A day in my Hood…

I am tired. Today has been a long, strenuous day. We live across the road from an informal settlement. Rumours were flying last night about a possible protest march and blockade of the main artery from Moloto, ferrying workers to their various destinations of employment throughout Pretoria.
At eight thirty p.m confirmation of the possible disruption was broadcast by our local police chief through community WhatsApp channels.
Night had already thrown its thick cold blanket over us. Tension was building inside and outside our house. The intended march was to start at 02:00am and uncertainty muddied our thoughts on potential disaster.
Two o’clock came and we slept lightly. At 03:30 our power went off. No electricity, restlessness mounting its steed…
By four a.m. the WhatsApp channels were buzzing with messages of crowds and barricades on the Moloto road. SAPS, Metro and POPS were ready for them and managed to disperse and prevent a major blockage, on this very busy thoroughfare. It could have been an ugly situation but alas it didn’t turn that way.
At five I was up and made a coffee by gaslight. I could hear shots and shouting from the roadside, “rubber bullets and tear gas” I was told later in the day.
By seven the kids had breakfast and Nicki left the house. I checked the road before they left and there was no way they could get through the throng of people and barricades placed on our Spioenkop road. The best would be to turn righ, away from the main road and take a detour, around the block and along Maroela ave. towards the R573.
They did and Nicki phoned later on after she dropped the children at school that she was intimidated by some of these roughnecks to turn back home. Knowing her she ignored their demands and carried on driving, luckily not over them…
Inglin had to move some stones placed as obstacles to get through to Maroela ave. and they were out of here.
I presume the march and protest is in connection with housing demands of the tenants of the informal settlement on Plot 175. Some rumours also state it is about job opportunities and cancelled projects. Either way, people are fed up. They are fed up because nothing has changed much for the good or better in the last 20 years.

The urban influx of people is accelerating throughout Africa. We cannot deny this fact…
The economy is slowing, unemployment and inflation are destroying prospects of hope. Education has been a farce and still is with greater divides between public and private schooling.
Our dependence on the”super hero” state machinery has become almost comical. We have been indoctrinated that the state of this fine republic has all the answers and will solve all our problems. It has managed to diminish the potential we all have as individuals, to learn and achieve greatness, to respect each other and to be selflessly involved in building our communities.

I want to see independence, growth and opportunities for everyone. A country where people respect and are respected.
I see a country that has a state working for its people and not the people working to keep the status quo.
I see a nation filled with pride and possibilities, fearless and caring. A future with great potential.
I also see a lot of work. We all have to lend a hand, without expecting immediate return, with a vision of a future where we can be one, South Africans, proud and strong.

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