With all the hype of the elections now behind us, life on the Cape Flats will just carry on as normal.
If history is anything to go by, there is very little chance that any major changes will take place in our communities.
We will still be surrounded by poverty, drug abuse, gangsterism, violence and death. Sadly, this has become a way of life for people on the Cape Flats – but what is even sadder is that we can no longer even envision something different.
It’s like we have accepted our circumstances and are saying: “This is our life, let’s just get on with it.”
But if we are to take it upon ourselves to better our lives and those of our children, our neighbours, our friends and our families – then we firstly have to see what WE are doing wrong, so that we can fix it.
And doing that, especially on the Cape Flats, is never an easy thing to do.
Now while I detest politicians who make empty promises and really don’t care for our communities other than at voting time, the problem does not lie with them.
I believe the problem lies much closer to home.
It starts when we cover up for our children, family and friends when we know they are doing wrong.
It is when we choose to turn a blind eye to our loved ones doing drugs and being involved in other illegal activities.
It is when we are so scared of our own children, that instead of pointing out that what they are doing is wrong, we go into denial and pretend it isn’t happening.
We NEED the money they give us to buy food and electricity. We NEED the money they get from illegal activities to survive.
But although this is the unpleasant reality, it is NOT an excuse to keep this vicious circle going.
As a community we have to get out of the culture of blaming others for everything. When things go wrong, it always seems to be someone else’s fault.
When your child is rude – it’s the teacher’s fault!
When you don’t work and you sit on your behind all day – then it’s the government’s fault for not personally coming to your house and giving you a job!
When your husband has an affair with a band member – then it’s the Klopse’s fault!
When are we as a community going to acknowledge and say, yes, the fatcat, lying, hypocritical politicians have failed us, but we can still do much more to help ourselves and better our situation?
This article is by no means an attack on communities who are undeniably disadvantaged and which are filled with many good, hard-working, decent people.
Rather, it is a wake-up call to the fact that if we don’t take responsibility and do what is right, no one else is going to. For it benefits some people when we as a community kill each other with guns, kill ourselves with drugs and move towards becoming a faithless society. Do not give them that, for we are far better than that!
It would take an act of God to automatically right the wrongs which has been inflicted on our communities, but since we don’t have Godly powers, let us start with making small differences in our own lives, which can ultimately lead to big changes in our communities.
Rise up and do what is right, no matter how hard it seems!
We are worth it.