Letter | Work together for good of metro

Disruption of council meeting

EFF councillors, from left, Zilindile Vena, Yoliswa Yako, Phumza Tshanga (partially obscured), Thozama Mhlongo, Lukhanyo Mrara and Simphiwe Ntshiza at the council meeting on 10/04/2018.
EFF councillors, from left, Zilindile Vena, Yoliswa Yako, Phumza Tshanga (partially obscured), Thozama Mhlongo, Lukhanyo Mrara and Simphiwe Ntshiza at the council meeting on 10/04/2018.
Image: Werner Hills

One gets the council one deserves!

If this adage holds true, then, conversely, our council reflects us as a Nelson Mandela metro people: an unruly mob out of control, shouting, shoving, resorting to fisticuffs, hitting out with water jugs, rabid racists, etc!

Do we like seeing ourselves in the mirror our councillors are holding up for us?

Is this what we want: a return to the ANC’s shambolic way of doing things, the corruption, the inefficiency, no jobs, pit latrines, dirt and squalor that epitomised its recent sad saga in power?

It is ironic that the ANC and EFF vociferously maintain that once a collective decision has been taken they will all support the majority vote as it behoves in a democratic process.

Yet when it comes to putting this principle into practice they are like kindergarten kids having tantrums when they do not get their way! Their oaths of office mean nothing. It all has to do with self-gratification, and nothing to do with what our people want and deserve.

But then we have elected these incompetents to represent us and deserve what we get?

To achieve all this are we as a community happy resorting to blatant racism to achieve our objectives?

The world sees Nelson Mandela Bay metro mayor Athol Trollip facing a vote of no confidence despite turning around the city’s fortunes from the hopeless mess the ANC made of it, just because he is white!

This is an act of revenge led by Julius Malema, a dictatorial sexist who resorts to racist rhetoric and practices to satisfy his ego and obtain his nefarious ends! And his views are supported by the local ANC and others.

Is this what we consider democratic and, dare one say it, civilised?

A recent visit to our city by a fact-finding team from the World Bank found “ours is a racially divided city”, as reported in The Herald (“Bay racially divided – World Bank team”, March 14).

We, as citizens, need to snap out of our state of denial.
We need to reaffirm we are all equal citizens of this country, and that we have a common role and focus.

My beautiful daughter, Penni, is a psychologist who has been at the forefront of much of the world’s tragedy experiencing man’s inhumanity to man, often under dire and life-threatening circumstances.

Returning from the war zone in Afghanistan, she wrote the following, which I believe is so relevant to us South Africans and especially our beloved city:

“Tonight, I am returning from Afghanistan where I had a special time offering psychosocial support to colleagues far from home.

“This context has reminded me again of how at the end of the day, despite many obvious cultural differences, we are privileged to share the joint culture of being simply human.

“Allow me to invite you into the beauty of connection – finding common ground between yourself and your neighbour to foster understanding and care.

“I have found that as I remain curious to see how I can relate to those around me, the easier it is for me to get on with, tolerate and even have compassion for my neighbour who from the outside seems (sometimes quite literally) worlds apart.

“Where obvious differences divide, and can annoy us, the pursuit of connection draws us closer and gives us the opportunity to expand by being genuinely known by another.

“My challenge to you is to step out and get to know the person in your life or office who you perceive as having nothing in common with, or whom you have had a difficult time with.”

I submit my daughter says it all: we are all simply human beings!

Is it too much to ask that we put our differences aside and work together to achieve our common goals?

If not for our sakes, then for the sake of our children? 

Talbot Cox, Schoenmakerskop, Port Elizabeth