MINE STRIKE COULD SEND COUN­TRY OVER THE EDGE

Cape Argus - - METRO - Michael Pick­stone-Tay­lor Keith Al­fred Adolph Blake Coun­cil­lor Brett Her­ron | City of Cape Town | Ot­tery

taught in blocks, in­stead of be­ing day-spe­cific, kids have their own lap­tops and lock­ers, and they have ac­cess to the cof­fee shop on cam­pus.

Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? And it can be, es­pe­cially when you see your child ma­tur­ing be­fore your eyes. Not so much, though, when you track their weekly spend­ing on the school’s on­line por­tal and dis­cover that the charges for vanilla smooth­ies are rack­ing up.

Aqeel needs to un­der­stand that, while the school fees might be ex­or­bi­tant, they don’t in­clude com­pli­men­tary smooth­ies.

Any­way, let’s chalk his smoothie ex­cesses up to the nov­elty of sud­denly hav­ing more free­dom than was pre­vi­ously the case.

I’m more con­cerned about Backto-School Night. The Mid­dle School prin­ci­pal has rec­om­mended par­ents wear run­ning shoes as we will only have five min­utes to move from one teacher and class to an­other.

Ap­par­ently, the aim is to let par­ents ex­pe­ri­ence what their chil­dren do in rush­ing from class to class, so we can bet­ter un­der­stand what they’re go­ing through as new Mid­dle School­ers, com­pared with the rel­a­tive pam­per­ing of pre­vi­ous years.

Oh well, I guess it’s time for me to “step up” and ful­fil my re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as a par­ent. And it’s only one night, af­ter all.

My phone beeps. It’s an­other mes­sage from Shi­haam.

“We have Saabi­rah and Yaqeen’s cur­ricu­lum night to­mor­row, in case you’ve for­got­ten that, too.”

I could def­i­nitely do with a vanilla smoothie right about now. Bawa, a for­mer news­pa­per ex­ec­u­tive ed­i­tor and magazine ed­i­tor, is writ­ing a weekly col­umn about the life and ex­pe­ri­ences of a proud South African liv­ing as an ex­pat in Qatar. TO SOUTH African Gold Mines: I am not sure whether you have read the ar­ti­cle in the Daily Sun about Amcu’s threat of a crip­pling strike, but I think all gold mines should take the threat very se­ri­ously.

Even if you can’t meet the

R12 000 de­manded as a liv­ing wage this year, I think you should work through your fig­ures and change your medium- and long-term plan­ning to make this pos­si­ble, as whether it hap­pens now, or some time in the fu­ture it’s not go­ing away and I be­lieve it will be­come a re­al­ity.

Those mines that plan for it will be those that be­come ma­jor play­ers in fu­ture ex­trac­tive in­dus­try cy­cles.

South Africa can­not af­ford an­other Marikana and the pres­i­dent and head of po­lice are aware of how close this coun­try is to a spon­ta­neous up­ris­ing.

Given the jus­ti­fi­able anger of the work­ers and many un­em­ployed, THE city re­quires pri­vate sec­tor de­vel­op­ers who ap­ply for ad­di­tional rights to con­trib­ute to the pro­vi­sion of af­ford­able hous­ing in Cape Town.

The city’s Trans­port and Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment Author­ity was es­tab­lished in Jan­uary last year to ex­pe­dite the de­liv­ery of hous­ing, among other pri­or­i­ties. Since then, we have nearly dou­bled de­liv­ery, and for the first time in the 18-year his­tory of the metro have ex­ceeded the city’s hous­ing de­liv­ery tar­get.

How­ever, the back­log of hous­ing is large and grow­ing, and na­tional grants are shrink­ing.

A re­vi­sion to the coun­try’s na­tional plan­ning leg­is­la­tion in­tro­duced a uni­form, ef­fec­tive and com­pre­hen­sive sys­tem for plan­ning de­ci­sions, a key as­pect of which was the prin­ci­ple of spa­tial jus­tice and in­clu­sion­ary de­vel­op­ment.

Since tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for the plan­ning depart­ment last year, I en­gaged with lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional ex­perts re­gard­ing the con­cept of in­clu­sion­ary de­vel­op­ment. Broadly speak­ing, it refers to the re­quire­ment to in­clude af­ford­able hous­ing in cases where mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties grant ad­di­tional rights to a de­vel­op­ment. such a strike could be­come the Water­loo for mine own­ers. So even though the stakes are in­cred­i­bly high, with no one be­ing able to af­ford such a strike, I sug­gest re­spect­fully that a com­plete re­think about the type of mines, leav­ing out mar­ginal ones that can’t sup­port a liv­ing wage for in­stance, needs to take place.

We as priv­i­leged South Africans need to re­alise that our his­tory has been air­brushed out in all the un­com­fort­able and un­pleas­ant ways, leav­ing a colo­nial sani­tised his­tory which was based on the (un­true) be­lief that we are bet­ter peo­ple than those whose first lan­guage is not English or Afrikaans.

And while it may be very difficult to change our com­mer­cial style, it is no longer just to ex­pect the ma­jor­ity of our ci­ti­zens to live in in­hu­mane cir­cum­stances and not re­ceive a fair wage.

And it’s not only the mines

This is com­mon prac­tice in most de­vel­oped cities. I have met the deputy mayor of New York, in­ter­na­tional ex­perts from the US-based Lin­coln In­sti­tute of Land Pol­icy, and var­i­ous lo­cal ex­perts re­gard­ing this mech­a­nism and its pos­si­ble role in as­sist­ing with af­ford­able hous­ing pro­vi­sion and apartheid re­dress and spa­tial ac­cess.

I have sub­se­quently re­quested city of­fi­cials to de­velop a con­cept doc­u­ment that could form the ba­sis of dis­cus­sions in prepa­ra­tion for an In­clu­sion­ary Hous­ing Pol­icy for Cape Town. The con­cept of in­clu­sion­ary hous­ing and the process of en­gage­ment with all stake­hold­ers has re­ceived sup­port from the may­oral com­mit­tee. The city will that need to change course; all gov­ern­ment min­is­ters and ad­min­is­tra­tors need to come back down to af­ford­able lev­els of pay ac­cord­ing to what the coun­try can af­ford, as well as many oth­ers like heads of uni­ver­si­ties, coun­cil­lors, etc.

We are the most un­equal coun­try in the world and some­thing has to give.

The econ­omy has al­most come to a halt in the past four weeks and such a mine strike can quickly get out of con­trol given the hunger and frus­tra­tion lev­els, unan­swered protests, spi­ralling crime and the fact that the present gov­ern­ment is closer to a (rain­bow) colo­nial elite now than to the free­dom fight­ers they were voted in as.

We are on a knife-edge and the next few weeks and months could de­ter­mine which road we find our­selves on. Fran­schhoek

zz| now ini­ti­ate dis­cus­sions with var­i­ous stake­holder groups in pur­suit of so­lu­tions that will as­sist us to de­velop an eco­nom­i­cally vi­able draft In­clu­sion­ary Hous­ing Pol­icy.

Where peo­ple live mat­ters – lo­ca­tion de­ter­mines ac­cess to schools, job op­por­tu­ni­ties, pub­lic trans­port, hos­pi­tals, and pub­lic ser­vices.

Prop­erty val­ues have in­creased dra­mat­i­cally over the past decade, and lower- and mid­dle-in­come house­holds find it in­creas­ingly difficult to find well-lo­cated prop­er­ties that they can af­ford to buy or rent.

In­clu­sion­ary hous­ing could as­sist with the pro­vi­sion of more af­ford­able units within well­lo­cated ar­eas of the city and al­low our so­ci­ety to de­velop in a more in­te­grated, in­clu­sive man­ner in line with in­ter­na­tional best prac­tice. I want to re­it­er­ate that:

The con­cept doc­u­ment is a start­ing point for en­gage­ment on how the city could im­ple­ment in­clu­sion­ary hous­ing in Cape Town.

Im­por­tantly, the pol­icy must not be a de­ter­rent for the valu­able con­struc­tion in­dus­try and place at I HEARD on the ra­dio that pro­pos­als to ban toy guns may be on the jus­tice agenda due to some chil­dren and grown-ups us­ing them to com­mit armed rob­beries.

Now, keep in mind that when a per­son of any age points a toy gun at a vic­tim, that is a very se­ri­ous crime of armed rob­bery. We are quick to find an even faster so­lu­tion that is not ben­e­fi­cial to the ma­jor­ity. A few years ago the best gar­den in­sect re­pel­lent was fine tobacco dust and be­cause a few drug ad­dicts used it, it was banned from the shelves.

There is the case of drug ad­dicts us­ing a cough mix­ture which con­tained codeine to en­hance their high and now a pa­tient has to show all IDs short of DNA and blood group and fin­ger­prints to get that heal­ing muti for a cough and cold. The very idea to ban toy guns is in my opin­ion a very dan­ger­ous ma­noeu­vre to ev­ery sin­gle boy hav­ing a toy gun.

Imagine (that) toy guns are banned and af­ter the ban as in the case of our il­le­gal gun plaque, there are chil­dren still hav­ing them and in a play­ful gesture point them at a per­son or law en­forcer. That child’s life will be in dan­ger in the line of self-de­fence by the vic­tim. Now if we want to ban toy guns, next will be toy dolls with the ex­cuse that they could en­hance testos­terone lev­els which could lead to rape and if a child abuses an­i­mals there will be a pro­posal to ban all an­i­mal toys, so this call is out of line.

The jus­tice sys­tem in to­tal­ity must sen­tence adults to long terms of im­pris­on­ment for armed rob­bery by us­ing toy guns and when it comes to chil­dren us­ing toy guns to com­mit armed rob­beries, there must be de­ten­tion cen­tres for these un­der­age crim­i­nals.

Let chil­dren be chil­dren and let them en­joy their toys and take note of this quote by Marge Cam­bre and Mark (Hawkes) – toys are im­por­tant, for­ma­tive com­po­nents in chil­dren’s lives. They en­ter­tain as well as teach, and they may do both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive con­se­quences.

Now, kids have their own lap­tops and lock­ers, and ac­cess to the cof­fee shop on cam­pus

risk the thou­sands of jobs which this sec­tor sus­tains.

At this stage, it is pro­posed that the con­tri­bu­tion the de­vel­oper could make in terms of af­ford­able hous­ing should be based on a for­mula which takes into ac­count the land value and de­vel­op­ment cost, and may ac­com­mo­date an on-site, off-site or fees-in-lieu con­tri­bu­tion, as per in­ter­na­tional norm.

The pro­posed re­quire­ment for in­clu­sion­ary hous­ing will not im­pact on ex­ist­ing prop­erty or de­vel­op­ment rights. It is ex­pected that the mech­a­nism will only ap­ply where de­vel­op­ments are seek­ing ad­di­tional rights.

We want to work with you – in­dus­try lead­ers, ex­perts, NGOS and our res­i­dents – to en­sure that we de­velop a pol­icy that is work­able, im­ple­mentable and prac­ti­cal.

I en­cour­age in­ter­ested stake­hold­ers to please con­tact my of­fice or their rel­e­vant rep­re­sen­ta­tive stake­holder or­gan­i­sa­tion to re­quest to be in­cluded in this process.

zzWhere peo­ple live mat­ters – lo­ca­tion de­ter­mines ac­cess to schools, job op­por­tu­ni­ties, trans­port

REUTERS African News Agency (ANA)

THE min­ing com­mu­nity gath­ers at the “Hill of Hor­ror” dur­ing a me­mo­rial ser­vice for min­ers killed dur­ing clashes at Lon­min’s Marikana plat­inum mine in Rusten­burg, in Au­gust 2012. | |

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