Plight of Hout Bay, Imizamo Yethu highlights the meeting of poverty and abundance
AMENTION of Hout Bay invokes emotions of expensive and luxurious houses, while that of Imizamo Yethu raises notions of poverty, deprivation and struggle. Imizamo Yethu has habitually fallen victim to razing fires and protests from the threat of eviction.
In the past week, however, the plight of these neighbours was joint and brought in the spotlight by the ravaging storms and winds of the Cape of Storms.
What are the features of these neighbours? According to Census 2011 Hout Bay has a population of 17 000 and Imizamo Yethu has one of 15 000. The density of these settlements is 631 persons and 27 000 persons per square kilometre in Hout Bay and Imizamo Yethu respectively.
A graphical representation of the qualifications of these neighbours shows that Imizamo Yethu has a higher proportion of its population with Matric than Hout Bay, but Hout Bay compared to Imizamo Yethu has nine times the proportion of those with higher education compared to Imizamo Yethu.
While the racial composition of these neighbours shows that one is predominantly white at 57 percent and the other is almost exclusively black at 91 percent, the narrative of higher education qualifications, as a differentiator in South Africa, distinctly demonstrates its advantage in terms of employment opportunities and income levels as shown in the next graph on income distribution by neighbourhood.
When it comes to income, Hout Bay has 16 times the annual modal income compared to Imizamo Yethu. The income band with the highest number of people is R19 000 to R38 000 in Imizamo Yethu compared to Hout Bay with this band being R300 000 to R614 000. The modal income in Imizamo Yethu covers 29 percent of its residents, a corresponding percentage for Hout Bay for this income band (R19 000 to R38 000) is 6.5 percent. In contrast for Hout Bay the modal income of R300 000 to R614 000 covers 18 percent of its residents.
The communities of these two distinctly different profiles have had a sad experience that destroyed their properties and exposed them to elements and ravages of the weather of the Cape. A census can always provide insights on the risk profiles of communities and perhaps direct policy on how it may best be placed to respond.
When it comes to income, Hout Bay has 16 times the annual modal income compared to Imizamo Yethu.
A fire at the Mandela Park informal settlement near Hout Bay claimed several lives. The writer highlights the inherent inequality in education and income of the residents in the area.