Hout Bay is no longer a rustic laid back village

Eduard Sjouerman,
Hout Bay

Your latest Sentinel carries the headline “Tensions in Hout Bay” (Sentinel, April 18).

It is common knowledge that bad news sells, and perhaps you mistakenly thought that the above headline was a good drawcard. How wrong you are.

Hout Bay is no longer a rustic laid back village by the sea. Its historical inhabitants are trying to cope with an enormous unasked-for influx of settlers from all over the country and beyond our borders.

Amazingly, there seems to be no similar pressure in Camps Bay and Constantia.

But Hout Bay – situated between steep mountains and the sea, with no train connection, very limited and highly congested road accessibility and without any industry and only a tiny bit of agriculture – is, rather obviously, no job paradise but was chosen and forced by inept politicians to be host to the thousands of new and mostly poor settlers -often with little to no skills.

Right or wrong, there is major dissatisfaction in Hout Bay from many of these people – just as there is all over the country.

Most people in Hout Bay recognise the plight of the poor and homeless and help where they can and put up with a lot of disagreeable situations, and when disaster strikes, the hospitality and help are legendary.

The last thing we need is inflammable and sensationalistic reporting, like the threats from rabble-rousing committees who threaten to “shut down” the village. That is tantamount to hate speech – irritating and insulting.

And we need no vote-gathering hollow promises from useless politicians to promise things that cannot ever be given, and we can only hope that it will dawn on people that, despite convenient but very misleading promises, there simply is no free lunch for all, and there never will be. No unlimited free housing, free electricity and free water.

That utopia works nowhere in the world and will most certainly not come about in a robbed and bankrupted law-crippled country like South Africa, where economic-disaster countries like Venezuela, Cuba and even Zimbabwe are held up as samples of prosperity and happiness.

Please, moderate your headlines, and, if possible, give some extra space to normal well-intended, decent inhabitants from all walks of life.