after all this time questions are being asked through the inquiry into state capture what happened to the money that was supposed to provide housing, health care services, education, running water and electricity to South African residents.

However, the most glaring aspect of all of this is that our “in crises” Sol Plaatje Municipality is doing nothing about this recent squatting incident or, in fact, nothing to provide services to the citizens of Kimberley.

Instead, they close up shop and award themselves salary increases.

Instead of allowing the illegal squatting to continue on municipal land, provide them with houses and allow businesses who want to purchase the land to develop it to have it. Well, not have it but be in a position to purchase it and they will also be more than likely be able to employ those who desperately need employment to provide a proper roof over their heads.

If anything happens with my present place of residence, I need to find a tent that I can erect on a prime piece of land.

Hopefully, I will also be made the generous offer of a shanty which will give me a fighting chance to one day be the proud owner of my own RDP house.