Masi must find ‘voice’

2017-10-24 06:01

Recent developments in Masi and particularly the decision of the Business Development Forum to reject what they see as biased involvement from certain sectors of the community is, in my opinion, deeply positive (“Petition against housing”, People’s Post, 10 October).

For months now I have been asking: “Who speaks for Masi?”. For too long the apartheid mentality of the privileged, educated whites helping and guiding the unfortunate, confused blacks has been perpetuated in the Masi debate by groups and individuals whose agenda is not always in the best interests of the people of Masi themselves. This has been punctuated by a low-scale (and sometimes public and vitriolic) attack by these groups and individuals on many of the organisations and people who are genuinely working to see sustainable social and economic upliftment in the Masi community.

This disingenuous approach is untenable... and I believe the community leaders are beginning to articulate that.

Masi is a complete and potentially vibrant community, made up largely of hard-working, peaceful citizens who are looking to establish a better life for themselves and a brighter future for their children. Like all other communities they have unique and specific challenges and as a valley community I believe support of and input into these critical areas have been and are increasingly forthcoming from surrounding ­communities.

This spirit of community is an ongoing necessity if we are going to see a peaceful and workable solution to valley community integration.

The reality remains, however, that any lasting change and ultimately progress will have to come from the voluntary buy-in and participation of Masi community members themselves.

The first step on this long road must be the establishment of a community “voice” that can clearly articulate on behalf of the community to establish open and workable lines of communication with both the surrounding valley communities and the authorities.

Julia Swain Kommetjie

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