Senekal last week had nothing to do with solutions. It was all about politicians’ testosterone. It was all about politicians’ egos. What useful idea came out of all that heat and noise generated by all those politicians in Senekal last week? There is nothing. Nothing that makes SA a better place. Nothing that leads us to a better understanding of race relations in SA after 1994. Nothing that is a solution to farm murders – many of whose victims are poorly paid, desperate black people – or a solution to the incredibly horrendous murder and crime problem in this country.
Government’s inability to accept criticism and facilitate dialogue was highlighted in the recent vociferous debate about whether Cape Town is a “racist city”. The phrasing of the debate is unproductive, but the truth is that there are few cities in South Africa where our nation’s divided past is so stark. Although our city has made some progress since 1994 in providing services to historically neglected communities, we must accept that Cape Town’s racial and class divisions remain largely intact. You just have to drive the short distance from Cape Town’s leafy suburbs to the sprawling shantytowns at the city’s margins to see this. Finding lasting solutions requires us to be honest about these difficult realities. – Gavin Silber in an article on PoliticswebBACK TO TOP