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Do what you were mandated to do


I did feel a little bit embarrassed for wanting all those nice things.

I WOKE this morning thinking: It would be nice to wake up and have someone bring me my coffee in bed and magically have a big screen TV in my bedroom and already on my favourite channel – which by the way is HGTV or SS2. 

Then, while enjoying my coffee, the smell of pancakes, bacon, eggs and croissants would waft into my bedroom. Mmmhmm! That would really be an absolute dream start to my Sunday.

Obviously it ain’t happening.

I woke up with my dog’s stinky breath in my face, no big screen TV tuned into my favourite channels and nobody making coffee or breakfast for me.

But, just before the almighty morning number one forced me out of bed, I lay thinking. 

Yes, I would love to have the luxury of all of the above, but at least I woke up in a bed that had dry sheets and a comforter. How many people didn’t even wake up in a bed this morning? How many were still trying to mop up after this weekend’s (welcome) rain?

I can also almost guarantee you that they couldn’t have walked to the kitchen and made themselves a cup of coffee or tea.

I did feel a little bit embarrassed for wanting all those nice things.

We are living in the ‘because I want, someone has to give’ age. 

I flirted a bit with economics in my brief foray into the academic world and one thing I do remember – the only thing in fact – is that there is a difference between needs and wants.

I may want all of the above, but I don’t need it. 

But many of our residents have plenty of needs and it is a shame that many can climb into their beds after a nice hot bath and delicious supper when thousands are doing without.

We all know what a sorry state our city is in. We are barely hanging on by a thread. Yet, after Friday and Saturday’s rain, did the mayor, members of the mayoral committee or even ward councillors go and see how they could assist residents? 

Or, like an incident last year in Greenpoint after heavy rains, the ward councillor only pitched after a ‘political training session’?

By then it was too late. A lot of residents had just about lost everything while some were trapped in their shanties and couldn’t get out.

This is just one example.

On Saturday night I saw photos of flooded roads in Jacksonville. Obviously people couldn’t get in or out.

When we go to the polls next year, you are quick to come around with your T-shirt and food parcel and make the same sweeping promises of 26 years ago. You fire up the people, promising this time it will be different and all the promises will be fulfilled.

Having no other recourse, the people go and stand in the queue and make their mark only to once again be disappointed and have to fight the fight alone. 

You then want to get all up in arms when the residents protest. There will be no need for service delivery protests or to get your knickers in a knot if you do what you were mandated to do.

We have been through enough turmoil in the last 26 years. 

It is really time to say enough is enough and attend to the very basic needs of our residents instead of just wanting the luxuries in life.

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