Metro leaders rule vulnerable citizens harshly and brutally

Dear councillors of this metro

On Wednesday, I saw the news about the evictions in Tiryville.

Do you evict the rich from their homes? And if you do, do you do it at gunpoint?

That same day, a pupil at Walmer High told me there had been load-shedding throughout Walmer Township over the previous three days. One day one area, the next day another, but each day a whole day without power.

A whole day without power. Do you allow this in the suburbs?

People will have to go back to using paraffin or wood. How many know how to use those safely any longer?

Will you teach them how to be safe? Will you provide a way for their children to be safe?

Very dear friends of mine who live in Walmer Township have a little boy and like any child, he is curious. He could get badly hurt. Do you care?

The litter is piling up. The people live in hovels.

They wait by the roadside, hoping for work. Always too many hoping, too little work.

Many have given up and do not wait any more. They are condemned for that, condemned because they are denied opportunity.

Do you value the people of Walmer Township? Do you value my friends?

Do you value their dignity? Do you value yours?

What dignity do leaders have who have turned their backs on their people? Who strut about in their finery and their titles, driven by chauffeurs and escorted by bodyguards, while the elderly sit wondering where the dream of freedom went, while the youth have lost their roots and their future.

The leaders are not giving direction. They are not giving protection.

Yet when in frustration the people lash out, when in desperation they attempt to gain the leadership they need, you, our leaders, reprimand and condemn us.

You expect people to vote for you. You think debates about policy or food parcels or empty promises will secure loyalty, while people starve, people sicken, people sit in hopelessness.

You announce load-shedding will start, days after it has been implemented, and then backtrack the very same day. Is this concern? Or an electioneering ploy?

True leaders care for their people, they earn the loyalty of their people through serving them, through giving them hope and direction. Wise leaders respect the legs they stand on, they do not neglect them.

Should not shepherds care for the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock.

You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost.

You have ruled them harshly and brutally.

-David Franklin, Victoria Park, Port Elizabeth

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