The families who lost their homes.
Who lost their homes and everything in it.
And their dignity.
With a ‘rectification project’ gone wrong.
Today we broke bread in humble celebratory anticipation.
When Zuko & I drove onto Sebote Street it was a buzz with activity.
Trucks off loading material.
Builders moving roof tiles.
Carpenters hammering away at trusses.
Cement being mixed.
On Friday, Mr Pullen, owner of Eldorado Construction, the principal contractor for this particular part of the project in ward 27 of Soweto-on-Sea boldly promised that he’ll have the elderly home owners back under their own rooves before the 14th of December.
Yesterday, when I met him at his site-office, he seemed resolute.
Today he started delivering.
Yes, it has been 5 or six months.
Yes, the issue of how these families will be compensated or helped with the loss of their built-in cupboards & carpets & tiles & furniture has not been addressed.
But there is movement.
And this morning Deputy Mayor Nancy Shilwayi promised, for everyone to hear, on our radio station‘s Breakfast Show, that she will convene a meeting between herself, the councilor of ward 27, the principal contractor, the Housing Development Agency and the completion of these 43 homes will be discussed.
And the issue of these families’ loss.
And she’ll make sure that I am invited too.
And we’ll talk about restoring these families.
As we arrived at the door of one home, the smell of freshly baked raisin bread greeted us.
As we shared the warm confectionery & even warmer conversation new hope was shared.
Hope that somehow we do live in a little bit of world in which the voice & cry of ordinary men and women are heard.
A little bit of world in which another way is possible.
In which we do not have to resort to violence & burning & protest.
In which councilors & contractors & development agencies can be held accountable.
And justice might just prevail.
And vulnerable people might just be protected.
We drink coffee.
We talk of a democracy in which we are represented by people who care.
Of a world beyond the strife & injustice of a previous dispensation.
A world in which an insignificant African boy, can be a white Afrikaans man, who understands that if one of us suffer, we all suffer.
And we resolve that it is in our being together, that our world will become.