Costly to save lives

Renate Henshilwood, Hout Bay

When land is being illegally grabbed and illegal structures are erected where no infrastructure is in place, the end result is a disaster area.

Firstly my condolences go to the Ngceza family, who have lost their son, Siyabonga, and to Nomaroma’s family, who have lost a daughter.

Furthermore, two sets of grandparents have lost their two-year- old granddaughter Ayabulela. May they rest in peace.

Who carries the blame?

Allow me to refer you back to the remark made by one man at the recent meeting about the new polyclinic, which was supposed to be erected in Hout Bay. His words were “Now we are in the majority, we do things our way!”

You did things your way, and now we have a disaster, which has, is still and will be affecting all communities of Hout Bay for a long time to come. At the same meeting, one woman chose to threaten us with the words, “You with all your money, you can take us to court again, and we will go on strike again to get what we want!”

There is no chance of us taking anyone to court ever again, because our purses have long since run dry. We yet face the indirect cost of two helicopters with buckets flying for seven hours at a cost of about R40 000 an hour, with the total cost being about R560 000.

The pay of fire-fighters, policemen, law enforcement men, emergency crews and purposefully broken fire hoses and infra-structure. I estimate the total cost to stand now at about R1000 000 and the rebuilding of the area now will probably cost about R100 million.

And, lastly, but by no means least, consider the emergency aid from the ever immensely generous other Hout Bay communities, until outside aid came in, which in rand value is not measurable.

I ask you, who will indirectly pay for it all at the end of the day? It is us, via our ever increasing rates and tax payments, which are already horrendous now.

I respectfully suggest that the City of Cape Town makes land available now in town, Sea Point, Camps Bay, Llandudno and Constantia etc.

If a person is good enough to work there, the person is good enough to live there too.