Concerned citizens doing it themselves

2015-05-12 06:00

Muizenberg residents are putting their heads together to solve their problems.

This as the Muizenberg Concerned Citizens’ group held its first meeting on Thursday last week.

The meeting brought positive people together to talk about what residents can do to make the area safer, happier and more socially supportive, says group facilitator Gigi des Fontaines.

The participants identified common areas of concern and solutions they would be able to facilitate with joint effort from others in the community.

“The modest intention is to rally citizens to give of their own time and effort to bring about the change that we all want. There is widespread dissatisfaction and apathy in the community, in part due to the lack of decisive, inclusive and progressive leadership locally,” she says.

People feel excluded from processes which affect them and have delegated their power to structures which have become hamstrung without their active involvement, says Des Fontaines. She cites the attendance at local civic organisation meetings as an example of this.

The group was started after a conversation between friends brought some new wisdom, Des Fontaines says.

“It was one of many similar conversations that I am sure people are having all over. Conversations that start with ‘Why doesn’t somebody . . .?’ or ‘They should . . .’,” she says. “We reflected on how we are in fact the mythical ‘they’, and the equally mythical ‘somebody’, who turns tides in communities.”

Des Fontaines is now calling on all positive, proactive citizens to become involved and set the agenda of the group.

“Identifying problem areas is an easy matter, but we need individuals with a constructive outlook, who are prepared to roll up their sleeves and get involved from the get go. We all have something to give, even if it is only an hour or two of our time a week,” she says.

The group will be divided into smaller “action groups” that will tackle specific concerns.

The group will also be used to educate the community by inviting speakers and activists to address members.V

For more information contact Gigi des Fontaines at gd.artcollection@gmail.com

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