The big fire dispute

Piet Erasmus, Valyland

In 1992 the then “Site 5”, now Masiphumelele, had 400 measured-out erven.

The land (in the face of objections from environmental objectors, because of the wetland) was laid out to have as little impact as possible on the surrounding wetland.

According to Dr Lutz van Dijk (“Canal cleanse on the cards”, False Bay Echo, February 9), there are now 14 000 residents in Masiphumelele.

In 1666 the Great Fire of London destroyed the homes of 70 000 people. Only one year later, in 1667, the London Building Act was promulgated, which regulated building material for homes, street widths, fire hydrant points – and it also did away with open sewers flowing into the Thames.

The politicians of London, within one year, said no more overcrowding, pollution and fire hazards for their city.

Cause and result are a dynamic of science. The politicians of London recognised that result (the big fire) always follows cause (the overcrowding and inhuman living conditions).

On the other hand, Dr Lutz discards this dynamic, and to him cause, (open sewers and a crowded inhuman life) will be followed by some pie-in-the-sky result of more than 70 000 people living happily ever after in Masiphumelele.

We seem to be also blessed with lots of politicians who cannot distinguish between cause and result.