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Re: The gentleman who called in and said something along the lines of people are living in poverty right on top of the most fertile land in the city and maybe lack of talent is the problem.

I am not sure if he has been in Philippi and make no assumptions about his story and experiences.

However, it sounds like he is speaking about a different place. I am not sure if he has been there. I have interviewed and walked alongside people from Philippi (across the entire area) who are living in extremely tight living conditions, back to back, shack to shack, little thin corridors between shacks, shacks built on water-logged land (Graveyard Pond, Philippi), constant threats of evictions, farm owners who have no idea or no concern as to their labourers’ living conditions. Extreme poverty! Extremely cramped conditions. NO poor people OWN land there. That is the problem.

Does he think people OWN the land they eke their living out on? There is no ‘free’ land unowned.

He mentioned talent or the lack thereof and I nearly choked. The people who live in Philippi have no land. They are seen as ‘squatters’ — many of them have lived and worked on other people’s land there for generations and are still poor and are then evicted (Egoli, Philippi).

He is right. We have to see what the problem is that people are living in poverty on such fertile, rich land, BUT … what people like him and many privileged Capetonians do not know is that they may not like the answer to that question … land. When people cry “give us back our land’ they are speaking about the cycle of poverty that is continued and will keep their children in poverty. And what they may not like about the answer is that it will cost something to the privileged. It is not talent that is lacking, it is the will of the privileged to share what has been taken unjustly over generations.

I am more than willing to take this gentleman to Philippi and let him see the reality of how many extremely ‘talented’ gifted people are surviving – against all odds.