KDF failing to bring benefit and empowerment for Khayelitsha

2017-01-26 06:01
Loyiso Cyprian Doyi

Loyiso Cyprian Doyi

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Does the Khayelitsha Development Forum still represent the interests of the poor. That is the question.

Answers do not come easily, as this is a highly complicated issue.

It would seem that Khayelitsha IS a gold mine, but the question should be, who are the miners or gold diggers and who are the mine owners who hold the concessions to the vast wealth or ‘natural resource’ that is called Khayelitsha.

With everybody now talking about the looming conference of the KDF, it would seem the stage is set for personal rivalries to rear their ugly heads.

I hope we will be mature enough to debate issues, and that this letter will serve that purpose.

I also hope that the debate will not regress into a forum to impugn others as corrupt personalities, but serve as a platform to engage with each other and the whole of Khayelitsha.

Let us use this public domain productively in order to deal with the challenges facing this sleeping giant.

Khayelitsha is one of the few townships in this country that are well-organised structurally, but from which structural organisation few benefit.

Allow me to pose a few questions to the leadership of the KDF.

In the Khayelitsha Malls, we have some of the biggest retailers in the country doing business here; Shoprite, Spar, Pick ‘n Pay, Boxer, Goal, Jet, Ackermans, Edgars and other, building material retailers, including some who were found to have colluded by fixing prices of goods, albeit they were commercial rivals.

But then, who benefits from these businesses and who are their suppliers.

Do they contribute to the gross domestic product(GDP) of Khayelitsha.

Must our people just be content with being cleaners, cashiers and security guards at these businesses?

Cheap labour wages are rife at these businesses, yet we posses huge buying muscle, without the opportunities that go wo with such.

These questions the KDF must answer because the fact that none of the above exists, lies squarely at the feet of the leadership.

Which of the profits per percentage benefit the people of Khayelitsha.

Where is Black Empowerment in the deals.

The irony of it all is that the inhabitants of Khayelitsha can only afford to run their businesses from derelict caravans, on the periphery or fringes of the business centres.

Where is the community stake in all of this.

What has happened to all the ambitious resolutions of numerous strategic business plans of the past. We held one in Stellenbosch. What happened to our goals and vision.

What is stifling the Khayelitsha Business Forum from making good on the endeavours to change the lives of the small business entrepreneurs.

KDF, what you have achieved is to compromise the value of the local businesses even below to that of the foreign nationals.

Hordes of our people walk, ride cars, commute in buses and taxis to support the business of these big retailers, with zero plough back to the same communities from which they operate.

What is happening to Khayelitsha Development Trust and the Khayelitsha Community Trust?

There is no growth and development in Khayelitsha. Why?

In one of the plenary sessions held in Citrusdal, the KDF even promised to make the economy of Khayelitsha stable. What happened to that ambitious declaration.

Its not too late to come together and give the business forum the independence to pursue business deals in Khayelitsha.

It cannot be right when all we see is the monied class turning Khayelitsha into their playing field.

The situation as it pertains, call for drastic measure to benefit Khayelitsha.

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