Politicians use poor for their own purposes

South Africa does not think about the poor. The poorest in the country are the majority, but we are voiceless.

The poorest are shack dwellers, street traders, street kids and flat dwellers who can't afford to pay rent and the unemployed.

Our country is rich. The Freedom Charter states that South Africa's wealth should benefit all people but it does not.

Our ancestors' land was taken and turned into farms and forests. Our grandparents and parents worked on those farms and in mines, factories and houses. Most of our time is spent just trying to survive. We shouldn't be suffering like this.

Our shacks flood during heavy rains and they are burnt down by fires because the city thinks we don't deserve electricity. We are always losing our belongings and sometimes loved ones, especially children and old people in these fires.

The Constitution states that everyone should have adequate shelter. We don't have that. How many lives must be destroyed before we are heard?

Politicians are not the answer to our suffering. The poor are just used by politicians to advance themselves. They only come out at election time to make empty promises and then disappear.

We are told 2010 is for us but we can't afford tickets and will be lucky to watch it on TV.

The money for stadiums should be spent on land reform, houses, water, electricity, schools and clinics.

Tshepo Diale, GaRankuwa