As a way of starting to inform your audience about myself and Masiphumelele community; I am a resident and a community leader in Masiphumelele. To be a community leader in Masiphumelele means you are leading in organizing the community settlement, community welfare issues, socio-economic issues and educational issues. My leadership role also comes in during times of disasters; such fires, floods, murders and xenophobic conflicts, hunger, landlessness, crime etc. People are looking up to me for answers in the intricate problems of a community of more than 40 000 residents from all over the African continent. People who are residing in Masiphumelele are coming from South Africa, Zimbabwe, DRC, Mozambique, Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Zambia, Malawi, Somalia, etc.
The common factor about all these people is that they are poor. They struggle for survival day in and out. Their livelihoods are dependant on jobs offered by the surrounding White communities. It is also my job as leader to make sure that the relations between Masiphumelele and the surrounding communities is well because we are dependant on each other. Masiphumelele is a source of labour and they are employers. I must admit it is not an easy job to do due to the history of apartheid relationships between Black and Whites in South Africa.
I guess that I am managing through my Christian faith, believing that “what is impossible with man is possible with God”. I am also counting on my limited educational background. I was trained as a teacher. I taught in the local high school for a good number of years before I served as part-time City of Cape Town Councilor in the area. The challenges facing me and this community are so big. The government and the City council cannot solve them without partnership with private individuals, business sector and progressive NGOs. Let me take a pause here: I hope to dwell issue by issue in the coming rounds