What freedom did: Black family in Moreleta Park

2013-04-28 14:00

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The results of Census 2011, to be released tomorrow, show how democracy has moved us – literally

Pretoria East’s upmarket Moreleta Park is a safe and quiet suburb in which to own a house and raise your kids.

That’s why Kleinboy and Aquilla Mahobja – two of the 6 083 black people who now live there, forming 22% of the suburb’s residents – call it home.

Almost three quarters (74%) of their neighbours are white.

Kleinboy (34), a mining engineer born and raised in Mookgopong, Limpopo, also cites security and proximity to work as reasons they chose to buy there.

“Initially we wanted to buy a house in Pretoria North since the property prices were fairly reasonable. But we decided to do a comparison between the two areas, looking at the finances, the distance to work and the long-term goals as to where we want our kids to grow up, and Moreleta Park came out tops,” he says.

“Moreleta Park is an extreme upgrade from where I come from. I like the fact that all the schools are close by, and the shopping malls are also close by.”

But there’s a down side.

“The social life is not so great since everyone is minding their own business. All that you get to do with your neighbours is make small talk, that’s as far as it goes. In the previous areas I knew every other person in the street and that’s what I miss the most.

“Although we stay in the same area we are still living worlds apart, socially. Some of our white counterparts have accepted the integration and some haven’t,” he says.

So on weekends, Kleinboy has friends over for a braai or visits others in townships “for a jol”.

Aquilla (27), a non-commissioned officer in the SA National Defence Force who lived in Rockville, Soweto, before moving to Pretoria East, says she loves the area as it is safe and close to work.

Although they want to get involved in community activities to get to know their neighbours better, busy work schedules prevent this – for now.

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