Please DON’T make the Fires a RACE issue!

This article, and many other statements made by others, in a similar light, on social media, just MAKES ME SAD!

article fireargus comment











This past week’s events have truly made me realise that people will ALWAYS use any opportunity to blame one race for all their problems. Never mind that we are now in our 21st year of democracy!

Our government initiates a fantastic program, Working on Fire, where they recruit and train people from disadvantaged communities to fight fires. Then the shock! These men and women put their lives on the line, work 12 hours shifts, if not longer, for R86/day? Yes, R86/day! Government exploiting your disadvantaged situation, cloaked in job creation and skills development – surely a dangerous job should come with a better wage?!

Now you persecute an entire community for supporting the efforts of all disaster management and fire fighting institutions who, for 7 days, fought a WILDFIRE in the Deep South, threatening the entire Southern Peninsula, a diverse community of people living in mansions, flats AND shacks!

If it weren’t for the volunteers, financial support and donations given to organisations like Volunteer Wildfire Services, Emergency Assistance Volunteer Support, etc. this past week, then I may not be sitting in my flat today. My parents may not be servicing a small church community in Masiphumelele or Imizamo Yethu. Many children would not be sitting in their classrooms in Ocean View, and children would not be playing outside in Red Hill.

This MOUNTAIN FIRE threatened and impacted on ALL living in the areas affected.

You CAN NOT compare a WILDFIRE and resources needed to that of a fire spreading through a residential area like Khayelitsha. The resources that were needed to extinguish this wildfire included hundreds of fire fighters  from all over South Africa, who needed to be fed, hydrated, etc. Medical services were required on stand-by 24/7 and communication centres needed to be managed across a big area from Cape Point to Constantia to Hout Bay!

I agree that there are huge inequalities in South Africa and it is nowhere more apparent than in the Western Cape.

Now let me tell you something, if you are reading this and you the one throwing around racial propaganda, implying that the rich and the whites don’t care about people living in shacks…then think about this!

When there is a fire in Masiphumelele – who do you think come out in their droves to collect clothes, building materials, etc. for families to rebuild their homes? The very same “rich” community that you are quick to paint as people sipping cocktails on their balconies …! Let me remind you that this “rich” community that you refer to is very diverse and includes people who have their roots in Eastern Cape Homesteads to people with roots in the Cape Flats and Gugulethu Shacks! The rest of the country can really learn A LOT from this “rich” community, the people of the Deep South!

Now you may go back and refer to apartheid and it being the reason for all of this inequality. BUT goodness man, it’s been 21 years, a new government, new policies and investment in the country. Take your gripes up with government and NOT the people of this beautiful Cape Town who, at the drop of a hat, will do whatever they can to help build THEIR community which extends beyond their picket fence, balcony views and private schools.

We need to stop persecuting people just because of their wealth/poverty levels and race. We need to stop with this stereotyping! It is these weakened mentalities that results in our country going nowhere slowly!

I can only hope that if you have a child, that you teach them that ALL people are equal irrespective of their education, wealth, poverty or the area they live in. ALL people have an EQUAL right to live, to be extended some kindness, to be offered support in times of need.

All people have the RIGHT to choose which organisations and  community initiatiaves they support, it is also THEIR RIGHT to choose how they extend that support; it could be in cash, professional services or something as small as buying a sandwich for the man begging on the side of the road!

Who are you to JUDGE how and where people give?

Please take your concerns up with our President...the man who thinks nothing of ALL people living in South Africa. The man who stares poverty and inequality in the face AND LAUGHS! His Nkandla is still standing while shacks are burning down…looking through bullet proof glass as he arrives at Parliament while families are being held hostage by the barrel of a gun caught in the on-going gang warefare on the Cape Flats…

My opinion about this beautiful nation of ours is that we will go nowhere until we can come up with an INTELLIGENT argument about the state of our  country, WITHOUT using the RACE CARD!

To ALL the people, companies, volunteers and organisations who contributed financially, in time and in kind to sustain the emergency services 24/7 for the past seven days. THANK YOU!

To employees and volunteers, THANK YOU FOR PUTTING YOURSELF ON THE LINE for our beautiful community!

During these last few days I’ve realised that the BIGGEST DEVASTATION is NOT THE FIRE, but the knowledge that there are still many who only see race and not humanity and kindness for what it is…