EDITORIAL | Red Location tale of self-sabotage

Litter lies strewn outside the restaurant at the Red Location Museum
Litter lies strewn outside the restaurant at the Red Location Museum
Image: Fredlin Adriaan

If you have lived in Nelson Mandela Bay long enough, you probably have memories of the once renowned Red Location Museum in New Brighton.

Once a tourism node that attracted thousands of visitors a year, the precinct added iconic value to our city’s tourism offering.

For six years it has been closed – thanks to an ongoing standoff between the municipality and residents over a housing crisis in that community.

Today we take you inside the museum where some of the most valuable artifacts that tell the painful history of our nation lie in tatters.

It is indeed a disgrace that a place that embodies the strength of our struggle for liberation has been left to dilapidate because of an inability by successive administrations to resolve this stalemate.

While the community’s grievances are valid – as far as their anger over poor living conditions goes – the truth is that closing down such an important tourism outfit may satisfy their thirst to strong-arm the government, however it also robs them of the opportunity to access the economic spin-offs that could have otherwise been available from the precinct.

Importantly, the story of the Red Location Museum demonstrates precisely what is disturbing about us as a nation. It is our tendency to gravitate towards self-sabotage methods whenever we are unable to agree on crucial matters.

It is our inability to compromise reasonably, which at times blinds us to what can be done, realistically to find solutions to our multiple crises.

This stalemate must be broken and a common ground reached for both the Red Location community, as well as the tourism industry of our metro.