Deep Divisions

Article excerpt

The interdict that was granted to the Hout Bay Ratepayers' Association and the Hout Bay Residents' Association has been seen as a declaration of war by the mainly wealthy, white community in the area, on the poor, mainly black community, and it has led to deep divisions.

A crisis meeting that was convened by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation took place in Wynberg this week.

The meeting was attended by the representatives of a variety of the organisations in the area, and there was a constructive discussion on what the way forward ought to be .

The organisations that were absent were the ratepayers' and residents' associations. These are the parties which had been granted an interdict to stop the government from using 16ha of government-owned land to provide housing for the poor people of Imizamo Yethu.

The basis of this interdict is an apartheid law of 1993, called the Less Formal Township Act, that decreed the 16ha for amenities in terms of the provisions under the Separate Amenities Act under apartheid.

Now, with the end of apartheid, the notion of separate amenities should not be an issue, as we all use the same amenities. …