Editorials 5.3.2018 09:27 am

There’s little freedom to chart in Kliptown

Children grow up in a garbage strewn neighbourhood in Kliptown.  Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Children grow up in a garbage strewn neighbourhood in Kliptown. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Kliptown today is a festering slum that features high unemployment, sewage in the streets and foetuses dumped in rubbish bins.

The ANC and the government have been making a big deal – and rightly so – about the fact that this year marks the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela.

The man born 100 years ago has made more of a mark on this country than any other.

But the ANC has also spent money erecting monuments to moments, or people, that were integral to the struggle for democracy and has, in some cases, turned a blind eye to some of the gruesome juxtapositions thrown up by these memorials.

Nowhere is this more grossly apparent than in the settlement of Kliptown, the place where, in 1956, those fighting for liberation released their Freedom Charter to the world.

This was where the Brave New World of a free South Africa was sketched, with promises that all people would not only be treated equally but that, with equal access to the resources of the country, the promise was that the lives of ordinary people would become immeasurably better.

In Kliptown today, the festering slum features high unemployment, sewage in the streets, an epidemic of child abuse and foetuses dumped in rubbish bins.

Kliptown is a memorial – to the neglect of a people. Some freedom this is …

WATCH: Kliptown protest leads to looting and train delays

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