Nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) Thula Thula Foundation and the Lalela Project, in partnership with British American Tobacco and Spur, painted shacks in Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay for Mandela Day, and some social media users were not impressed.
The shacks were painted with heat-resistant paint following a fire that destroyed the Hout Bay community, leaving four people dead and thousand destitute earlier this year.
The paint will help delay the effects of fire on the 67 shacks the organisations had decided to paint.
“Thula Thula joined hands with Lalela Project and put into action a part of a long-term effort to ensure that a disaster of the magnitude of March 11 and Easter Sunday be prevented to the best of our ability in the most colourful way possible.
“Our efforts to be of service to this community involved coordinating teams from corporates such as British American Tabacco and Spur Steak Ranches, who generously donated money towards fire-retardant paint and teams of their staff to spend a few hours painting the recently erected homes, restoring some colour and hope in a community who excitedly assisted,” wrote Thula Thula Hout Bay on Facebook on the day, along with pictures shared by the Lalela Project, of the volunteers hard at work.
One of the pictures was shared on Facebook and has since been circulating, with almost 300 shares and comments criticising the organisations for painting the shacks instead of building houses.
“You mean to tell me that this multi-billion rand entity couldn’t assist in proper housing after the devastating Cape fires, but only got hold of paint brushes to paint the shacks that the residents erected for themselves after being left in the ashes,” wrote the Facebook user.
“Mandela Day tends to spit in the faces of the poor in many cases,” added another.
However, there were others who felt the organisations did what they thought was best, adding that it was government’s responsibility to help its people.
“Then why help people at all? Therefore making your point to ‘assist in proper housing’ totally invalid.
“All I’m saying is.. don’t victimise yourself and black people in general when generous people are giving their time and money to help others in need (whether it is on a small or larger scale). You are a smarter than that,” said one user who thought the criticism was unnecessary.
Others insisted that the organisations did nothing wrong and should instead be praised for doing something for the community.
What do you think?
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