Building a future

Revolutions arise from those with thwarted expectations, not those so downtrodden they have given up hope.

Revolutions arise from those with thwarted expectations, not those so downtrodden they have given up hope.

So, fortunately, signs are coming through that the government is paying attention to the promises given shack dwellers since 1994.

Ekurhuleni has just announced it will spend more than R100 million this financial year on services for informal settlements. The money will buy one chemical toilet for every 10 residents, pay for waste removal and fund roads.

That's a good beginning, but not enough. This country recognises that everyone has a right to decent housing.

So we sympathise with frustrated would-be homeowners still living in slums around South Africa when they get unruly over the slow pace that RDP houses are being delivered.

The 2000 irate residents of Orange Farm who took to the streets on Tuesday said they just wanted the authorities to hear their voices.

"During election campaigning political parties talked about service delivery - they had manifestos, but it's all on paper," said Bricks Mokolo of the Orange Farm Crisis Community.

He has a point.

The government must live up to its promises. Millions of voters will judge it mostly by the number of decent houses it builds for the poor over the next five years.

X