Stop beating around the bush

Julian Cooke, Kalk Bay

How disappointing is the response of ward councillor, Felicity Purchase to a letter concerning Masiphumelele, (“Promises, promises,” False Bay Echo, December 13) from Lutz van Dijk.

In what seems to be a typical political way, she avoids answering questions directly, she rebuts selected ones and instead of offering some insight, which is what we should expect from our leaders, she confuses in a plethora of detail.

Mr van Dijk asks why the Masi Spatial Development Framework (SDF) has not been made public. She kind of says: “Oh but it has! It’s been shared with the leadership, etc. But actually, it has not been made public. She and we know that. Why doesn’t she say that and tell us why?

He asks if there is going to be a wall between Masi and its neighbours. She doesn’t answer that. She does say that “we are in favour of integrated communities and … are having this occur spontaneously in the valley.” Why doesn’t she say: no, of course there is not going to be this wall. We are aiming to integrate Masi by way of this and this!

I’m not convinced that much spontaneous integration is taking place.

Mr van Dijk asks: is it true that a new road will cut through what is now informal settlement. She doesn’t reply. He asks: is the new road going to cause a relocation to another informal settlement? She replies with all the things that have been done to sort out the housing, but we don’t get an answer.

Masiphumelele is a running sore in the valley. Anyone who has been there and seen the disgusting conditions people have been living in for many years must be ashamed. It also seems to be a wonderful opportunity in the valley, to show Cape Town and South Africa how to deal with the urgent need to reverse the separatist planning of apartheid and to begin to correct the spatial inequalities in our society.

It behoves our public representatives to lead us with positive vision. So, even though the SDF is not yet public, what are its broad aims and what are the main principles that will guide it? Secondly, what’s the time line, when will it be open to public scrutiny? Surely those are not secrets.