Dear Helen, Patricia & Lindiwe
Congratulations, on a job brilliantly done, I believe this election is a defining moment in South African history.
As a DA supporter I am ecstatic about the DA’s performance in the local elections, particularly the outright majority win in Cape Town, but also the substantial gains made nationally. As you have said, the DA now has a fantastic base to work with for 2014 national elections.
In her celebratory speech Patricia welcomed ideas to help the DA to succeed further. I believe the following ideas can make a difference (specifically in townships & rural settlements):
1) Enhance access to information in townships and rural settlements, by setting up information kiosks with internet access and satellite TV, giving these communities broad access to information which will help reduce resistance to change and facilitate the transition from a race based political environment to one that is focussed rather on performance, prosperity and peace. This can be achieved through partnership with local businesses and social upliftment organisations.
2) Provide free skills and entrepreneurship training, again in partnership with the local business communities and others. For example a training facility, ie a tent could be set up in Khayelitsha, where the unemployed can go to seek training on basic skills such as bricklaying, painting, sewing, driving, tourism, farming etc. Perhaps establish a mentorship programme that will encourage business to adopt an unemployed person or one with previously unrecognised potential to take under their wing and train. This will take the unemployed youth off the township streets, where they are often victims of crime and incitement to political violence by those opposed to free and fair democracy, and will provide them with the necessary basic skills to earn a living, which will give them hope and change their outlook for the future.
3) Establish an awareness programme that focuses on human rights, open and free media, hygiene, littering, political\racial tolerance, family values etc. This can be achieved using media such as TV, internet & radio commercials or sign boards and banners sponsored by the city, local business and individuals. Why not have a signboard on the highway or at a township café or on a taxi saying that littering is not good or that racism is unacceptable. I would like to see banners at CT International that invites donations for poverty upliftment or education like they do at Dubai, with cash donation points. There is a lot of empty space at the airport, why not decorate it with what’s being done in the Cape Town to make it one of the most racially integrated cities in the world.
4) Establish an “adopt a child” education programme overseas, where people or organisations wishing to help make a difference in Cape Town can assist previously disadvantaged children with education. This programme could also facilitate student exchanges, so that children from the WC can spend some time abroad, which will change their perspective of the world. Take a poor black child in Gugulethu, attending a poor run down school in his neighbourhood, living in poverty, exposed to political intolerance, imagine the impact on his\her life after spending a year or two in Holland or France, imagine the impact that this kid\teenager could have on his\her community, the city or even the country for that matter.
I hope that these ideas are of value to you and that they are implemented in some form or manner, so that we can turn Cape Town (and the Western Cape) into an example of harmony and prosperity for all that live here. It is imperative that we succeed in transforming the lives of ALL that live in the WC as I am sure that you are well aware.
Good luck to your team, I have no doubt that we are about to witness an amazing period of governance in the Western Cape.
Nigel van Ysendyk
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