THE TRAUMATIC EFFECTS OF RAPID URBANIZATION IN THE

THE TRAUMATIC EFFECTS OF RAPID URBANIZATION IN THE
THE TRAUMATIC EFFECTS OF RAPID URBANIZATION IN THE
NEW SOUTH AFRICA AFTER THE 1994 DISPENSATION, A
CHALLENGE TO PASTORAL COUNSELLING, WITH
PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS IN
THE ROODEPOORT AREA
By
REV WHITE MAKABE RAKUBA
SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE
REQUIREMENTSOF THE DEGREE OF
PHILOSOPHIAE DOCTOR (PHD)
IN THE FACULTY OF THEOLOGY
UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA
SUPERVISOR: PROF M.J.MASANGO
2011
i
© University of Pretoria
Shacks within the upmarket Princess Crossing in Roodepoort
Signs of rapid urbanization – promised houses not available
ii
I.
DECLARATION:
I, White Makabe Rakuba (Rev) hereby declare that the dissertation
which I submit for the Degree of Philosophiae Doctor, PHD in Practical
Theology, at the University of Pretoria is my own work and has not
been previously submitted by me at this or any other University
Signature (Student):__________________________ Date_____________
WM RAKUBA (Rev)
Signature: (Supervisor):_______________________Date_____________
MJS MASANGO (Professor)
iii
II)
DEDICATION:
This thesis is dedicated to my grandfather after whom I was named,
Elkan Makabe. He predicted many years ago, when I was still a small
boy of 11 years, that I was Doctoral material. Sadly, he passed away a
year later when I was only 12 years old. Life never became the same
after his departure and dreams to fulfil his prophecy took many years
to realise. The short time I spent with him was so valuable in moulding
my mind to be independent. He was so innovative. His famous donkey
cart, which he had built using locally available materials, including
wheel barrow wheels, became the envy of the community we lived in.
People never stopped to admire his rare skills. I grew to learn that
what he used at that time is called “Appropriate Technology.”
He was such a marvellous old man to spent time with, but a tough
disciplinarian who could not spare the rod. He made me sandals with
the hide of an ox taken from the forehead, popularly known as
“Phaphela.” The hide was so tough that thorns could not penetrate it
but the funny thing about the sandals was that they made unique
tracks on the ground. When I ran away from the cattle post, it was so
easy for the old man to follow my tracks and he would beat the hell
out of me.
Twelve years as I was, I never forget the day he called us to his
bedside to give us his last message; I can still imagine the afternoon
sun penetrating his bedroom. His words were written with an
indelible ink in my heart. The following morning we were whisked
away to our uncle next door, and gradually the yard was filling with
people. Nobody from the family told us what had happened, but as
iv
children, we made our own conclusion. The old man was no more;
may his soul rest in Peace.
v
III) ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:
To my wife, Renkie and my kids, Jacob, Evah, Samantha and Donald, if
it were not of your support, I could have never managed. Though we
always had arguments that I thought I was the best, this degree should
serve as challenge to all of you to go beyond my destination. At my
age and background, to have come thus far, should be a major
challenge to you. You have all the opportunities and support from the
family and the onus lies with you to see what you do with your life
while you still have time.
To Prof Masango who had proved to be Practical Theologian indeed.
You were not only there to ensure that we as students, passed our
examinations, but you also created a community among us. You
showed such a passion towards wounded students, some of them by
their own Churches, and made the Practical Theology class a team
and a home indeed.
It would be unfair if I cannot acknowledge the contribution of fellow
Practical Theology co-researchers in the Department of Theology.
The contact classes we had together helped to sharpen our thinking
and minds in the research work. Your critical analysis of our
presentations had contributed enormously to the success of this
research. I, therefore, wish to acknowledge that I am immensely
indebted to the whole team. Practical Theology classes were not just
academic “learning centres, but they were also a home for wounded
souls.” The time we spent together has helped to heal many of us
who were wounded in the ministry. “Indeed, ministry can be very
cruel.” The sharing of experiences encountered in the field from
vi
different denominations had indeed proven how cruel ministry can
be. However, through team work, we managed to bring meaning to
life in the ministry.
May God help those who are still working on their researches to
complete their work, and to those who have already crossed the
river Jordan; I wish to say to them: “Please extend your hands to lift
up your colleagues who are struggling against the current of waters
to cross over to you.!!!”
To our colleagues who have been called to eternal rest while on the
journey with us, Rev Mohlala and Rev Mnisi. May their souls rest
peacefully in the hands of the Almighty. Their contributions in the
Practical Theology had left indelible marks in our hearts and minds;
we shall always remember them as we did whenever we met after
they had left us.
Tribute also goes to the two youths, Maria and Gilbert who had
assisted in the interviews as co-researchers. I believe this has
prepared you for your future work in research.
To a friend, Titus Mobbie, the journey together has been that of
mutual friendship and your contribution through proof reading and
correcting of the scripts have been very valuable indeed. God made
us to meet at the right time and this has not been without a purpose. If
there is anything good that we agreed to do together in life, was to
decide to further our studies. Your graduation as a Doctor of
Philosophy some two years ago, served as encouragement and
motivation. We have walked this path together, like friends who
vii
drove together through a wilderness, sharing the challenges of the
road together and not criticizing one another’s driving techniques.
To the Almighty God, you carried me through difficult times as I had
to work on this thesis at the time when pressure on me was mounting.
There were times when I felt abandoned, but later I realised that I had
to go through the challenges in order for you to strengthen me. Jesus’
words in Matthew 11:28 – 29 became an inspiration. “Come to me, all of
you who are tired from carrying heavy loads and I will give you rest. Take my yoke
and put it on you, and learn from me; because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and
you will find rest.” (Good News Bible) The Psalmist words in Psalm 23: 2
– 4 have also been such an inspiration and strength, “He lets me rest in
fields of green grass and leads me to quiet pools of fresh water. He gives me new
strength; he guides me in the right paths, as he has promised. Even if I go through
the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid, Lord, for you are with me. Your
shepherd’s rod and staff protect me. (Good news Bible) I am therefore, at this
stage, not afraid to say: “Ebenezer, thus far the Lord had brought me.” (RSV)
(1 Samuel 7:12.) The road thus far has been rugged and I cannot
imagine having reached this destination without your mighty hand.
And finally, to the Lefika Parish, I would like to say the years I spent
with you have been so inspirational and it is through your support that
I was able to carry on with this research. Many of you participated in
the research questionnaire and made it possible for this piece of work
to be completed. This masterpiece became possible because of our
working together in the ministry in this area.
May God bless and keep you.
viii
(IV) THE ABSTRACT:
The research has been designed to study the effects of the rapid
urbanization in and around the Roodepoort, targeting mainly the
sprawling informal settlements across the area and the existing
townships of Dobsonville, Doornkop (Snakepark) and Kagiso.
The researcher, who is a practising pastor in the area, had been
challenged by a number of issues related to the process of
urbanization.
The CODESA process that culminated with the elections of 1994
and the subsequent change of government had raised very high
hopes among the majority of South Africans who lived in poverty
and foreigners, in their own land, for decades. The turnover at
the elections, inspired by leaders such as Bishop Desmond Tutu,
was a clear indication that an ordinary South African was
yearning for a better life. This was a new beginning as many
people had been restricted by the apartheid laws to work and
live where they wanted.
The repeal of all the apartheid laws saw the beginning of influx
from the rural homelands to the cities. The hope that job
opportunities were available near the cities was the main force
of attraction. This unplanned process resulted in creation of
massive informal settlements as there were no houses to cater
for the massive movement. This process is called rapid
urbanization.
ix
Not very long, the reality of the past indicated that there were no
major changes with the new government. The economy still
remained in the hands of few individuals, majority of whom still
being white, as the new government came through negotiations
and not complete take over (Coup D’état.) Few blacks managed
to shoot up the economy ladder through processes such as BEE
and the GEAR leaving the majority of people in abject poverty.
The great trek did not only happen within the borders of the
country, millions of people from the African, Asian and East
European countries also moved into South Africa to try their luck
at the new South African economy. Highly qualified
professionals left their struggling countries to seek better life in
South Africa. This category came legally through the
recruitment processes but the larger contingency came illegally
into the country. They took the advantage of lack of
internationally recognised immigration instruments to regulate
movement in and out of the country.
This process saw the country soaring with illegal economic
migrants as well as genuine refugees and asylum seekers.
The rapid urbanization process brought about the following
challenges:
 Culture shock
 Declining family structures/ life and Social problems
 Drug trafficking
x
 Education
 Exploitation of foreigners
 Exploitation of informal settlement dwellers and “Shack
farming”
 Human trafficking.
 Inadequate housing and homelessness
 Institutional harassment and unfair discrimination
 Lack of Employment
 Poverty in urban areas
 Refugees and economic migrants
 Social benefit exclusion
 Stigmatization on HIV and AIDS, Crime, including serious
crimes
 Xenophobia
The challenges, as tabled above, brought about a series
conflicts between the South African internal migrants and the
foreigners which culminated into a bitter xenophobic outburst of
2008. The main reason for the conflict was that South Africans felt
that jobs were being taken away by foreigners and also that the
government was neglecting service provision to the local
community in favour of foreigners.
A number of service delivery protests have become a common
sight, particularly in the informal settlements. Lack of basic
facilities and the irregular allocations of the RDP Houses, crime
and poverty have waned the patience of residences of informal
settlements. The resent protests in Zandspruit, Rietfontein and
xi
Diepsloot informal settlements north west of Johannesburg are
some of the concrete examples.
The situation could not be ignored by the Church and this
research was an attempt to understand the extent of the
problem in order to find a way to improve ministry to the
affected communities.
xii
V)
ACRONYMS:
ACHIB:
African Council of Hawkers and Informal Business
AIDS:
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
ANC:
African National Congress
AU:
African Union
BEE:
Black Economic Empowerment
CEO:
Chief Executive Officer
CODESA: Convention for a Democratic South Africa
CoRMSA:
Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South
Africa
CSVR:
Centre for the Study of Violence
DP:
Democratic Party
DRC:
Democratic Republic of Congo
FRELIMO: Frente de Libertacao de Mozambique (The
Liberation Front of Mozambique)
GEAR:
Growth Employment and Redistribution
HIV:
Human Immunodeficiency Virus
IFP:
Inkatha Freedom Party
IOM:
International Organization for Migration
KZN:
Kwazulu Natal
NCHR:
Norwegian Centre for Human Rights
NKJV:
New King James Version
NUM :
National Union of Mine Workers
OAU:
Organization for African Unity
OVC:
Orphans and Vulnerable Children
RDP:
Reconstruction and Development Programme
RENAMO: Resistencia Nacional Mozambicana (Mozambican
National Resistance)
xiii
SACC:
South African Council of Churches
SADC:
Southern African Development Community
SALDRU:
South African Labour Development and research
Unit
SAMP:
Southern African Migration Project
SAPA:
South African Press Association
TEBA:
The Employment Bureau of Africa
UDF:
United Democratic Front
UHURU:
Campaigns for and achievement of national
independence in Africa especially in Kenya, Uganda
and Tanzania “Total Independence”
UNHCR
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
WENELA: Witwatersrand Native Labour Association
xiv
VI.
KEY WORDS:
 Trauma
 Unemployment/Retrenchments
 Poverty:
 Housing and Homelessness
 Informal settlements and shack farming
 Social problems: family life, prostitution, crime, OVC’s, street
children,
 Culture shock
 Migration
 Economic migrants
 Refugees
 Xenophobia
xv
VII) EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
CHAPTER 1
This chapter introduced the subject of research. When South Africa
eventually concluded the CODESA negotiations after many years of
struggle against the apartheid system, the mood in the country was
that life was going to change for better for all marginalised people. It
was going to be the end of hardships. This was demonstrated by the
huge turn up at the first elections that took place on the 27th of April
1994. There were high hopes that the new government was, indeed,
going to address the injustices of the past and make life normal for all
the citizens of the country.
The repeal of all the oppressive legislation of the apartheid regime,
was seen as the right direction towards correcting the wrongs of the
past. This situation led to massive migration from the rural homelands
or Bantustans as they were known, at the time, to the cities of the
country and Johannesburg being the hardest hit. This sudden
migration is known as “Rapid Urbanization.” There was belief that life
in the cities would be better and nearer to job opportunities. The
results were massive informal settlements that mushroomed all over
the cities. Indeed, the country was not prepared for this situation. This
migration did not only happen inside the country, millions of
foreigners poured into the country with the same hope of getting
better life in the new South Africa. The chapter looked at three case
studies that were used to bring home the message about the real
situation of rapid urbanization.
Seventeen years later, the situation in the country seem to have
worsed than it was before the 1994 dispensation. The high
xvi
expectations from the majority of the citizens and migrants had turned
into frustration and poverty; and unemployment had escalated. The
purpose of this research is to understand the extent of the problem of
rapid urbanization and how the Church could be helped in
addressing the situation of the people trapped in the cities of the
country without the prosperity they had hoped to find.
Problem Statement:
The problem here, is that what people thought was going to develop
into prosperity became misery. The research is aimed at exploring
the issues that created this negative development in order to find way
of dealing with them. The reality of rapid urbanization is that life is not
as good as people from the rural areas perceive it to be. Life in the
urban settings was far more difficult than it was in the rural areas.
Poverty, unemployment, lack of housing, lack of basic services, lack
of food, clothes, schooling for children, and lack of access to health
facilities became the reality people had to face.
The chapter then developed the Aims and objectives which are:
- To explore the reality of rapid urbanization and its impact on
people.
- Sensitize the Church to be aware of the plight of the people
trapped in the situation
- To develop an action programme that the Church should follow
xvii
- To develop a counselling model.
CHAPTER 2
This chapter looked at the method that was used to collect
information. The researcher used both the qualitative and quantitative
research methodologies. A number of documentations on rapid
urbanization have been compiled by a number of writers throughout
the world and in South Africa on issues relating to rapid urbanization.
The research involved doing research in the libraries, the internet
and other sources to find how the situation is affecting people.
Secondly, a questionnaire was developed and was distributed among
the people in the areas earmarked for research. Interviewees were
asked to give their opinions on a number of issues including housing,
sanitation, trust in the government, and attitude towards immigrants,
xenophobia, poverty and service delivery.
Focus group discussions involving a number of people and
stakeholders in the areas under research were conducted. The
researcher targeted people who lived in the 3 main townships,
Dobsonville, Braamfischerville and Doornkop (Snake Park) and also
five informal settlements; Tshepisong, Mathole Motshekga,
Mhlangeni, Zandspruit and Princess Crossing.
The researcher discussed with women, men, youth, councillors,
police, immigrants, faith-based leaders, refugees, asylum seekers
and sex workers.
xviii
The researcher then did the research gap to ensure that the work is
not a repetition of the already researched work, then argued the
relevance of the research in the Practical Theology field.
CHAPTER 3
This chapter looked in details the issues related to rapid urbanization.
It had to deal with the following topics.
The economic situation post-apartheid:
This was intended to understand how things were prior 1994 in order
to make readers of the research understand why people feel they
have been betrayed by the new government. It is evident that the
situation presented by apartheid system was deceiving. Though it
looked like things were better then, it is clear that the apartheid
government had taken 87% of the land and allocated only 13% for the
majority population into Bantustan’s where there were no services.
Whenever the previous dispensation referred to service delivery, it
was for few people.
Unemployment and under-employment:
Employment, which is the key economic factor in the country has
been declining even before the 1994 dispensation due to the
sanctions that were applied to remove the apartheid government. The
new government failed to reverse the trend and unemployment is
currently calculated at between 40 – 45% depending on who
announces the figures. The problem has been exacerbated by the
influx of economic migrants who came from countries that were facing
xix
economic meltdown. These foreigners are prepared to take any form
of remuneration, and therefore, profit-driven employers prefer them
over the local ones who are likely to affiliate to trade unions.
The problems of housing and homelessness:
One of the problems of the old South Africa was that housing for black
people was not in the agenda of their development. The housing
backlog for the ethnic group has always been a problem even before
the influx of people into the urban areas. There was not enough land
allocated for housing since the intention was to keep blacks out of the
so-called “White South Africa.” The backroom accommodation made
it look like there were not many people and when the group areas act
was repelled, the explosion of overcrowding occurred and the need
for land and low cost housing was evident. The government then
embarked on the RDP programme to try to solve the problem. The
rapid urbanization process made it difficult for the government to
resolve this problem as the more RDP house they built, the more
shacks propped up.
Informal settlements and “shack farming”
At the rate which the rapid urbanization process occurred, it was not
easy for any municipality to cope with the housing backlog. People
started invading municipality land and in some cases, even private
land to erect makeshift structures as homes. There were no organized
allocation of stands and therefore anybody could put a structure
anywhere he/she deemed necessary. The settlements had no
infrastructure such as sanitation, water, electricity and municipality
services. A phenomenon called, “Shack farming” developed in the
xx
outskirts of the cities, particularly those with private land that was
used for farming. Owners allowed people to erect shacks on their
land and charge them monthly rentals. The informal settlement
became synonymous with rapid urbanization.
Poverty in the urban areas-cities:
The state of poverty in the urban areas is more severe than in the rural
areas. Without money, which is earned through employment, one
cannot survive. The problem of employment, as discussed above,
makes it difficult to get even short term employment or “piece jobs.”
When there is no money, there is simply no food in the house. In the
urban situation people are often on their own, and they have no one to
lean to when things become difficult. In the rural areas there are
always relatives who sometimes help. The fact remains that there are
many families going for days without any food.
The mushrooming of Pentecostal churches and ministries and
their contribution to poverty:
Huge tents and big buildings are becoming the order of the day in
urban areas. These churches are promising people quick solutions to
their problems. They are promising those who are looking for jobs,
that they will get the jobs if they became members. Unfortunately,
such charismatic churches fleece money out of the pockets of poor
people and only the church leaders are the benefactors. They buy
expensive houses and Porsche cars while their followers rot in
poverty.
xxi
Informal versus formal trade:
In the absence of formal employment, the alternative is informal trade
in order to make money. The new government, seeing that it was
unable to resolve the issue of employment, encouraged people to be
involved in small business activities. Unfortunately, the competition
for this business sector was enormous.
CHAPTER 4
This chapter dealt with the products of the situation as dealt with in
the previous chapter. The problem of rapid urbanization is, in most
cases, accompanied by traumatic issues that affect the people as
conditions and services are lacking or inadequate. These problems
are closely interrelated with social changes which lead to alterations
to social structures, institutions, roles and relationships. The process
of rapid urbanization is characterised by population concentration,
overcrowding, obnoxious urban conditions, miscellaneous diseases,
poverty, unemployment, crime, drug and substance abuse,
prostitution, family disorganization etc., the list continues.
The researcher studied the following issues:
The effects of rapid urbanization on family life.
A typical family is the one that lives together with all its members
present, i.e. father, mother children and family pets, all staying in one
house, sharing food, and everything in the house. The rapid
urbanization has resulted in many families disintegrating. Some
family members cannot stay with the family because of the
xxii
accommodation problem although others do stay together but the
situation is not conducive. In some cases, families of five to ten
members share a two-roomed shack where there is no privacy and
family life cannot continue in such conditions.
Social Problems:
Social problems are problems that affect the larger part of society and
can be defined as such by the entire community. The term is used to
indicate that something is wrong. For it to be defined as such, it must
have characters of harming the society and not just an individual.
Briefly stated, these are the social problems normally associated with
rapid urbanization: Poverty, Chronic diseases, HIV and AIDS, Housing
and homelessness, Orphans, Street children, Prostitution, Substance
abuse, Crime and Culture Shock.
CHAPTER 5
This chapter looks at the way rapid urbanization affects foreigners.
The research looked at the situation of economic migrants and
refugees/asylum seekers and then treated the phenomenon of
xenophobia.
Economic Migrants:
This refers to people who came into South Africa purely because they
believed that opportunities existed for jobs that would, in turn, lead to
better life. Even in this category, there was a need to classify them;
there are legal economic migrants and illegal or undocumented
xxiii
immigrants. The former is made up mainly of professionals who are
able to get professional jobs and make a good living. These are
teachers, university professors, medical personnel and technicians.
The latter group is made up of low qualified people who are prepared
to accept any form of job or remuneration.
Refugees and Asylum Seekers:
The history of this country was that South Africa was never a member
of the global community and therefore international instruments for
regulation of migration were not ratified until after 1994, in fact it was
in 2002 when the refugee act was finally approved. Refugees never
used to be recognised or given asylum in this country. When the
South African government changed, refugees from warring countries
decided to come over for a better life. They arrived in a situation
where the government was not prepared for them and ended up in
the cities of the country alongside South Africans in the informal
settlements. Rapid urbanization situation affected them as well.
Xenophobia:
This unfortunate event that erupted into a full blown crisis in 2008, was
a direct product of the rapid urbanization. Local South Africans, who
had to share the informal settlements and other issues with foreigners,
became impatient when they realised that foreigners were becoming
too many. Competition for jobs and many other services made people
to begin hating the foreigners. The perception that the government
was not delivering on its promises brought about the perception that
foreigners were doing better than they do.
xxiv
CHAPTER 6
This chapter analysed the results of the survey that was distributed
among the people in the informal settlements, including the existing
townships. The survey was distributed to a number of people; women,
men, youth, community leaders and religious leaders. In addition to
the survey, focus group discussions were held with a number of
people to deal with almost the same topics given in the survey.
Chapter six, therefore, concludes the research. It looked at the scope
of the research, the statement of limitation and delimitation, and then
analysed the questionnaire, the focus group discussions; and then
conclusions and recommendations to the churches.
xxv
VIII. TABLE OF CONTENTS:
i)
Declaration
iii
ii)
Dedication
iv
iii)
Acknowledgements
vi
iv)
Summary of the research
ix
v)
Acronyms
xiii
vi)
Key words
xv
vii)
Executive summary
xvi
viii) Table of contents
xxvi
CHAPTER 1
1
1.1. Introduction
1
1.2. Background information
5
1.3. Problem statement
14
1.4. Aims and objectives
17
1.5. Preliminary conclusion
18
CHAPTER 2
19
2.1. Methodology
19
2.2. The research gap
22
2.3. The relevance of the study
23
2.4. Preliminary conclusion
27
xxvi
CHAPTER: 3
28
3.1. The state economic situation post-apartheid
28
3.2. Unemployment and under-employment
38
3.3. The problems of housing and homelessness
43
3.4. Informal settlements and “shack farming”
54
3.5. Poverty in the urban areas-cities
64
3.6. The mushrooming of Pentecostal churches/the ministries and
their contribution to poverty
70
3.7. Informal versus formal trade
75
3.8. Preliminary conclusion
80
CHAPTER: 4
81
4.1. Introduction
81
4.2. The effects if rapid urbanization on family life
86
4.3. Poverty
89
4.4. Chronic Diseases
95
4.5. HIV and AIDS
100
4.6. Prostitution
102
4.7. Crime
106
4.8. Unemployment
111
4.9. Xenophobia
113
4.10. Culture shock
122
4.11. Rural depopulation and degradation
131
4.12. Preliminary conclusion
131
CHAPTER: 5
132
xxvii
5.1. Introduction
132
5.2. Economic migrants
136
5.3. Opportunistic migrants
151
5.4. Xenophobia
152
5.5. The influx of refugees and asylum seekers
162
5.6. Mozambican refugees
167
5.7. Preliminary conclusion
169
CHAPTER 6
170
6.1. The research procedure
170
6.2. The scope of the study
170
6.3. Statement of limitation
171
6.4. Statement of delimitation
173
6.5. Analysis of the focus group and questionnaire
175
6.6. Challenges to the churches and pastoral care givers
197
6.6.1. The prophetic ministry of the church amidst the suffering
due to rapid urbanization
197
-
Theological reflections
197
-
Literature review
206
6.6.2. Suggested model for response
230
6.6.3. The proposed action plan programme for the Church
250
7.
Conclusion
255
8.
Appendices
259
9.
Bibliography
277
xxviii
X.
CASE STUDIES:
1.
A case of shattered hopes and high expectations
2
2.
A case of refugees and migrants
3
3.
A case of internally displaced persons
4
4.
A case of charismatic church promise
70
5.
A second case of charismatic church
73
6.
A case of a Zimbabwean female immigrant
91
7.
A personal testimony by the researcher
122
8.
A case of Economic migrant from DRC1
134
9.
A case of Zimbabwean immigrant
140
1
DRC – Democratic Republic of Congo
xxix
X.
1.
PHOTOS AND PICTURES:
Shacks within the upmarket Princess Crossing in
Roodepoort
ii
2.
Signs of rapid urbanization
ii
3.
Voting queues on the 27th April 1994
10
4.
Upmarket house protruding among the shacks
49
5.
Diepsloot informal settlement
57
6.
Shack farming
61
7.
Service delivery protest
251
8.
Service delivery protest continued
252
xxx
CHAPTER: 1
1.1. INTRODUCTION:
“The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good
news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim
freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the
oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of the vengeance of
our God, to comfort all who mourn, and to provide for those who grieve in Zion, to
bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of
mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” Isaiah (61:1 –
3)
As a pastor stationed in the Dobsonville Parish1, which covers both
the urban and informal settlements in and around Roodepoort and
Krugersdorp, the frustrations, misery and disappointments of people
who find themselves trapped in the informal settlements, the derelict
buildings in the towns/cities and the backyards of the township home
owners have become the painful experience of the researcher in his
ministry. One has to deal with frustrations and hopelessness of people
who feel they have been cheated into voting a government that has
nothing to do with them.
After the repeal of the Group Areas Act No 41 of 1950 and many other
apartheid laws in June 1991, (Keesing, World online –
www.keesings.com , see also www.nelsonmandela.org ) and the
realisation of democracy through the 1994 all inclusive elections,
people understood that their lives were about to be changed
positively.
1
The Parish has since changed its name to Lefika Parish
-1-
This situation allowed freedom of movement, abode and work and as
a result many people left the rural areas to seek for jobs and better
life from the bondage of the homelands in which they were forced to
live by the apartheid laws. Many black South Africans, including
foreigners and economic migrants from other African countries,
flooded the cities with the hope that they would find jobs and better
life but had found themselves in a difficult situation as their
expectations turned into misery. The good life expected by the
formerly disadvantaged people of South Africa soon became empty
promise. Life became even more difficult than before.
In order to make our case clearer, we need to look at the following
three stories as narrated below to show some of the many
experiences encountered by people in the new South Africa.
CASE STUDY: NO 1
A case of shattered hopes, high expectations of getting jobs in the
new South Africa
“One Sunday after Church, at the time the congregation was having tea and coffee,
a young girl introduced herself to the congregation but before she could finish her
story, she burst into tears. The practice of the Church is that every Sunday visitors
are welcomed during the church service but adequate time is given to them after
service, during tea time to introduce themselves more in details. The young lady
explained to the congregation that her father had left home at Mmatau in the North
West to come and seek for a job in order to help improve the lives of his family. It
was already three years that the father had left home and when they did not hear
anything she decided to come and look for him. She had heard from a friend that he
was staying somewhere in Dobsonville. She came with a family friend who helped
her with accommodation while looking for her father. After a long search her father
-2-
was located in one of the backyards of a house in Dobsonville. It emerged that, since
he came to Johannesburg, the father never got a job and was afraid to return home
as he had nothing to offer to the family. He was at the mercy of a friend who allowed
him to share with him a shack. The arrangement was that the father remained in the
yard during the day while his friend went to work in order to ensure that their shack
was secured.
Though the father was located, a new crisis emerged. The father was not at all
prepared to return home because of shame. This left the girl with a painful reality of
finding her way back home and the courage to break the news to the awaiting
family. By the time she left home, the family had nothing to eat and had exhausted
all the possibilities of getting help from the relatives or neighbours. Nobody was
prepared to help them anymore. After hearing her sad story, the Diaconate ministry
of the parish organised temporary shelter for her father away from the shelter he
lived in, while counselling and persuading him to consider returning to the family
even if he had nothing to offer. At the same time the parish organised funds and
some goods to help the girl return home. The parish also linked with the home
parish of the family and helped to arrange a survival means for the family.”
CASE STUDY: NO: 2
The case of refugees and migrants:
“One Friday afternoon late, just after 16:30, a young man appeared at the main
entrance of the building of the ecumenical movement in South Africa, Johannesburg
– (The South African Council of Churches.) He was dragging a heavily pregnant
young woman by hand and demanded to see the person in charge of the refugee
relief programme, the Emergency Relief Programme Officer who happened to be
the researcher of this thesis at that time. When the officer arrived at the entrance of
the building, the young man said: “Rev, tell me, what I must do with this woman? She
is about to give birth now, we have no place to stay, no money to take her to the
clinic nor hospital, no clothes for the coming baby, nothing. We have just been
thrown out of the flat and our meagre belongings were taken by the landlord until
-3-
we are able to raise money to pay the rental we owed for the past 8 months.” This
was not an isolated incidence; most of the Church organizations and congregations
in urban areas of South Africa are overwhelmed by the request for assistance on
daily basis.
The situation of this young couple is a drop in the ocean, if we have to compare it
with the similar cases experienced by immigrants and refugees who came to South
Africa. The way the South African urban life is marketed outside the country makes
people believe that once they can find their way into the country their misery would
be resolved. In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for instance, the returning young Ethiopian
refugees from South Africa, display wealth and prosperity in a way that encourages
others to leave the country. The same situation can be observed in Ghana, young
men who come to work in South Africa when they return home they invest in hotel
businesses and raise the hope that going down south would make enough money to
be as rich as the others who have been there. This is true with some of the
immigrants but unfortunately many find themselves in a different situation.”
CASE STUDY NO: 3
A case of internally displaced people:
“One afternoon the researcher was visiting a friend who happens to be a minister in
one of the mainline churches when a woman knocked at the door and announced
that she had come to borrow some sheets of corrugated iron which she saw in the
Church yard. She had come all the way from Giyani, where she had left her familyi
to Daveyton, a township in Ekurhuleni, east of Johannesburg, to look for a job. As she
had no accommodation in Daveyton, she had to stay with friends until she could get
the state sponsored house (The RDP). But, she knew that for her to be able to get that
house, she had to prove that she had been living in the area and registered to be
given the house. There must be prove that she had her own shack to be considered
as a beneficiary, so that when the municipality officials come to register those who
need the houses they should find her already in a temporary house or shack. She
also decided to go to friends and relatives to borrow materials in order to erect her
temporary shelter in the form of a shack.”
-4-
THE CHALLENGE TO THE CHURCH
The situations as described above are a direct challenge to the
Church in this country. If the Church wants to be true to the ministry of
our Lord, (Luke 4:18 – 19), it has to be the advocate of the
marginalised or the poor. South Africa is one of the countries where
the voice of the Church has been so vocal in fighting for the
marginalised during the struggle against colonialism and the
injustices of apartheid. At that time the common enemy was clearly
identified as apartheid. When the political formations/organizations
were banned in South Africa during the mid-1980’s, the Church
stepped in to become the voice of the marginalised. Indeed the
Church, under the auspices of the South African Council of Churches
became such a powerful weapon to fight against the injustices of the
apartheid system and the whole world supported it. One could ask a
question “Is the Church still visible among the poor and marginalised
today?
Why are the new governments not different from the colonialists? Just
as it has been a case with many African countries, Ghana, Namibia,
Zimbabwe etc., the powerful prophets who led the onslaught against
the colonialists, seem to have found that the new governments were
too good and joined them. This has rendered them to be part of the
system and cannot speak anymore against the injustices mooted
against the helpless and marginalised people.
But looking at the current situation in the country, one would still say a
common enemy is clearly identifiable, but the question is, is the voice
of the Church the same? The poor, who now feel that they have been
-5-
betrayed by the political parties after promising them better life, still
have hope that some miracles are still able to happen even during
this time.
1.2. BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
Perhaps it will be helpful for readers to understand where the country
comes from as far as the issue of separate development is concerned;
the situation that had disfranchised millions of people and locked
them into lifeless homelands. South Africa is a country that has a long
history of discrimination that was legislated in the statuette books of
the then Republic of South Africa. When the National Party won the
general elections in 1948, the party introduced the apartheid system
of Separate Development which saw 87% of land being deprived of
millions of the indigenous inhabitants of the country. Tracks of fertile
and industrious land were declared white areas and black people
forcefully removed and bundled into the arid homelands and
declared foreigners in what had been their motherland for centuries.
Several laws were enacted to ensure that the separate development
system worked. The vicious apartheid policy of the National party
banished the majority of the citizens of the country into rural and arid
homelands where there was no livelihood. Pseudo Presidents and
Prime Ministers were appointed by the Pretoria regime to make the
homelands system work.
In order to enforce the segregation policy of the National party, a
series of different laws and acts were passed from 1948. These laws
were intended to enforce the power and dominance by whites, of
substantially European descent, over the other race groups. This
-6-
ensured that the apartheid was institutionalised. While the National
Party’s policy of separate development became known worldwide, it
is however interesting to note that these were not the first
discriminatory laws against the natives of the country. The Glen Grey
Act of 1894 in the Cape colony which diminished the land rights of
Africans in scheduled areas is a good example.
Cecil John Rhodes, the Prime Minister of the Cape Colony at the time introduced a
number of bills and on native policy he had to move cautiously. His Franchise and
Ballot Act (1892) was passed, limiting the native vote by financial and educational
qualifications then the Glen Grey Act (1894),2 It gave its name to the Glen Grey Act,
a 1894 act of the parliament of the Cape Colony, which established a system of
individual (rather than communal) land tenure, and created a labour tax to force
Xhosa men into employment on commercial farms or in industry. The act was so
named because, although it was later extended to a larger area, it initially applied
only in the Glen Grey district, assigning an area for exclusively African
development, was introduced from the highest motives: “a Bill for Africa,” as Rhodes
proudly called it” ("Glen Grey Act." Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011 www.britannica.com accessed (07
May 2011.)
The difference is that when the national party took over the
government in 1948, it became very aggressive in promulgating laws
to enforce the apartheid ideology. Massive forced removals were
embarked on to ensure that different racial groups were separated.
Following are some of the promulgated laws to enforce the apartheid
policy:
1.1. The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act No 55 of 1949.
1.2. The immorality Amendment Act No 21 of 1950
2
Glen Grey is a former name for the area around Lady Frere, east of Queenstown, in the Eastern
Cape province of South Africa
-7-
1.3. Population Registration Act no 30 of 1950
1.4. Group Areas Act No 41 of 1950
1.5. Bantu Building workers Act no 27 of 1950
1.6. Separate Representation of Voters Act no 46 of 1951
1.7. Prevention of Illegal Squatting Act No 52 of 1951
1.8. Bantu Authorities Act No 68 of 1951
1.9. Natives Laws Amendment Act of 1952
1.10. Natives (abolition of Passes and Coordination of Documents) Act
No 67 of 1952 which included the Group Areas Act, The Group Areas
Act of 1950 (Act No. 41 of 1950) was an act of parliament created
under the apartheid government of South Africa that assigned racial
groups to different residential and business sections in urban areas in
a system of urban apartheid.
The effect of the law was to exclude non-Whites from living in the
most developed areas, which were restricted to Blacks (e.g., Sea
Point). It caused many non-Whites to have to commute long distances
from their homes in order to be able to work. The law led to nonWhites being forcibly removed from living in the "wrong" areas.
History of South Africa from 1948,
www.southafrica.to/history1948 (accessed 2010.09.18)
This act was repealed forty one (41) years later, on June 5, 1991 along
with the Land Act of 1913, the Mixed Marriage Act. The Prohibition of
Mixed Marriages Act, Act No 55 of 1949 and the Immorality Act (19501985), were apartheid laws in South Africa prohibiting marriages
between people of different races. It was illegal for mixed races to
marry each other. This was one of the first Apartheid laws in South
Africa. It attempted to forbid all sexual relations between whites and
-8-
non-whites. In 1949, interracial marriages had been banned by the
Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act.
The history indicates that, on the grounds of the Immorality Act,
special police were deployed to track down racially mixed couples
suspected of being in relationships. Police used to climb on trees
closer to the homes of suspects to observe them engaging in
“immorality sexual relations” Once satisfied that the act has
happened, they stormed the houses and even broke doors to catch
them still in uncompromising situation.
“The police tracked down mixed couples suspected of having a relationship. Homes
were invaded and doors were smashed down in the process. Mixed couples caught
in bed, were arrested. Underwear was used as forensic evidence in court. Most
couples found guilty were sent to jail. Blacks were often given harsher sentences.
One of the first people convicted of the immorality act was a Cape Dutch reformed
minister; he was caught having sex with a domestic worker in his garage. He was
given a suspended sentence and the parishioners bulldozed the garage to the
ground.
When white males had the urge for black female flesh they had to cross the border
into neighboring Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho or Namibia to satisfy their needs.”
Rebirth Africa Life on the continent – Apartheid South Africa –
mixed marriages and the Immorality Act www.re-birth.co.za
accessed on the (2010.09.18)
The 1994 dispensation that came after the negotiated settlement
Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) brought hope to
the millions of people who were confined to the homelands. The
repeal of the Group Areas Act and many other discriminatory laws
allowed people from the homelands to move, live and work freely
anywhere in the country without restrictions. Since there was no life in
the homelands, the move from the rural areas to the urban areas took
-9-
momentum, especially from the early 1990’s when the negotiations
started.
When the CODESA negotiations were finally concluded, millions of
disadvantaged South Africans welcomed this as they were expecting
or hoping for a better life under the government they were to elect.
The beam of hope that started already in 1989 with the unbanning of
the political parties and the release of prominent political leaders,
which included Walter Sisulu and culminated with the release of
Nelson Mandela on the 11th of February 1990, from the Victor Verster
prison, after spending almost 27 years in Robben Island as a political
prisoner, meant life was not going to be the same for the majority of
South Africans who lived, for many years, under the yoke of
apartheid.
The excitement of taking part in the first inclusive general elections
became the dream many people waited to see fulfilled during their
life time. The long queues that characterized the 1994 elections were
the culmination of this dream, an indication that people have been
yearning for change and new life. Indeed, the outcome of the
elections showed that people were determined to make change with
a cross on the ballot papers despite the threatening violence that
prevailed towards the actual voting day3.
Spate of bombings by right-wing organizations and attacks, killings and violence caused by rival
political organizations which threatened to derail the process of democratization
3
- 10 -
Despite Kilometres-long queues, administration 27 April1994: Let the people
vote....showing remarkable patience, South Africans stood for hours in long queues
at polling stations across the country. The Star, 28 April1994. Blunders and
disappointments, the party mood never sagged (Weekly Mail & Guardian)
29 April 1994 (www.mg.co.za ) Accessed (2010.07.15)
Soon after the elections, the new government started to work on the
process to remove the apartheid laws and to implement agreements
reached during the negotiations. Though this meant millions of South
Africans were now free from the restrictive apartheid laws, the actual
impact of these changes could not be felt immediately.
It is worth noting that the agreements reached at CODESA were
negotiated settlements and not coup d’état and therefore the rights of
- 11 -
those who had the economic powers were protected. The most
visible and tangible change that occurred at that time was the political
power and not economic. Therefore the expectations that the new
government was to change the lives of ordinary people immediately
were far-fetched. The other complicating issue was that the
government’s attempts to improve lives of the previously
disadvantaged people, through the Reconstruction and Development
Programme (RDP) did not succeed. When the country went to the
second elections, the RDP was not part of the manifesto of the ruling
party and one could observe that all efforts were made to avoid
mentioning it during the campaigns. It was later replaced with the
new controversial macro-economic strategy, The Growth,
Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) plan intended to provide
economic underpinning for the RDP. The programme focused on
privatization and the removal of exchange controls. This programme
was only moderately successful in achieving some of its goals but was
hailed by some as laying an important foundation for future economic
progress.
The government also implemented new laws and programmes
designed to improve the economic situation of the marginalized
majority. One such strategy, called Black Economic Empowerment
(BEE), focused on increasing the number of employment
opportunities for people formerly classified under apartheid as black,
i.e. Africans, Coloureds, and Indians, improving their work skills, and
enhancing their income-earning potential. The concept of BEE was
further defined and expanded by the Broad-Based Black Economic
Empowerment (BEE) Act of 2003 (promulgated in 2004), which
addressed gender and social inequality as well as racial inequality.
- 12 -
Archbishop Emeritus, Desmond Tutu, stirred the wasp nest when he
delivered the annual Nelson Mandela Lecture on the 29th of November
2004. His address was entitled: “Look to the rock from which you
were hewn” After taking more than 50% of his speech praising the
new South Africa, particularly its icon, Nelson Mandela, Tutu turned
on the subject of massive poverty and the growing inequality in the
country. He levelled his criticism to the culture of sycophancy within
the African National Congress, the move that left the then State
President, Thabo Mbeki extremely angry at the Archbishop. Tutu
said:
“At the moment many, too many, of our people live in gruelling, demeaning,
dehumanising poverty. We are sitting on a powder keg.” World Socialist
Website, 2004.12.14. www.wsws.org (Accessed 2010.08.16)
The Archbishop’s statement was supported by the General Secretary
of Congress of the South African Trade Unions, Mr Zwelinzima Vavi
who bemoaned the sycophancy within the ruling party when he
responded to Mr Smuts Ngonyama’s statement. On the issue of the
BEE, Tutu said:
“What is black empowerment when it seems to benefit not the vast majority but
small elite that tends to be recycled? Are we not building up much resentment that
we may rue later?” Ibid
The statement made by Desmond Tutu could not be ignored and it
created serious problems for the ruling party. In an attempt to correct
the Archbishop, Thabo Mbeki wrote 3 069 word vicious letter
published in the ANC’s website, www.anc.org.za, in which he
slammed the Archbishop as being ignoramus:
- 13 -
“The Archbishop has never been a member of the ANC, and would have very little
knowledge of what happens even in an ANC branch. How he comes to the
conclusion that there is lack of debate is most puzzling.” (ANC Website 27th
November 2004) Accessed (16th February 2010)
The African National Congress also responded to the Archbishop’s
statement by saying:
“Neither the ANC nor its president regards you as a “liar with scant regard for the
truth”….Neither the ANC not its President regards you as a charlatan posing with his
concern for the poor, the hungry, the oppressed and voiceless, but rather as one of
the many leaders in this country who have sought and continue to seek to further the
interest of the poor and oppressed. ANC Website 29th November 2004,
accessed on the (16th February 2011.)
The Vice President, Mr Jacob Zuma, addressing the inaugural of the
Desmond Tutu Peace Lecture in Cape Town said:
“Archbishop Desmond Tutu has dedicated his entire life to the quest for peace,
human dignity and human rights in our country, it is therefore fitting that Western
Cape Provincial Council of Churches has chosen to pay tribute to him in this
manner.” ANC Website, 2004.11.29, accessed on (16th February
2011.)
In an attempt to correct the perception that few individuals were
benefitting from the state at the expense of the majority, the President
confirmed what the Archbishop was concerned about. He made
mention of the Telkom4 deal in which a group of prominent and wellconnected politicians and government officials were negotiating a
deal of R6.5 billion. The deal was being facilitated by prominent ANC
4
Telecommunication network
- 14 -
politicians, who included Mr Smuts Ngonyama, the then spokesman
and Head of the Presidency within the ANC. He himself stood to
benefit between R32 million and R160 million. He came to be famous
for his unapologetic statement that: “I did not join the struggle to be poor.”
Quoting from the Mulholland column of the citizen newspaper:
“Take, for example, Smuts Ngonyama, its principal spokesman, who famously
remarked, on receiving a minimum of R30 million for introducing a couple of chaps
to each other in the allocation of Telkom shares: “I did not join the struggle to be
poor.” Can we reasonably conclude, therefore, that he joined the struggle to get
rich? And let us not forget Ngonyama’s role in Oil gate, that smelly affair in which
one Sandi Majali, CEO of something called Imvume, conned those innocents at
PetroSA into advancing him millions he had not earned, of which he then shifted, or
laundered, as the case may be, some R11 million into the election coffers of the
ANC. As more is revealed it becomes clear that the ANC and its officers are
enthusiastic players in the Age of Mammon. Stephen Mulholland, the
Citizen (27/06/2007)
1.3. PROBLEM STATEMENT:
The reality of rapid urbanization is that life is not as good as people
from the rural areas perceive it to be. There is a popular saying that
goes: “All roads lead to Johannesburg.” Mozambicans when they
leave their country say “Hiya Johnny,” meaning, “we are going to
Johannesburg” even if they go to rural areas, in Limpopo or
Mpumalanga, far away from Johannesburg. The situation in which
people find themselves in urban areas is completely difficult, in some
cases, even worse than the rural life. Lack of housing, unemployment,
crime, poverty and social problems are common issues found in the
urban areas. In 2004, the researcher and the Mayor of Dobsonville, a
township in the North West part of Soweto falling under the
- 15 -
Roodepoort local Municipality, conducted a feeding scheme as a joint
venture between the municipality and the Church.
The scheme targeted homeless people, unemployed, pensionerheaded families and pensioners who did not have any support from
family members or lived on their own. A snap survey was done on all
the families that were on the feeding scheme and the results showed
that 87% of the people interviewed suffered from High Blood
Pressure, Diabetes and other stress related ailments. In analysing this
study, we discovered the following facts:
- The cause of the stress related illnesses are the results of the high
rate of unemployment in the townships.
- The situation seems to be worse than in the rural areas and very
little efforts have been made to address the issue.
- Most families in the townships depend on the monthly grants of the
pensioners. This grant pays for municipality rates, school fees for
the grandchildren, buy food and other household goods.
The same amount of money, in rural areas, is enough to keep a family
bigger than the average urban family and still leave some change.
The survey indicated that elderly people, who were the beneficiaries
of the feeding scheme, spent more time thinking about where the
next meal would come from and how to handle the situation of their
unemployed grown up children who are also the burden. The
abolition of pass laws and the lifting of restrictions on movement and
the right to live and work anywhere in the country has allowed people
from outside the urban areas to come and compete for jobs with those
who are in the urban areas. It used to be automatic to get a job if you
- 16 -
were born in urban area but this is no longer the case. Many people
in the townships resort to erecting shacks in their backyards and rent
them out to people, mostly people from the rural areas and migrants.
In this situation, people from the rural areas, who came to the city with
the hope of getting jobs and improve their lives, end up becoming
income generating projects for the unemployed families in the
townships.
On the other hand, the old myth that cities, especially Johannesburg,
is flowing with gold and abundant jobs seems to be the driving force
to the rural communities. The mushrooming of huge informal
settlements in the peripheries of the city and the townships are
evidence of this myth. The infrastructure of the cities cannot cope with
the load of inhabitants and therefore even the job markets and
accommodation are overwhelmed. Hundreds of thousands of people
who expected to have jobs to earn income and support their families
back home end up in the streets of the cities.
The influx of immigrants from the neighbouring countries and from
the other African countries, who are highly skilled are creating more
problems, especially for the previously disadvantaged South Africans
who were subjected to the apartheid education system that
developed them into good employees than skilled and independent
thinkers. Most of the institutions and industries have opted to
employing highly skilled immigrants than the South Africans who
might still be struggling and may also belong to labour unions. A
colleague of the researcher, who herself had worked at a power
station in Zimbabwe, reported that at one stage, all the highly skilled
engineers of the power station resigned and left the country to join
the South African electricity supply corporation (ESCOM ) and were
- 17 -
all absorbed by the company, leaving less skilled South Africans out.
This has been one of the causes of xenophobic attacks which would
be discussed later in the research.
In the field of informal trade, immigrants are by far the most
experienced and the competition with the locals is incomparable.
Therefore the researcher could not deal with the rapid urbanization
context of South Africans without that of immigrants as the two groups
meet in the cities looking for the same thing; better life and
prosperity.
The researcher therefore aimed at researching into a number of
issues that contribute to the traumatic experiences of people in the
urban areas, issues that have escalated since the new government
took over from the apartheid regime. It is for this reason that the
researcher explored the following Key Research issues/topics:
a)
Trauma
b)
Unemployment/Retrenchments
c)
Poverty:
d)
Housing and Homelessness
e)
Informal settlements and shack farming
f)
Social problems: family life, prostitution, crime, OVC’s, street
children,
g)
Culture shock
h)
Migration
i)
Economic migrants
j)
Refugees
k)
Xenophobia
- 18 -
1.4. AIMS/OBJECTIVES:
The most important objective of this research was to:
a) Explore the reality of the rapid urbanization; identify the issues that
lead to traumatisation of people.
b) Sensitize the Church to be aware of the plight of the victims of
rapid urbanization and to invite them to take the side of the poor as
Taylor puts it. “If God is on the side of the poor, then as witnesses of God’s
Kingdom, Churches have an unavoidable responsibility to side with the poor as
well.” Taylor (2003:32)
c) To develop an action programme that the Church should follow to
help advocate on behalf of the millions of people trapped in the
slums of the country. As Pieterse puts it, “the role of the Church is: “To
give the poor inspiration and vision so as to empower them to ameliorate their
circumstances and thus bring about liberation from their situation of poverty
Pieterse (2001:115)
d) To develop a counselling model for the Church to help people in
that situation to cope and manage their lives and develop
themselves, “as failure to do so will be not only a missed opportunity but also
irresponsible” Professor Tinyiko Maluleke in an article, “Towards an
HIV/AIDS sensitive curriculum” in the WCC Publication, edited by Prof
Musa Dube, (2004:64)
1.5. PRELIMINARY CONCLUSION:
- 19 -
Chapter one introduced the subject matter, and then gave the
background information followed by the Problems statement and the
Aims and objectives. The following chapter will introduce the
Methodology, then the Research gap followed by the relevance of the
study.
- 20 -
CHAPTER 2
2.1. METHODOLOGY:
The researcher used, as base texts, HJC Pieterse book, “Preaching
in the context of poverty” in relation to Gerkin’s shepherding
model, who portrays Jesus as a good shepherd and that those
following him, the church, should emulate him and be shepherds of
his flock. The researcher further applied Nick Pollard’s “Positive
Deconstruction theory” to expand more on Gerkin’s methodology
by helping the victims to deconstruct their situation in order to help
them to rebuild their lives.
Nick Pollard describes the theory of positive deconstruction as
process involves 'dismantling' the worldview in order to identify areas
of conflict with a Christian worldview. It is positive because the
intention is not to destroy a person's ideas and belief system, but to
build on areas of agreement between the two worldviews in order to
argue for the truth of the Christian worldview. Pollard (1997: 48 –
56.)
Pollard says:
The process of positive deconstruction involves four elements; identifying the
underlying worldview, analysing it, affirming the elements of truth which it contains,
and, finally, discovering its errors. Pollard (1997:48)
- 21 -
The researcher also applied Edward Wimberly’s privileging theory to
develop counselling methods for the churches to assist the victims of
rapid urbanization.
“Privileging is a process of articulating our current story and conversations that go
into making up our stories, assessing the story and its impact on our life, and
deciding to re-author or re-edit the story conversations.” (Ed
Wimberley1999)
Counselling is about facilitating the privilege of positive
conversations so that one can move forward in one’s life and vocation.
The researcher also borrowed from Robin Guerney’s stories in his
book, “The face of Pain and Hope” to bring more meaning to the
stories used in the thesis.
Both the Qualitative and Quantitative methods were used to gather the
necessary information needed to come to the conclusion of the study.
Qualitative Research Methodology:
This is the research methodology of data collection and analysis that
can be used to uncover and understand thoughts and opinion that can
lead to a decision making. It does not involve quantities, i.e. numbers
or measurements. Data collected through this methodology can come
in bits and pieces; it can come in the form of words, images,
impressions etc. In this research this method was very helpful to get
information about the feelings and situations of the people who are
victims of rapid urbanization. Data was collected by interviewing
individuals, groups and studying of materials that were available to
give information about the situation.
- 22 -
Quantitative research Methodology:
This is the research methodology used to measure quantity of
information, which offers statistical validation, accurate facts etc. This
methodology was useful in that it helped the researcher to get actual
statistics, measure the extent of the crisis in terms of percentages, the
economic data, the employment data and all other relevant and
related facts and figures. On the basis of this information, the
researcher was able to gauge the existence of the phenomenon of
rapid urbanization, that would also assist those who will be making
decisions or follow-ups based on the facts as measured.
Structured survey, in the form of a questionnaire was also applied
in order to get qualitative data. This method was employed to
interview key role-players such as community representatives and
individuals etc.
Semi-structured Survey was also applied where a mixture of qualitative
and quantitative data was needed. This method was employed
especially when one determined the trends and the extent of the
problem in given parameters.
Focus group interviews (Discussions) were applied as well. Groups
of people with similar interest were gathered and the researcher
engaged them in discussions to get the information needed to
complete the survey. As discussions and interviews were informal,
people were able to open freely.
As the research had to deal with a lot of historical issues, the
historical methodology was also applied. This method was also in
- 23 -
important since the researcher had to examine legislation and Acts
of the South African government (Apartheid and the new
governments) relating to the urbanization policies.
2.2. THE RESEARCH GAP:
The researcher went into the research help engine of the library of
the University of Pretoria and also consulted with the library assistant
and discovered that a number of researches have been done on this
topic from a number of fields, e.g. Economics, Geography, Sociology,
Medical, Psychology and one in Practical theology, so far 18
researches from a number of universities across the country have
been identified. The researcher’s study so far indicated that
researches were mostly concerned about the issues mentioned
above, the effects of rapid urbanization in terms of problems, objects
and statistics. There were also a number of inner city ministries of a
number of denominations, most of whom were evolved out of the old
industrial mission which did a lot of work among the industrial
workers during the apartheid era. While these are good and
important initiatives, the human touch in the process is lacking and
there was a need to look at the situation of the victims of rapid
urbanization through the eyes of the Lord, i.e. as people made in the
image of God, “Imago Dei.”
The other gap identified by the researcher was that most of the inner
city ministries tended to concentrate on the situation within the cities
and very little was done in the peripheries of the cities where the
majority of the influx from the rural areas settle. Popular programmes
found in the cities are: street children, homelessness, HIV and AIDS
and immigrants. The examples are; the Central Methodist Church,
- 24 -
The Outreach foundation of the Lutheran Church in Hillbrow, the
Tshwane Urban Mission in Pretoria. The areas under research in the
west of the Johannesburg city have no such structured programmes
expect for the individual churches that are doing ministry there. This
is the gap that the researcher would like to explore and find a way of
filling it. The researcher took the advantage of the All Africa
Conference of Churches’ 9th General Assembly, held in Maputo,
Mozambique from the 7th to the 12th of December 2008, in which he
participated in the sub-theme: “The challenges of the urban mission” and
learned that there were a number of initiatives by a number of
churches in the inner cities of South Africa trying to address some of
the issues. This research wanted to uplift the image of victims of the
situation of urbanization as people created in the image of God, who
needed pastoral care and counselling.
2.3. THE RELEVANCE OF THE STUDY:
Why is this research done in the Practical Theology field? What is its
significance for the Church or for the country? Perhaps it will be
helpful to try to answer this question by referring to a story of “a
snake in the house” which the researcher learned from Malawi
recently.
“A farmer came out of the house and announced that there was a snake in the house.
He was worried that it was going to disrupt the smooth running of the farm as it was
going to affect everybody in the farm. A number of animals refused to be involved as
they were convinced that the presence of the snake in the farm house had nothing to
do with them. The snake bit the wife of the farmer and she became very sick. A
chicken was slaughtered to make food for her to try to help cure her. Family
members of the farmer came to visit the sick woman and a goat was slaughtered to
- 25 -
feed them. Eventually the woman died and two cows were slaughtered to prepare
for the funeral. Horses were lucky to be spanned to carry the coffin to the grave yard
and missed the day’s grazing. After the funeral two sheep were slaughtered to
finalise the funeral rituals. The rest of the animals were kept locked in their
enclosures to mourn the death of the farmer’s wife. Eventually almost all the animals
were involved or somehow affected.” (Oral tradition or folklore story related by
an elderly man in Lilongwe, Malawi)
The Zimbabwean version of the snake in the house as narrated by Mucherera is very
interesting. The main problem that was ignored by all the animals on the farm was a
trap in the house meant to catch the mice. The snake got trapped by mistake in the
trap intended to catch mice but ended up biting the owner of the house.
Perhaps the most appropriate example of a snake in the house is the
situation of the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg. The influx
of Zimbabwean refugees, who took over every available space,
including the sanctuary, became a problem no one could ignore. At
first their problem was interpreted as a problem of the Methodist
Church and no one was interested, except the police who time and
again went to raid the premises. The neighbours, the business
community, the city council, the Anglican St Mary’s Cathedral situated
few metres away, the Universal Church Temple also in the same
vicinity, the provincial government and the adjacent High Court were
not interested until the presence of the immigrants started to affect all
of them. Every available space in and around the church was
occupied, even during the day. Customers of the businesses in the
vicinity left the area because they did not feel safe to do shopping
there. The enormous challenge on infrastructure, sanitation, crime
and safety of both the local people and the refugees themselves could
not be ignored by local and provincial government authorities. At
first, they all had ignored the call to help provide alternative
- 26 -
accommodation to the refugee community but suddenly even the
legislature got involved.
The point of departure here is Jesus’ words at the beginning of his
ministry as recorded in the gospel according to Luke and the prophet
Isaiah.
“The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good
news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim
freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the
oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of the vengeance of
our God, to comfort all who mourn, and to provide for those who grieve in Zion, to
bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of
mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” Luke (4:17 –
18) the same words are found in Isaiah (61:1 – 3)
Jesus clearly indicated from the onset that his ministry was to do two
things:
1) To preach the good news to the people, that is to restore the
relationship between man and God and
2) To address the needs of the needy, the oppressed and the down
hearted and the prisoners.
Jesus summarised this when he answered the Pharisees who wanted
to test him:
“Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second
- 27 -
is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on
these two commandments.”
Matthew (22:37 – 40)
Jesus further demonstrated this in the parable of the Good Samaritan
in which he also addressed the question of “the neighbour.” (Luke
10:25 – 37) The first two men who passed the injured man by the side
of the road were definitely on their way to worship and had no time
for someone they did not know. The other possibility might be that
they did not want to attend to him as he was a Samaritan and therefore
not their brother or neighbour.
Clearly, the Church that is the incarnate body of Christ on earth has to
“be moved with compassion” at the sight of human misery around us
like the Church of Antioch when famine struck Judea:
“Every brother, according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers
living in Judea” Acts (11:29)
It has a relief responsibility to the hungry, thirsty, naked, homeless,
sick and other forms of human needs today.
If the church cannot be worried by the snake in the house, it needs to
review its ministry. The Church, which is the communion of
believers/saints, cannot fold hands and pretend as if the situation of
rapid urbanization has nothing to do with it. The situation involves
lives of people and should be the concern of the Church. James puts it
very challenging and interestingly when he asks:
“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can
such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.
If one of you says to him,
- 28 -
“Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,”
but does nothing about his physical needs,
what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself,
if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James (2:14 – 17)
Right from the beginning of the early Church, the holistic approach of
the Church to ministry could be recognised. While the priority was to
spread the gospel, it came very clear that the Church could not
ignore the ministry of good will to the marginalised. In Acts 6:1 – 7,
we find the story of the election of the seven stewards who were
entrusted with the service to the widows. While it was the priority to
spread the gospel, in the book of Acts we read:
“When famine in Judea took place, every believer in Antioch “The disciples, each
according to his/her ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in
Judea.” Acts (11:29)
It is generally believed that Paul at that time, wanted to visit the
Roman Christians, but decided to write the Epistle instead of
travelling to Rome as the priority was to address the Judeans crisis.
The Church is not the building structures but the communion of the
saints or the believers (The people) As Paul compares the Church
with the body, every part of the body that is sick, affects the whole
body.
“But God composed the body, having given greater honour to that part which lacks
it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the
same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with
it; or if one member is honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the
body of Christ, and members individually.” (NKJV) 1 Corinthians (12:26 –
28). See also Ephesians (2:13 – 22) and Colossians (1:24,)
- 29 -
2.4. PRELIMINARY CONCLUSION:
This chapter looked at the methodology of how to carry on with
the research, and then did the research gap to ensure that the
work is not a repetition of the already researched work, then the
relevance of the research in the Practical Theology field. The
next chapter will explore in details the phenomenon of rapid
urbanization and then discuss issues that are the products of the
process.
- 30 -
i
Giyani is a village 600 km away from Johannesburg, one of the former homelands development
towns.
2. Georg Gerster, Flights of Discovery: The Earth from Above, 1978, London: Paddington
- 31 -
CHAPTER 3:
In order to understand the present, it is very important to first
understand the past, therefore in this chapter, the author dealt with
the following issues:
- The economic situation post-apartheid
- Unemployment and under-employment
- The problems of housing and homelessness
- Informal settlements and “shack farming”
- Poverty in the urban areas-cities
- The mushrooming of Pentecostal churches/the ministries and their
contribution to poverty
- Informal v/s formal trade
- Preliminary conclusion
3.1. THE STATE OF ECONOMY POST APARTHEID:
It is important to note that when South Africa finally agreed to
reinstate the voting rights to all the nationalities in the country, the
economy of the country had already suffered a major setback. The
pressure from the international community to disinvest from South
Africa had left the Nationalist party in a very difficult situation. Almost
all their plans to circumvent the international pressure were closed
and they had no option but to negotiate for a political settlement. By
1987 the growth of South Africa's economy had dropped to among the
lowest rate in the world, and the ban on South African participation in
international sporting events was frustrating many whites in South
Africa. Examples of African states with black leaders and white
- 28 -
minorities existed in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Whispers of South Africa
one day having a black President sent more hard-line whites into
Rightist parties. Already in October 1979, Mr Stephanus Botha,
popularly known as “Fanie Botha”, a Labour Minister in the cabinet
led by PW Botha, had proposed the progressive dismantling of petty
apartheid. Challenging his fellow Afrikaners to “adapt or die” He had
earlier announced that the government was intending to relax or
repeal a number of laws that affected black people, among them the
mixed marriages act and the Immorality Act. Botha earned himself a
name “Kaffirboetie” (nigger lover” and he was heckled in a meeting
in Rustenburg, then, that was already a sign that the hardliner
Afrikaners were not ready for change. Over the years more and more
white people joined the right-wing movements and parties as
attempts to stop the government from succumbing to pressure from
the international community and the black people in the country.
Early in 1989, Botha suffered a stroke; he was prevailed upon to
resign in February 1989. He was succeeded as president later that
year by F.W. de Klerk. Despite his initial reputation as a conservative,
De Klerk moved decisively towards negotiations to end the political
stalemate in the country. First, they had to get the opinion of the white
voters through referendum and then start to dismantle the apartheid
system. In his opening address to parliament on 2 February 1990, De
Klerk announced that he would repeal discriminatory laws and lift the
30-year ban on leading anti-apartheid groups such as the African
National Congress, the Pan Africanist Congress, the South African
Communist Party (SACP) and the UDF. The Land Act was brought to
an end Apartheid was dismantled in a series of negotiations from 1990
- 29 -
to 1993, culminating in elections in 1994, the first in South Africa with
universal suffrage.
While people had very high hopes that the new government would
assure new job opportunities and better life, the economy had
already suffered and there were very little the new government could
do to help.
Since1948 when the National Party of South Africa won the elections
and started its programme of separate development, the minority
white government embarked on a process to ensure that the separate
development policy worked, the apartheid system decided to create
separate amenities according to rational divisions. 87% of the land
was grabbed by the minority white South Africans and the remaining
13% divided among the blacks according to the ethnic groups. Semiautonomous homelands were created to ensure that the separate
policy of self-determination was also maintained among the blacks.
This system totally ruled out black South Africans from claiming any
land or rights in what was termed white South Africa.
Blacks working and living in the urban areas of white South Africa
were tied to the homelands of their ethnic origin. They had to have
annual contracts that had to be renewed annually. Those who worked
in the urban cities, including migrants from the Homelands, were
classified according to the pass law, Section 10: A, B, C, and D. This
classification would tell whether you qualify for permission to seek a
permanent job and stay in the township or you can only apply for a
contract work and be confined to the hostel. At first there were only
hostels for men but later on special hostels for women were also
erected e.g. the Mzimhlophe Hostel near Orlando in Johannesburg.
- 30 -
The intention of the apartheid government was to, eventually, give
these states total independence. Unfortunately, the apartheid
government succeeded to give only four of them independence
before it succumbed to domestic and international pressure to accept
change and let the democratic process take place in the country.
It should be noted that by the time the old South African regime
surrendered to negotiations, the economy of the country had already
suffered major problems that were caused by the sanctions and the
disinvestment by the world investors in support for the fight against
the apartheid system. Though painful, the sanctions were applauded
by many people within and outside the country except countries that
supported the apartheid system such as Britain and others. Their
argument was that sanctions would hurt those that were intended to
help than the regime itself. True indeed, sanctions created massive
retrenchments and unemployment throughout the country. Hardest
hit were people from the homelands who had to return to the
homelands and face the bleak situation of poverty.
While it was the wish of all the South Africans, particularly those who
were previously disadvantaged, to have a better life after the fall of
the apartheid regime, the new South Africa came with a lot of
challenges. The high hopes many people had in the new government
were dashed as soon as people started to realize that what they had
hoped for will not come that early. The government seemed to be
involved in building its image in the international arena and there was
very little attention given to domestic programmes.
The major problem here was that the settlement reached between the
black majority and the white minority regime was that it was a
- 31 -
negotiated settlement. Therefore hopes that things were going to
change suddenly and give the previously disadvantaged majority
access to economy and jobs were dashed by the fact that things could
not happen overnight. Serious negotiations had to be made with those
who had the power over the economy. Therefore the early years of
post-apartheid era were full of expectations and frustrations among
the black majority, and people were disappointed when changes for
better looked a distance away. Maybe the problem was that people’s
expectations were raised very high in order to ensure that they voted
the old regime out of power and brought the ANC in.
The new government was faced with the dilemma of changing the old
laws and putting into place new policies and legislations in order to
do away with the past discriminatory laws that would help to change
the lives of the people. But, the new government was faced with a
number of challenges. There were five fundamental economic
problems to be resolved; poverty, inequality, unemployment,
stagnation and racism. William M Gumede, in the book entitled
“Thabo Mbeki and the Battle for the Soul of the ANC” says:
“The economy the ANC government had inherited was in dire straits, far removed
from the rosy picture usually portrayed to the public. Not only had the apartheid
regime rushed through the privatisation of companies such as steel giant, Iscor,
placing it in the hands of friendly business consortiums, but billions of rands of tax
payers’ money had been used to bail out struggling traditional Afrikaner banks, the
forerunners of ABSA. Moreover, in the death throes of apartheid, many loyal public
servants had been swiftly promoted and given pay rises, thus placing them in a
more advantageous position regarding severance or pension packages. Gumede
(2005:81.)
- 32 -
Indeed today when one listens to the political campaigns by the
parties, one hears reference to the collapsing municipality services,
the question is, what was the situation of the municipalities at the
beginning of the new government? The city of Johannesburg is one
clear example. While for many years before 1994, the city used to
celebrate Christmas time with colourful decorations and lighting
throughout the city, December 1994 such decorations and
celebrations were not possible because the city was bankrupt. Most
of the municipalities where it was very obvious that the ANC was
going to sweep the elections, the councils literarily emptied the
coffers and handed over bankrupt cities. Unfortunately, the ANC
government was not prepared to deal with that situation, instead
comrades were appointed to senior positions in the local
municipalities and they were not able to resuscitate these towns and
cities.
The other dilemma the ANC government had to face was that it had to
address the imbalances of the past but at the same time assure the
Business community, the international investors, the IMF and the
World Bank that their actions would not be harmed. At the same time
the civil society, under the leadership of the powerful organizations
such as COSATU, SANCOGO, SANCO, the Faith Based Organization
were all putting pressure on the government to expedite changes in
order to address the poverty and the imbalances inherited from the
apartheid government. Under the leadership of the then Deputy
President, Thabo Mbeki, a number of economic initiatives were
developed in order to try to address the economic imbalances, but at
the same time being careful not to alienate the donors and business
community:
- 33 -
a) The Reconstruction and Development Programme:
The Reconstruction and Development Programme, popularly known
as the RDP, which was designed as a basis for the integration and
coherent socio-economic progress towards eradicating the legacy of
apartheid was not successful. The agenda of the RDP included the
following: housing, urban policy, rural development, water, policies
on disasters management, environment, transport and my other
issues that were intended to correct the wrong of the past. The failure
of this programme became an embarrassment to the government that
even in the manifesto of the next General Election (1999); the RDP was
not included, while it formed the core of the subject of the previous
election manifesto.
b) The Growth Employment and Redistribution:
The RDP was replaced by the new controversial macro-economic
strategy, The Growth, Employment and redistribution plan intended
to provide economic underpinning for the RDP. In 1996 the
government created a five-year plan—Growth, Employment, and
Redistribution (GEAR)—that focused on privatization and the removal
of exchange controls. GEAR was only moderately successful in
achieving some of its goals but was hailed by some as laying an
important foundation for future economic progress. The government
also implemented new laws and programs designed to improve the
economic situation of the marginalized majority.
c) Black Economic Empowerment
- 34 -
The Black Economic Empowerment (BEE), focused on increasing the
number of employment opportunities for people formerly classified
under apartheid as black, i.e. Africans, Coloureds, or Indians,
improving their work skills, and enhancing their income-earning
potential.
“The concept of BEE was further defined and expanded by the Broad-Based Black
Economic Empowerment (BEE) Act of 2003 (promulgated in 2004), which addressed
gender and social inequality as well as racial inequality.” Britannica online
Article 44032: South Africa, Economy: (2008 Page 15 – 16)
(www.britannica.com) accessed 2010.07.23
The difficulty with BEE is that it is seen to be a platform for the
enrichment of few black people and widening the poverty gap. Those
involved in BEE have become filthy rich, in terms of millions of Rand
while the situation of the poor is not being improved at all. The
Archbishop Emeritus of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa,
Desmond Tutu, criticised the BEE for widening the gap between the
rich and the poor. He lamented that BEE continues where the
apartheid system ended.
OTHER ISSUES THAT AFFECTED OR INFLUENCED THE
ECONOMY OF THE COUNTRY:
a) Rapid urbanization:
Rapid urbanization took place faster that the government could think.
The reasons for this are that when the Homeland system collapsed,
the so-called border industries, which were established within the
borders of the homelands or in the boundaries along these
- 35 -
establishments, also collapsed. These industries were the extension
of the apartheid policy and were mostly run by the companies from
the east (mostly Taiwanese) which exploited the homeland people1.
The salaries paid were so low that people working in there could not
make a living out of this. While the government provided buses to
ferry people in and out the industrial areas on daily basis, through the
Bantu Investment Corporation, people spent their meagre salaries on
this.
b) Massive influx of refugees and economic migrants from
African and other countries:
Prior to 1990’s, South Africa was not a signatory to the UN convention
on refugees2 and the OAU declaration on refugees. In fact while this
country was a producer of refugees, it did not house any. The
situation of the Lesotho and Mozambican refugees during the civil
wars in those countries was treated differently. This implied that the
UNHCR could not function in South Africa; instead the International
Committee of the Red Cross Society was allowed to operate in the
country provided they did not interfere with the state. While they
could be allowed to stay in the Bantustans as visiting relatives to the
inhabitants of these states, they were declared illegal immigrants in
what used to be called white South Africa. When found outside the
1
Bantu Investment Corporation Act No 34 of 1959
The Bantu Investment Corporation Act No 34 of 1959 provided for the creation of
financial, commercial, and industrial schemes in areas designated for black people.
2
The 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees is the key legal document in defining
who is a refugee, their rights and the legal obligations of states. The 1967 Protocol removed
geographical and temporal restrictions from the Convention. In July 2001, UNHCR published a
special edition of its Refugees Magazine dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of the Convention.
- 36 -
borders of the homelands, illegal migrants were summarily arrested
and deported back to their country. Though there are no reliable
statistics it is estimated that more than 370 000 people have been
deported between 2008 and 2009.3
The first batch of African refugee s arrived in South Africa for the first
time after the Rwanda genocide. It is interesting to recall that the first
famous 10 refugees who were reported to have come from Rwanda
were actually Tanzanian citizens who tried to exploit the genocide
situation to come to South Africa. At that time South Africa did not
have refugee laws in place and they did not know how to handle the
influx. To many African people, South Africa is a place of prosperity.
Many people abused the gap and people simply poured into the
country.
c) The collapse of the neighbouring countries’ economies:
At the time South Africa negotiated for political solution, the country
was involved in the destabilization of the neighbouring countries,
especially Mozambique and Angola for fear of communism. The
collapse of Zimbabwe’s economy and its political problems poses a
new challenge to the South African economy. Unfortunately the South
African government’s attitude towards the situation in Zimbabwe did
not help. Their silent diplomacy ensured that the ruling party in that
country continued with its programmes of destroying its own country.
Joblessness and acute shortage of food and other commodities left
people of Zimbabwe destitute. Massive influx of migrants from
Zimbabwe flooded the country. South Africa cannot ignore the
3
The rights of others: Foreign nationals and xenophobic violence (NCHR workshop)
- 37 -
situation of the Zimbabwean immigrants if they wanted to address the
economic and development issues in the country.
d) Failure or slow return of investors who left the country in
solidarity with the call for sanctions or disinvestment:
Most of the companies that traded in South Africa during apartheid
and left in solidarity with the calls for sanctions are not returning as
expected. A number of issues are making investors nervous to return
and therefore efforts to rebuild the economy and create jobs for the
people of the country are facing a challenge.
e) Crime and other social problems:
The soaring crime in the country can be attributed to a number of
issues. Unemployment remains top on the list. Many young people
who finish matric cannot continue with studies because of lack of
money but cannot get jobs. When the current ANC government took
office, it promised to create at least 500 000 jobs a year but reports
are that over a million jobs are being at the same time.
f) The collapse of the homeland system:
Since the dawn of new democracy, and when the homelands system
collapsed, a number of developments followed. As these were
intended to keep the dream of homelands alive, they were heavily
subsidised and paid very low salaries. When subsidies ended and
protection against labour movements disappeared, the owners left. It
is ironical that the majority of such industries were of the Oriental
- 38 -
origin. These left the rural areas, which have now been incorporated
into the new South Africa, dry and poorer.
While many people anticipated economic boom after the 1994
dispensation, the situation in the country seems to deteriorate. The
gap between the rich and the poor seems to be growing by the day.
Much as the country has achieved a lot in terms of racial and ethnic
relations, as well as abolishment of racially segregating laws, there
are still serious challenges that the country is still facing.
3.2. UNEMPLOYMENT AND UNDER-EMPLOYMENT:
One of the major disappointments of the new dispensation is the
problem of employment. What drove millions of South Africans to
brave scotching heat to cast a vote was the hope that the problem of
poverty was going to be resolved. It should be noted that the Bantu
Education was designed in such a way that it produced only good
employees and not people who could do living for themselves. Even
when the opportunities were opened, very few black people could do
anything as they were not prepared for this. Secondly, the
dispensation came as a result of negotiations and the economic power
of the country still remained in the hands of the previously
advantaged and access to financial facilities remained difficult to get.
Thirdly, the corruption within those who are in government ensured
that only people close to them were able to get access to economic
means, i.e., jobs and tenders. One needs to have connection within
the system to be able to get a job, even if the job was advertised.
(One civil servant, who did not want to be identified, said that
- 39 -
applications are filtered before being presented to the screening
committee. All the good applications that are seen to be fitting the
requirements are taken away and the preferred candidate is left to
compete with weak applications. In this case the innocent
interviewing panel will not know that the people they are
interviewing are not the only applicants.
The high rate of unemployment, not only affecting the uneducated
people, but covering a vast spectrum of highly qualified people,
remains to be the major reason for the abject poverty which leads to
high crime and social problems in the country. Edmond J. Keller, of
the University of California in Los Angeles, in his paper entitled: The
Challenge of Enduring and Deepening Poverty in the New South
Africa, says:
“ While South Africa has living standards that are on average significantly above
those in countries where chronic poverty is assumed to be most severe, its particular
legacy of polarization and racially embedded poverty naturally raises questions
about the ability of the poor to use social mechanisms of access to capital in order to
throw off the yoke of poverty.” (Keller 2005:1)
He continues to say, “You can walk down tree-lined streets or drive through
well-appointed suburbs that belie (contradict) the notion that South Africa is mired
in poverty; but, not far removed from these pleasant environs, the signs of chronic
poverty are unmistakably there”. (Keller 2005:1)
The other fact was that, once all the restrictive laws were abolished,
people from rural areas were tempted to move to the big cities where
it was generally believed that chances of job opportunities were more
promising.
- 40 -
The prospect of owning a house in the cities also improved. One had
to first build and live in a shack for a while so that when the Provincial
Government comes to do counting of those who should qualify for the
RDP house; they should find them already resident in the area. (Refer to
case study no 3 in chapter 1, page 4) In many cases, a lot of people have to
pay exorbitant amounts of money to get access to the informal
settlement so that they can also be counted as part of the community.
The mushrooming of informal settlements in and around the major
cities has not brought about any improvement but has worsened the
situation of millions of poor people. The cities of Johannesburg,
Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town are all surrounded by thousands of
hundreds of shacks with squalid conditions.
The Humans Sciences Research Council’s Fact Sheet, dated the 26th of
July 2004, and indicates that the proportion of people living in poverty
in South Africa has not changed significantly for better between 1996
and 2001. It actually indicates a grim reality that households living in
poverty have sunk deeper into poverty and the gap between rich and
poor has widened. It indicates that 57% of individuals in the country
were living below poverty line in 2001 and has unchanged since
1996. Both Limpopo and Eastern Cape remain the poorest of all the
provinces, with the highest proportion of poor with 77% and 72%
respectively while Western Cape remains the lowest in proportion in
poverty at 32%. However, the situation in Western Cape is fast
changing as exodus from Eastern Cape into this province is
happening at an alarming proportion.
The HSRC fact sheet is corroborated by the report prepared for the
office of the Executive Deputy President and the Inter-Ministerial
- 41 -
Committee for Poverty and Inequality dated 13 May 1998, edited by
Julian May, assisted by Juby Govender. The report states that more
than 50% of the entire population live in rural areas which accounts
for more than 72% of the poor. The average poor family lives on an
average of R353 per month. Due to exodus from the rural areas by
young able bodied population, the average household in the rural
area is headed by the pensioner who depends on the monthly state
grant. This is shared with grand children whose parents live in
informal settlements in urban areas and are unemployed. The reports
indicate that the distribution of poverty is distributed unevenly among
the nine provinces as follows: Eastern Cape 71%, Free State 63%,
North West 62%, Limpopo 59% (this is a big gap between this report
and the HSRC Fact Sheet which puts this province at 77%),
Mpumalanga 57%, Gauteng 17% and Western Cape at 28%.
A further study indicates that the economy grew by 2.9% in the first
quarter of 2002, by 3.9% in the second quarter, and 3% in the third
quarter, rates that were considered good in view of the world
slowdown. The unemployment rate continued to be troubling; it fell
only slightly, from an estimated 29.5% in September 2001 to 26.4% in
February 2002. Some encouragement could be drawn, however, from
growth in the manufacturing sector, which rose from 3.1% in 2001 to
5.1% by the end of July 2002; in addition, by the end of July
manufacturing exports had risen 21% year-on-year.
By September, interest rates had been raised 4% in attempts to curb
inflation. Consumer price inflation (excluding mortgages) rose from
5.8% in September 2001 to 12.5% by October 2002, owing largely to
the fall in the value of the rand. The value of the rand to the U.S. dollar
- 42 -
fell dramatically from January 2001 from about R7.5– $1 to about R12–
$1 in January 2002 before recovering slightly in November to 9–1.
The 2002–03 budgets projected a 9.6% increase in spending and a
6.7% rise in revenue. The 2002–03 deficits were estimated at 2.1% of
gross domestic product, up from 1.4% in 2001–02. Tax cuts amounting
to R 15.2 billion (about $1.3 billion) were announced and social grants
for the elderly, the disabled, and veterans as well as child-support
grants were increased above the level of inflation. Nevertheless,
three million households continued to live below the poverty level.
This situation as depicted by these two reports has given rise to the
following:
- High unemployment in both the rural and urban areas
- Family problems that lead to separation and divorce
- High crime rate and the escalation of social problems such as the
HIV/AIDS, malnutrition, depression, hypertension and prostitution.
Xenophobia:
The recent ugly face of xenophobia that has swept across South Africa
has shocked the whole world. Due to unemployment and scarcity of
jobs, foreigners in the country are competing with the nationals for
jobs. They are prepared to take any form of employment and
remuneration and therefore unscrupulous employers would rather
prefer them over the nationals who will not be prepared to accept low
salaries and are protected by the labour unions. The bone of
- 43 -
contention that fuels xenophobia is the informal trade market.
Foreigners seem to be well ahead of their South African counter parts
and therefore efforts by unemployed South Africans to make a living
out of this market are challenged.
3.3. THE PROBLEMS HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS:
Perhaps Jesus may have emphasised the importance of housing
when he said “Foxes have holes, birds of the heavens have nests but the son of
man has no place to lay his head . (Matthew 8:20)
Though said in a different context, Jesus here stresses the
importance of habitat. Every living creature has a form of habitat that
is important to its life. Humans as well, have from the beginning of
life had a place where they lived to be protected against wild
animals and adverse weather conditions. The phrase: “Roof over the
heads” has been used to indicate the safety provided by habitat. The
type of habitat for humans differs from one country to the other but it
has always been accompanied by source of water and food.
The Preamble to the New South White Paper on Housing reads thus:
...is one of the greatest challenges facing the Government of National Unity. The
extent of the challenge derives not only from the enormous size of the housing
backlog and the desperation and impatience of the homeless, but stems also from
the extremely complicated bureaucratic, administrative, financial and
institutional framework inherited from the previous government. (White Paper
Department of Housing SA, 1994:1) The White paper identifies the
following as key issues or challenges of the government of National
Unity:
- 44 -
(a)
Home Income:
According to the White Paper, in 1995, a total of 8.3 million South African
House Holds fell under the income bracket of 0 – 3.5001 per month, making it
impossible for them to access Housing Loans through banks.
(b)
Living Conditions:
At the time the new government took over, the state of housing
in the country was as follows:
(c)
-
Approximately 3.4 million units existed in Urban Formal Housing
-
1.5 million Urban informal housing units existed
-
5.2% in hostels
-
13.5% of all households lived in squatter housing
-
17.1 million People lived under the poverty datum line in rural areas.
-
1.5 million Households lived in farms
Access to Basic Services:
When the new government came into being, the biggest challenge was to
redress the problems of access to basic services such as potable water,
sanitation and electricity. Even urban townships were never developed.
-
Approximately one quarter of all functionally urban households did not
have access to piped water supply. (South African Labour Development
and Research Unit 1994)
-
48% of all households did not have access to flush toilets or ventilated
improved pit latrines (SALDRU, 1994)
-
Approximately 46.5% of all households were not linked to the electricity
supply grid in South Africa
- 45 -
-
Many households did not have access to socio-cultural amenities within
their neighbourhoods. If they existed they were in such bad conditions
and neglected while in the white areas all the amenities were available
and well cared for.
(The White Paper of the Department of Housing 1994)
In an interview with radio 702, on the 28 th of January 2010,
www.radio702.co.za the new minister of Human Settlement, Mr
Tokyo Sexwale indicated that since the beginning of the RDP
Housing programme, 2.3 million low cost houses have been built, he
however conceded that, of these, 40 000 needed to be rebuilt as they
were poorly constructed. The cost of rebuilding the houses was
estimated at R1.3 billion. He further indicated that there was a
backlog of 2.1 million still to be built. The White Paper, estimated
that the urban housing backlog in 1995 was going to be
approximately 1.5 million units. But the figure has jumped to 2.1
million in 2010. Lennox Mabaso, spokesperson for the provincial
housing minister Mike Mabuyakhulu, is quoted by Niren Tolsi, in the
paper entitled, “State’s cure for shack farms, submitted by (Abahlali
baseMjondolo” in Mail and Guardian on 2007.06.02”) as having said
that, “despite the current housing backlog -- nationally, there is an estimated
backlog of 2,4-million units.”
This indicates a negative figure of 0.6 million shortfall. The
consequences of this backlog are physically reflected in
overcrowding, squatter settlements and increasing land invasions in
urban areas, and generally by the poor access to services in rural
areas. Socially and politically, this backlog gives daily impetus to
individual and communal insecurity and frustration, and contributes
- 46 -
significantly to the high levels of criminality and instability prevalent
in many communities in South Africa.
Coupled to this housing shortfall are:
 An estimated 720,000 serviced sites in the urban areas that will
require upgrading to meet minimum standards of accommodation;
 a large number of rural houses that lack access to basic services;
 And approximately 450,000 people living in existing public, private
and grey sector hostel accommodation that requires upgrading.
 Due to the high rates of population growth and low rates of housing
provision, it is estimated that the housing backlog is presently
increasing at a rate of around 178,000 units per annum.
The minister further indicated that it would cost R1, 3 billion to rebuild
badly constructed houses provided under the government's housing
programme, Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale said on
Monday.
He said: "It's a national shame. This is money down the drain. It is money that
should have been spent on new houses," Sexwale said during a visit to the
Alphendale community in East London, where 339 poorly constructed
houses have to be rebuilt. (Sowetan November 17 2009)
He laid the blame for the poor service delivery on corruption by
construction companies and government officials.
He continued to say: "Wrong things are being done in the name of
- 47 -
government," he said. "These are people we have entrusted with government jobs
and government contracts -- they are supposed to serve the people, but they are
thieves. If you are corrupt, get out," he said.
"We want to know who built these houses. We need to ask serious questions and
bring people to book. We are going to fix the problem, but we are also going to fix
the people who caused the problem."
"Where we are given knowledge and information you can trust us, we will act."
Sexwale introduced a national audit task team charged with
investigating irregularities in the housing system.
It is led by Special Investigations Unit (SIU) head Willie Hofmeyr and
a senior representative of the Auditor General's office.
"We are working with the SIU because they have the power to investigate, but they
also have the power to institute criminal and civil action……..But they don't work
alone. They are also working with the office of the Auditor General, which is in
charge of looking at all our books, to check how we spend money." Sexwale
explained.
The team is already investigating 20 projects, one of which is
Alphendale. – South African Press Association (Sapa)
A caller, who preferred to identify himself only as a Democratic
Alliance member, disputed the figure of 2.3 million. He said that the
minister refers to the number of subsidies paid and not the actual
housing units constructed. The minister conceded that, that might
have been true due to the level of corruption he found in the
department when he took it over. He indicated that it was difficult to
- 48 -
accurately state the actual figures as information from the provinces
did not give the real picture. He further promised to dig deep into
the statistics from the provinces and that heads would roll if any
traces of corruption were identified.
The researcher concurs with the caller who refutes the figures the
minister was quoting. The level of corruption in the RDP housing
project is alarming and has been going on with no signs of serious
intentions to curb it. Every minister who headed this department has
said the same words and nothing seem to improve. While the project
was intended to alleviate the housing problem of the low income
families, those who occupy the houses do not necessarily fall within
this category. A typical example is the Diepsloot informal settlement
just north of Johannesburg. A double story house is pitching very
high among the shacks. Surely the owner does not even qualify to be
in a formal township4, such a house should have been built in high
market suburbs such as Sandton. A similar situation can be found in
almost all the informal settlements.
4
Township according to the Apartheid law definition, i.e. a place specifically reserved for black
communities outside the towns or cities
- 49 -
A DOUBLE STORY HOUSE PROTRUDING ABOVE SHACKS IN DIEPSLOOT
People who do not qualify to benefit from the scheme find it very
easy to buy houses from the corrupt officials and turn them into
houses. This is done to avoid buying land in the expensive suburbs.
The other issue is that people who live in formal houses elsewhere
buy RDP houses and rent them out to the foreigners as income
generating projects.
The minister further indicated that, at the beginning of Democratic
South Africa, there were only 300 informal settlements throughout
the country and that the figure now stands at 2 629, this, he said,
could be attributed to the influx of refugees and economic migrants
from the neighbouring countries. It will also be difficult to accept
this statement if we refer to the past. Yes, the minister might be right
that this was the case, but considering that the apartheid government
was not releasing land for human settlement, there were no visible
- 50 -
squatting but this can distort the facts. Backyard squatting has been a
reality in the old South Africa and this might have created an
impression that there were fewer shacks then. In fact when
unemployment became serious, many families in the townships
resorted to creation of backyard squatting and made good income at
the end of the month. This brought about temptation of erecting as
many shacks as possible. Therefore some of the township houses
had more than five families squatting in their backyards.
The old South Africa had very limited housing facilities for black
communities as the apartheid system had planned to remove all the
blacks to the homelands. The influx that occurred after 1990
prompted the new government into thinking of a quick way of
resolving the housing problem. The RDP programme was the
strategy the ANC government thought it to be a solution to provide
basic housing for the millions of displaced people, particularly in the
urban areas.
The historical and existing patterns of land use and allocation, as well
as the legislative and policy framework associated with land, provided
an immense challenges and constraints to the black communities. A
fundamentally different approach will be required to make the
housing programme a sustainable reality. However, the impact will
have to reach far beyond purely legal and institutional matters, which
Government can rectify over time. A wholly new approach to land
use and planning is required, impacting both on the professions
and the communities. Even today, South Africans tend to view land as
an infinite and cheap resource, whereas the opposite is generally true.
The country's extremely wasteful approach to land will have to change,
- 51 -
allowing for higher densities and innovation in its use. A different
approach to land use not only promises the possibility of social
cohesion, but can also have a dramatic and beneficial impact on
costs and the efficiency of other resource utilisation such as energy
and water. The following issues continue to be a problem towards land
access by the poor communities:
a) The inability and unwillingness to release sufficient suitable land for
housing continues to be a constraint to timeous housing delivery:
b) Lack of coherent policy on land:
c) No clear outline of responsibilities for the identification, assembly,
planning and release of land for low-income housing exists, and
inconsistent positions exist between different government
departments and tiers of government;
d) land identification: previous racial zoning practises, reluctance of
certain authorities to accept responsibility for low-income
housing, resistance of many existing communities and various
legislative constraints have impeded the identification of sufficient,
suitable land for low-income housing;
e) constraints to land assembly: due to legislative controls and the fact
that land was previously assembled according to ability to pay
rather than need, insufficient land has been assembled for lowincome housing;
f) Land planning:
- 52 -
g) Present planning legislation and approaches are burdensome,
inappropriate in the South African context and resource-intensive;
h) Land invasions:
Increases in informal land invasions hamper efforts to timeous release
adequate, suitable land for human settlement in a planned manner, and
may result in certain people attempting to jump the housing / subsidy
queue; and land title: Many different tenure arrangements (many of
which are not officially recognised) complicates the registration of
secure tenure. Furthermore, notwithstanding the sophistication of
South Africa's land registration system; most citizens are forced to
acquire accommodation outside this formal system.
Housing and housing provision has become a highly contentious,
emotive and political issue. Upon investigating the issues
surrounding housing, one realises that housing is more than just
shelter, as Charlton (2004: 2) suggests. Similarly, the form of tenure
operating in a housing situation is a crucial consideration .
“This relationship between house-dweller and land, or the accommodation and
the land, may range from various informal occupations and rental scenarios to full
freehold ownership” (Charlton S, 2004: 2).
In essence, according to Charlton (2004: 2), the security of
tenure is of cardinal importance “from viewpoint of the occupier, or housedweller”. The physical aspects of housing also need to be
considered. Housing refers to more than the tangible house structure
and includes the infrastructure and services that supply the house.
- 53 -
These include the nature of the water, sanitation, energy and access
roads, footpaths, etc. (Charlton, 2004: 3). In addition, the
neighbourhood in which the house is situated is significant.
“The living experience of a residential environment is dependent upon the
availability and accessibility of facilities and amenities (schools, clinics, police
stations, sporting facilities, etc.) in urban settings.” Charlton (2004: 3)
The connection between housing and income generation, notes, is
also crucial. Location is usually emphasised – the location of housing
in relation to the ‘higher order’ services and facilities in an urban
area, such as hospitals, tertiary institutions and art facilities, and
crucially, the location of work opportunities. In this regard, travel
and transport are also vital –
“How convenient, safe and affordable are the means of moving from home to work
or to other facilities” (Charlton, 2004: 3).
The diminishing role of formal jobs in the lives of the poor has been
acknowledged and more emphasis has been placed on the
escalating importance of a range of income generation and
survival strategies, and the linkage between these and the
home environment. (Charlton 2004: 3) explains:
“A key issue is the role that the house can play in supporting livelihoods – through,
for example, a prime location in the inner city that reduces commuting time and
allows a hawking and vending business to flourish”. (Charlton 2004: 3).
- 54 -
In other words, the house is important not only for what it is, but for
what it does in people’s lives.
In this sense, the house should be an asset to the occupier – either a financial asset
with an exchange value, or an asset with a user value, or preferably both. In
addition, the housing stock as a whole in an urban area should be an asset to the
local authority – a means of generating rates for the city, rather than a
maintenance burden which is a financial drain to the city (Charlton, 2004: 3).
3.4. INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS AND “SHACK FARMING”
3.4.1. INTRODUCTION:
The informal settlements, which are perceived to be breeding
grounds for all sorts of social problems, are a challenge to Churches.
Some people living in the informal settlements do not have access to
basic human requirements such as sanitation, right to privacy, right to
life. In order to survive some people start engaging in activities such
as peddling of drugs, prostitution and many other social problems.
Robin Gurney’s book, The Face of Pain and Hope is an inspiration to
the Churches, especially when we look at the following stories: A real
Alternativa—a Real Alternative, the Container City, Hanna’s story and
Facing Unemployment which depicts the same situation we find in our
informal settlements. One needs to follow all the stories and see how
the Churches and committed individuals worked very hard to restore
people’s dignity and self-worth.
3.4.2. LAND OWNERSHIP:
- 55 -
Land within the study area comprises of various informal
settlements in the Roodepoort area. They all fall within the
Greater Johannesburg Municipality. There is very thin boundary
between the Johannesburg and Krugersdorp which falls within the
Mogale City municipality.
All land that is vested in the Municipality within the study areas
can readily be made available for development of housing but the
problem is that the huge chunk of land in the urban areas is
privately owned by individuals or companies. Privately owned
land will have to be acquired, by expropriation or negotiation,
dependant on a number of issues such as land suitability and cost.
3.4.3. DEFINITION INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS:
The word “Squatter camp” derives from the action of squatting and in
some countries it is called shanty town or a squatter camp, as is the
case with South Africa. These are settlements of impoverished people
who live in improvised dwellings made from scrap materials: often
plywood, corrugated metal, and sheets of plastic. Shanty towns, which
are usually built on the periphery of cities, often do not have proper
sanitation, electricity, or telephone services.
John Bundell, in his paper entitled Try, Beloved country: Rumours of
South Africa’s decline are greatly exaggerated, describes an informal
settlement as follows:
“An informal settlement is one that does not conform to government town planning
rules. Settlements develop spontaneously, generally on land owned by the central,
provincial, or local government in urban areas, though they occasionally develop on
private land as well. In the rural areas the informal settlements are generally on
- 56 -
traditional community land currently held by the state but soon to be transferred to
the communities under recently enacted legislation. Initially, no services are
provided, but in time the government adds roads, electricity, and water. There is
great political pressure on the current government to upgrade services in all these
areas. A certain amount of tension exists between formal townships and adjacent
informal settlements because the latter are seen to undermine the value of the
former. This happens regardless of the race of the formal township dwellers. Many
of these settlements are the consequence of migration from rural to urban areas.”
Bundell (2000:3)
Informal settlements or Shanty towns are mostly found in developing
nations, or partially developed nations with an unequal distribution of
wealth (or, on occasion, developed countries in a severe recession).
In extreme cases, shanty towns have populations approaching that of
a city. As of 2005, one billion people, one-sixth of the world's
population, lived in shanty towns. It is synonymous with the third
world or developing countries although it can also be found in
developed countries. The phenomenon of squatter camp or shanty
town has a long and old history and is present in many countries of
the world.
Anarchist Colin Ward comments:
"Squatting is the oldest mode of tenure in the world, and we are all descended from
squatters.” (www.sccs.swarthmore.edu) Accessed 10 September 2010)
The name actually indicates a negative and may also be called slum
areas; they are associated with grime and dirt. In an attempt to give it
a more positive image, in South Africa the name “Informal settlement”
is preferred.
- 57 -
THE SPRAWLING DIEPSLOOT INFORMAL SETTLEMENT
While Shanty towns are associated with high rate of crime, suicide,
drug use, and disease, Georg Gerster has noted
“with specific reference to the invasões of Brasilia, that "squatter settlements as
opposed to slums, despite their unattractive building materials, may also be places
of hope, scenes of a counter-culture, with an encouraging potential for change and a
strong upward impetus.” (www.askdefine.com. Accessed 12
September 2010)
In South Africa, squatting or informal settlements have been widely
associated with land invasion or land occupation, an apartheid borne
concept that sought to politically despise the conceited effort by
- 58 -
disposed blacks to acquire land that was taken from them. The
concept creates a negative impression that those who occupy land
informally warrant to be dealt with thoroughly.
Yet, the informal occupation of the streets does not warrant the same treatment.
Moreover, when the imperialists took land through unscrupulous means from the
native people, it was not seen as land invasion but land occupation and/or
‘European occupation’ of the ‘dark continent’ Davidson: (1968).
In Zimbabwe land seizure,’ or ‘land grabs.’ Moyo’s interpretation of
land invasion in the context of Zimbabwe is that it denotes a negative
view of politically organized ‘trespasses of farms lead by war
veterans. Squatting is used to refer to invasion in the past (before
politicization) and now refers to the illegal stay of people on a piece
of land. More widely used recently is the term land seizure
(especially in the media) to mean a variety of phenomena including
outright repossession of land through armed liberation struggle and
conquest in Zimbabwe.
In his paper, “Monitoring Paper part I, land occupation in South
Africa,” Sihlongonyane suggests that,
“Land invasion is a racist concept to demonise the efforts of the black people to get
access to land. Unfortunately, the post-apartheid government flippantly inherited
the land problem with its conceptual malaise and has used it as well. Thus, it is used
in a negative sense to despise any form of land acquisition. However in retrospect,
land is the only way by which poor blacks that are economically marginalized
acquire land in order earn a living and access their inalienable right to land in a
situation where the system denies timely access to it. It refers to the physical
- 59 -
utilization of a piece (s) of land by an individual or a group of people in order to
fulfil their economic, social or political needs.” Sihlongonyane (2003)
In many countries, squatting is in itself a crime; in others, it is only
seen as a civil conflict between the owner and the occupants.
Squatters are usually portrayed as worthless scroungers hell-bent on
disrupting society. Property law and the state have traditionally
favoured the property owner. However, in many cases where
squatters had de facto ownership, laws have been changed to
legitimize their status. Squatters often claim rights over the spaces
they have squatted by virtue of occupation, rather than ownership;
(Refer to Case Study no 3 in chapter 1 page 4 of this thesis.) The woman was
desperate to have basic materials to erect a shack and by doing this,
she was actually recording that she is rightful occupier of the piece of
land and therefore qualified for inclusion in the housing list.
The problem of squatting in South Africa has always been there
though the Apartheid government tried to squash it. As the new
minister of Human Settlement, Tokyo Sexwale was quoted as saying
that at the beginning of democracy there were 2696 informal
settlements, it has been estimated that these formed 7.7 million of the
44 million South Africans. The number has since grown rapidly in the
post-apartheid era. Many buildings, particularly in the inner city of
Johannesburg have also been occupied by squatters. Property
owners or government authorities can usually evict squatters after
following certain legal procedures including requesting a court
order.
- 60 -
In Durban, the city council routinely evicts without a court order in
defiance of the law, and there has been sustained conflict between the
city council and a shack dwellers' movement known as Abahlali
baseMjondolo.
“There have been a number of similar conflicts between shack dwellers, some
linked with the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, and the city council in Cape
Town. One of the most high-profile cases was the brutal evictions of squatters in the
N2 Gateway homes in the suburb of Delft, where over 20 residents were shot,
including a three-year-old child. There have been numerous complaints about the
legality of the government's actions and, in particular, whether the ruling of the
judge was unfair given his party affiliations and the highly politicized nature of the
case. Many of the families are now squatting on Symphony Way, a main road in the
township of Delft. The City of Cape Town has been threatening them with eviction
since February 2008.” Anti-Eviction Campaign, Western Cape.
www.antieviction.org.za (February 2008)
3.4.5. THE PROBLEM OF SHACK FARMING:
In 2006, the Zandspruit informal settlement erupted with violence
against the Zimbabwean nationals after the death of a young woman.
All the Zimbabwe nationals were driven out of the settlement in a
xenophobic manner. All their belongings and shacks looted and
burned down. This attracted a number of government departments
dealing with issues of security and social welfare, police and NGO’s
and Churches. The main intention was to try to find solution to the
problem of destitute Zimbabweans while the police were solving the
criminal part of it, include the murder cases. It emerged that the
Zandspruit and a number of informal settlements, came into being
because the owners of the land decided to allow people to erect
- 61 -
shacks on their land and pay a monthly rental. This practice brought
easy money to the land owner than what the normal farming would.
A Portuguese speaking family in Lindhaven, Roodepoort, lived on a
vegetable farm for many years. Their main customers were the
Durban and Deep Gold mines nearby and when the mines closed
down, the family started to experience slowdown in their business.
But, many retrenched mine workers needed a place to stay. The
family saw the new potential for business and turned their vegetable
farm into a shack farm, allowing miners to erect shacks in their land
and charging them fees per month.
- 62 -
THE MAIN HOUSE IS TOTALLY SURROUNDED BY SHACKS ASINCOME
GENERATING PROJECT FOR THE UNEMPLYED OWNER (PHOTOS’ BY
WHITE RAKUBA)
This phenomenon is popularly known as “shack farming.” The practice is
not only confined to farm land, in the cities of the country many
buildings have been left empty and owners or other occupiers rent
them to the destitute people. These buildings may also include
factory buildings.
The other side of the issue is that some people are allocated
RDP houses but the problem of poverty complicates things as
the new occupants of the RDP houses cannot afford to maintain
the houses and their lives, they choose to remain in the shacks
and then rent their RDP houses to other people for income
through monthly rentals.
Mabaso said that despite the housing roll-out, slums continued to
grow because of the rapid rate of urbanization. The more houses are
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built the more shacks are erected. The shacks also play an important
role as transit camps. Once the original owners are allocated houses,
they call their friends or relatives from rural areas to come and stay in
the shacks so that they can be included in the housing wait list. This
situation can be seen at the Tshepisong informal settlement near the
Loratong hospital in Krugersdorp as well as the Diepsloot, north of
Johannesburg. The intention of the municipalities in these areas were
to build low cost houses, (RDP) and then clear the shacks to eliminate
the informal settlement but this does not seem to be a case. The more
they built, the more the shacks are erected.
The proposed Bill was part of a “multi-pronged” attack on the trend.
According to Mabaso, government research had shown that there was
a growing trend towards “shack-farming” which involves people who
have been allocated RDP houses renting out their former homes in the
slums. This, he felt, was hindering the eradication of such settlements.
Speaking at the Kennedy Road shack settlement in Durban, which is
home to about 7 000 people, Zikhode said that the issue of shackrental was yet another example of the types of misunderstandings that
arise when shack dwellers are not consulted. He estimated that about
20% of the shacks at Kennedy Road were probably rented out to or
inhabited by people who had been given government housing:
“In a lot of these instances people who were awarded houses [in areas like Parkgate,
about 40km from Durban] were moved quite far from their places of work. The
majority of people here work as domestics or in the various petrol stations or
markets -- their income was never much and, with increasing transport costs and
inability to find jobs in the new areas, some have come back or rented out their old
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shacks to maintain a living.” Abahlali baseMjondolo – State’s cure for
shack farms – Mail and Guardian (2007.06.02)
” “If we had been consulted about the relocation, this problem would have been
highlighted much earlier and solutions could have been found,” said Zikhode,
who felt that a similar lack of consultation with regard to the Bill would
only lead to more social problems. Mail and Guardian, (2007.06.02)
The Bill also stipulates that municipalities must, within six months of
the promulgation of the Act, quantify the number and location of
existing slums within their jurisdiction and submit a status report
detailing the population of settlements and the ownership and
description of shacks. This would be followed up by annual reports
noting the progress of the removal and re-housing of inhabitants.
Zikhode said Abahlali baseMjondolo had already made written
submissions to the provincial legislature and was currently devising a
mass mobilisation strategy against the Bill. Mail and Guardian
(2007.06.02)
3.5. POVERTY IN THE URBAN AREAS:
Despite the fact that urban areas are closer to work opportunities and
cheaper commodities than rural areas, the degree of poverty in this
area is more serious than in the rural areas. Money is the key to
anything and if you do not have it you are lost.
3.5.1. DEFINITIONOF URBAN POVERTY:
There are many ways people understand or define poverty. It
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depends so much on the defined-standard of living in a particular
society. For instance, what is defined as poverty in the first world may
turn out to be wealth in the third world. Generally, poverty refers to
the economic condition in which people lack sufficient income to
obtain certain minimal levels of life such as health services, food,
housing, clothing, and education. These are generally recognized as
the necessary requirements to ensure an adequate standard of living.
What is considered adequate, however, as mentioned above, may
depend on where you are. Poverty may also be defined as the state of
one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or
material possessions. Poverty is said to exist when people lack the
means to satisfy their basic needs. In this context, the identification of
poor people first requires a determination of what constitutes basic
needs. These may be defined as narrowly as “those necessary for survival”
or as broadly as “those reflecting the prevailing standard of living in a particular
community or society.” For instance, in the middle class community one
may be declared poor if you do not own a car, although you have a
house, whereas in the low class community one may be declared rich
when you own a Bicycle. The first would extend to people whose
nutrition, housing, and clothing, though adequate to preserve life, do
not measure up to those of the population as a whole whereas the
second criterion would cover only those people near the borderline
of starvation or death from exposure. The problem of definition of
poverty is further compounded by the non-economic connotations
that the word poverty has acquired. Poverty has been associated, for
example, with poor health, low levels of education or skills, an
inability or an unwillingness to work, high rates of disruptive or
disorderly behaviour, and improvidence. While these attributes have
often been found to exist with poverty, their inclusion in a definition of
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poverty would tend to obscure the relation between them and the
inability to provide for one's basic needs. Whatever definition one
uses, authorities and laypersons alike commonly assume that the
effects of poverty are harmful to both individuals and society.
The type of poverty this part of the thesis is going to deal with is that
the Encyclopaedia Britannica defines as concentrated collective
poverty.
“In many industrialized, relatively affluent countries, particular demographic groups
are vulnerable to long-term poverty. In city ghettos, in regions bypassed or
abandoned by industry, and in areas where agriculture or industry is inefficient and
cannot compete profitably, there are found victims of concentrated collective
poverty. These people, like those afflicted with generalized poverty, have higher
mortality rates, poor health, low educational levels, and so forth when compared
with the more affluent segments of society. Their chief economic traits are
unemployment and underemployment, unskilled occupations, and job instability.
Efforts at amelioration focus on ways to bring the deprived ... (Britannica
Online Encyclopedia) www.brittanica.com
This is the type of poverty that can be found in highly industrialised
areas with informal settlements or ghettos where people are attached
to the cities but do not belong to the economy of it. They live in these
situations because they feel if they are closer to the industrial or
agricultural areas would benefit. They are normally people with low
education and skills which cannot be used by the industries in their
neighbourhood. The best they can offer is security services and
cheap labour.
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From the Holy Scriptures, it is very clear that poverty is as old as
mankind. Already early in the Old Testament time, we are told that
laws were made to protect the poor. The Old Testament teaches us
that God had always been on the side of the poor, and showed
particular biasness towards them.
“During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their
slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God.
24
God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with
Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about
them.” Exodus (2:23—25)
God was touched by the cries of the oppressed Israelites in Egypt and
remembered the covenant He had made with Jacob. It is very
important to note that poverty at that time was not associated with
begging. The laws were made to provide for the poor; therefore
Children of Israel were advised not to reap everything from their land
during harvest but that they should leave some parts of the land so
that the poor could come and reap for themselves.
9
“‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your
field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Do not go over your vineyard a
second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the
foreigner. I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus (19:9-10),
As there was food available from these lands, there was no need for
anybody to go out and beg, unless one was disabled, sick or too old
to go out in the field to collect the leftovers.
That the poor existed among the Hebrews we have abundant
evidence
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“But the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people
may eat; and what they leave the animal of the field shall eat. In like manner you
shall deal with your vineyard and with your olive grove”. Exodus (23:11)
“For the poor will never cease out of the land: therefore I command you, saying,
You shall surely open your hand to your brother, to your needy, and to your poor, in
your land.” Deuteronomy (15:11)
When the researcher grew up, he found that in his community, this
compassion towards the poor existed. Poor families were lent milk
cows to provide milk for the family and in some cases they were even
given oxen to use for themselves; for tilling of the land and other
issues. In return the owner would pay them with one cow for every
year they had the animals. At the end the poor person is helped to
transform from poverty. This is where the concept of “Ubuntu” (you
are because I am) worked. The poor in turn paid by looking after the
cows and making sure that they multiply for the owner.
3.5.2. POVERTY AMONG URBAN WHITES:
The area under research has some areas where one finds extremely
poor white people. Historically, these are the people who were
protected by the apartheid system’s job reservation. As this has been
some of the laws repealed, even long before negotiations, such
people are left vulnerable when they lost the reserved job.
Krugersdorp West While the situation of poverty in rural areas is
mainly affecting the black community, the reality is that not only black
communities are victims of urban poverty but that more and more
white people are falling into streets. The phenomenon of begging
whites at the main intersections of streets is fast becoming a common
sight. The apartheid system had protected poor whites by the job
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reservations legislation that ensured that no white family would be
reduced to poverty. Unfortunately some of the white people, who
never believed that the political situation in the country would one
day change, did not take pains in improving their educational level.
When the new dispensation came into effect, all the discriminatory
laws were abolished and the job reservations for whites was
abolished but unfortunately replaced with the new measures to
ensure that the wrongs of the past were corrected. This left many
whites vulnerable and had to face the reality of unemployment for the
first time in their history. To get a white person to stand on the corner
of the street and beg for money takes courage. To understand this
humiliation one needs just to look at the fellow white people’s attitude
towards the white beggars. They feel ashamed of the person.
Sometimes the white beggar would rather face people of other races
than his/her own fellow people. The other category that is visibly
humiliated by the situation of poverty is the people who used to have
rights to stay in the township and qualified for Section 10A. Such
people used to qualify for jobs without any problem while their
counter-parts from the rural areas were employed on a yearly
contract which had to be renewed from the homeland. The pride of
people of the township was spoiled by the massive retrenchments as
a result of disinvestment and ultimately by the scrapping of all
restrictive laws which then allowed people to compete for jobs as
equals irrespective of origin or identity. This in a way became
humiliation to the township boys who used to have the right to
employment.
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Edward Wimberley, in his two books, Claiming God Reclaiming
Dignity(2003) and in, Moving from Shame to Self-worth (1999), deals
with the issue of losing dignity and self-worth because of unexpected
change in one’s life. This is the challenge the Pastoral Care givers are
facing today in South Africa. Dealing with the insights from the Book of
Job, Wimberley discusses how Job, a once prosperous and highly
esteemed member of his community suddenly finds himself poor and
“a nobody”. Wimberly (1999:28 – 31)
The respect he commanded from his family and community
evaporated over a short space of time and finds him in a very
compromising position. His wife, children and even servants lost
respect to him. This situation is very rife in the sudden loss of
employment and dignity by many people. The major problem here is
that people internalise the values of social class to which they belong
and once that status is lost, it becomes difficult to face the community.
Some people either commit suicide or degenerate into self-pity.
Wimberley also dealt extensively with the issue “shame” and the
restoration of dignity to people who have lived in shame. The story
Banquet in the Gospels also deals with the restoration of dignity to
people who have been excluded from attending a very important
function. Although this has been accidental, those who never thought
that they would be made important found themselves sitting around
the table that was meant for the special ones.
"Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make
them come in, so that my house will be full.” Luke (14:23)
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As discussed earlier, the Church should be guided by the
commandment to love their neighbours as themselves.
“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but
love your neighbour as yourself. I am the LORD. Leviticus (19:18)
And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself. Matthew (22:39) See
also Mark (12:31), Luke (10:27)
3.6. THE MUSHROOMING OF PENTECOSTAL CHURCHES
AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO POVERTY:
3.6.1. CASE STUDY: 4
“ Merriam Bokaba, not her real name, left the Church in which she was born
and bred to join the mighty Pentecostal Church, which has its origin in
Southern America, when it arrived in Soweto. She was approached by a
neighbour who had attended a number of services and was convinced that
she had found the real church. The neighbour related to Merriam how she
suffered poverty and how her life changed since she attended the Universal
church; she found the job and her life had changed to better. She related to
Merriam how her life remained stagnant while he remained the member of
her former church, even though she was praying regularly, things never
changed until she joined the new Church. She assured Merriam that if she
joined the Church her miserable life would change to prosperity. Indeed,
her neighbour got a job which was just a temporary job organised by the
agents of the Church, knowing that this would not last longer. The strategy
was to make people see practically how this change comes but did not care
what happened to the person once the temporary job expires.”
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The most important thing about these temporary jobs was that
they were meant to make people see that the Church indeed has
the power to change people’s life. The slogan used by the
Church is “Come and we shall wipe off your tears.” Merriam left her
church and joined the charismatic church 5 with the hope that
she was going to change her life. She was introduced to the
stewards of the church and given information about the Church
and how it could change her life. But, first she had to st art
giving generously to the church if she wanted to be richly
blessed. She had to give 10% of her monthly earnings and in
addition give more to get more blessing.
Another church, whose origin can be traced from a country in
West Africa, used the slogan “ Stop Suffering ,” promoted the
word-faith teaching with particular emphasis on the seed-faith,
Believers are promised healing and riches for a price. The price
is, the more you give the more your blessings will be. When
you give freely, you will prosper. But one of the former pastor of
the Church, Mario Justino confirmed that during a decade of
preaching for the same Church in Brazil, Portugal and Brooklyn, his
superiors instructed him to tell people that: 'If you don't give, God
does not look at your problems.''
In the case of Merriam, she was employed as a domestic worker
and did not have to get into a temporary job. She kept on giving
but nothing happened and instead she became poorer. By the
time the researcher met her, she was so devastated; she had
5
It should be noted that the phenomenon of the “Prosperity Gospel Charismatic Churches is not
the policy of all; the Charismatic Churches,
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spent all her hard earned savings with the hope that she was
going to get more. Instead she was so impoverished that she
could no longer afford school fees for children in High School.
The case of Merriam is one of the many, especially in the urban
areas. Some cases of similar situation can also be found in
remote rural areas where the. Certain charismatic movement
and Ministries are mushrooming all over with the message of
prosperity; most of them tagged “international” and will always
talk about a membership of over five thousand and above.
Leadership of such churches is normally around an individual or
a group of acquaintances who all benefit from the proceeds of
the church but members of the congregations do not have
access to the property or finances of the church. They are
associated with opulence and drive flashy cars and live in up
market places.
3.6.2. EXCERPT
Perhaps the following excerpt from Uganda by John Lloyd may
help shed light in what we are discussing. This is about a
controversial pastor in Uganda: 6
“He told his congregation that a few weeks earlier he had flown back from the US
first class (“the only way to do it”) and landed in Nairobi to change planes for the
50-minute flight to Entebbe, Kampala’s airport. In Nairobi, Kayanja learnt that he
was not booked first class for the final leg of his trip. Angered, he had summoned a
manager. Kayanja then described a scene that ended with him triumphantly
6
Uganda’s controversial pastors
By John Lloyd.
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securing a first-class seat. I wondered, as the story unwound, what point he could be
making to an audience which, though certainly not the poorest in Uganda, would
mostly struggle to fly economy class to anywhere.
Then he answered my unspoken question. “Why did I demand first class?”
I demanded first class because the Lord sees me as first class. If you see yourself as
first class the Lord will see you as first class. But you have to demand it! You didn’t
hear what I just said! You have to demand for it!” John Lloyd –
www.christianportal.com (2008.10.27, accessed 2011.03.15)
As the sermon progressed, he told the congregation to come forward
with their tithes. Queues snaked up the aisles. Kayanja cited Malachi
3:10 – “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine
house.” (Malachi, one of the shortest books of the Old Testament, is
popularly used for syphoning money out of unsuspecting Christians.
Malachi is stern towards those who do not give a percentage of their
income to their preachers; he has become the patron saint of the
“Mega church.”)
3.6.3. CASE STUDY: 5 A second case of charismatic Church
“Christina, not her real name, reported almost a similar case that occurred in
Roodepoort. She was invited by her friend to a charismatic service where a famous
prophet from Nigeria, was going to be a guest preacher. The hall was packed to
capacity before the service and by the time the preacher arrived there was no space
to walk around. What stunned the congregation is that right at the beginning of his
sermon the preacher wanted to see how much every person was bringing as a
thanksgiving for his “powerful sermon.” He invited people to wave the money they
were going to offer but got so irritated when he saw R20’s and R50’s notes. He was
expecting at least R1000 from each person as the message he was going to deliver
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was worth that much. He told the local prophets,( themselves citizens of the same
country the “powerful preacher” was coming from), that the spirit does not
encourage him to deliver a sermon unless the congregation changed their minds
and offer more. When there was no indication that many people were able to
respond to his demand the preacher left the pulpit and the local prophet continued
with the service.”
Jesus says: “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing,
but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them”.
Matthew (7:15 – 16)
The mushrooming of tents and huge and expensive churches
are a common phenomenon in most of the cities and townships
of South Africa.
THE RISE OF THE FAITH HEALERS:
The rise of faith healers, especially those coming from outside the
country, with Malawi topping the list has escalated over the past few
years in the urban areas, targeting the poor people. This can be
linked to the topic above, where the vulnerable poor are targeted
with the promise that their problems would be solved. The services of
such healers are advertised in the newspapers such as the Daily Sun
and the Sunday Sun where the majority of the readers are people
struggling to find jobs. These adverts promise to solve their promises
and at the end of the day they are fleeced out of their money.
“I delete your loans and be free from loans....win any competition that can give you
millions of rands easily....Magic stick to bring you money, Spirit that can make you
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rich in small businesses, I can clean money with bad luck....” Sun classifieds,
Sunday Sun, (26 December 2010)
The other one reads: “BABA PHIRI MALAWIAN HERBALIST; my muti is
100% guaranteed same day/time. No matter how big is the problem. Bring back the
lost lover within a day and get more from your partner, get married or stop divorce,
enlarge breast, stomach problems, love powder to look more beautiful, remove bad
luck, penis enlargement – all sizes, bigger, stronger and more rounds, erection
problems same day, Magundwane, short boys magic, wallet sendewane oil to help
you get money same time, Order or call 0787322644. Sun classifieds, Sunday
Sun (8 May 2011)
People who are likely to be attracted by these services are the poor
struggling to find jobs and money to survive. They go all out of the
way to borrow money in order to get these promises and thereafter
find themselves deep in debt of having to get money to repay the
loans they made, let alone money for the family.
3.7. INFORMAL V/S FORMAL TRADING
The informal trade in South Africa can be traced back to the
50’s. At that time black people were not allowed to ply their
trade in the streets of the cities but many managed to establish
themselves along the railways stations, inside the trains and the
taxi ranks. White and Indian informal traders were allowed to
trade in designated areas within the boundaries of the cities
while black were not allowed. In Johannesburg the Diagonal
Street, including part of Market Street were designated to the
Indian informal traders. The persecution of hawkers was
intensified in the 1950’s until the then apartheid government
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realised that it was fighting a losing battle and in 1980’s
decided to relax the regulations, allowing even black traders to
obtain licences to trade from designated spots.
Thomas Thale, in the history of informal trade in the city of
Johannesburg, entitled, “The rise of hawking in the city”, dated 30 th
September 2002 7, gives a vivid history of how the government
tried to control the informal trade. He says,
“The succession of governments during the apartheid era tried in vain to
get rid of the sector. Motivated by the notions of racial purity, they sought
to remove the mainly black traders from the streets of the city, to keep its
streets lily white.” Thale (2002)
In 1993, the South African Chamber of Business complained that
the activities of the informal sector, particularly in respect of
retailing in uncontrolled manner, affect formal business
interests and in broad terms such activities are seen as a threat,
not only from the point of competition, but also from a
competitive point of view, but also from the point of adversely
affecting the ambience of the trading environment.
The economic sanctions that affected the South African economy
at the height of the struggle against apartheid had done a
tremendous harm to the employment especially to factory and
manufacturing sectors. Many companies that left the country in
solidarity with the black majority did not return back as
expected. Those who remained in the country scaled down their
7
City of Johannesburg website; www.joburg.org.za
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works force or automated their factories to cut on labour costs.
When the ANC led government took over, the major challenge
was how to get employment to the millions of people who had
been excluded from the economy of the country except that
they were used as cheap labour. The period from the 1990, was
generally acknowledged as a period of unprecedented, rapid,
but unplanned growth of the informal sector. This can be
attributed to a number of factors. The relaxation or repeal of the
apartheid laws, including influx control allowed people to come
of the bondage of the homelands to seek better life in the cities.
When it became obvious that employment was becoming a
major problem in the new government under President
Mandela, laws against informal trading were relaxed again to
allow people to make a living for themselves.
When interviewed about the state of the informal trade since 10 or 20
years ago, Lawrence Mavundla, then president of the African Council
of Hawkers and Informal Business (ACHIB), a nongovernmental
advocacy group that writes model street commerce laws designed to
influence legislation in South African cities responded by saying:
"Now we can talk openly without fear of repercussions," he said. "The difficulty is
that the officials who enjoyed enforcing apartheid are still there. These officials do
not buy fruits on Friday because they know they are going to raid the hawkers."
John Bundell (2004:1)
ACHIB was founded 17 years ago by 250 street vendors as a reaction
to police brutality. Today it has 110,000 members; many have built
big businesses; others have gone into politics. President Mbeki's
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roots are firmly planted in this sector; his mother still runs a spaza
shop (a small informal supermarket) where the president worked as a
young boy.
Mavundla himself was fired from his position as shop steward at the
East Driefontein gold mining company in 1985 after organizing a
strike to protest the poor treatment of his fellow black miners.
"The black mine workers were being asked to eat the insides of the cow, while the
whites were getting all the meat," he said. "That was it. Whites could eat whatever
they wanted, but management was deciding for us." Bundell (2004:2)
He left his job with a mere R400 ($60) in his pocket. Not much, but
enough to start him off selling cosmetics on streets and trains.
Today this former hawker has his fingers in several enterprises. One
of them, his tire business in the Central Business District, sells mainly
Goodyear products to a customer base that is now 90% black. "I just
today employed my first white guy on wheel alignment," Mavundla said,
laughing out loud at the irony of his black customers' demanding a
white man to perform a technically complicated job. But, he said, "The
customer is king!"
Mavundla is confident about his company's future. "Even if my price is
higher than a white company's," he said, "I'll get the government contract." How
does this favouritism square with his free market rhetoric? Mavundla's
justification: "Certain changes must happen, and we need time. White businesses
have had l0 years to change, and they haven't. However, in another decade things
will have changed so much that white and black will be together in owning
businesses, and there will be no such thing as a 'white' business or a 'black'
business." Bundell (2004:2)
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This persistent divide between black and white is, of course, one of
apartheid's many terrible legacies. The racial tension manifests itself
in many ways, some subtle, others not.
John Bundell says:
“The entrepreneurial-minded are pouring into South Africa. My taxi driver was
from Mozambique. My hotel doorman was from Zimbabwe. Another street trader
was from Senegal. Fully half of the economically active black people I talked to were
not from South Africa at all. Far from indicating a lack of energy on the part of South
Africans, this instead indicates that there is so much room for entrepreneurial
activity in South Africa that the country is providing room for all, or at least a great
many, comers. Bundell (2004:3)
Bundell describes Patrick Makone as follows:
“The most memorable entrepreneur I met was Patrick Makone. Tall, fit, young, and
handsome, he was selling geckos and other animals made out of wire on the street.
Ah, inexpensive gifts, I thought as he approached my table and asked permission
before squatting down to show them to me. They ranged in price from 20 rand ($3)
to 150 ($22.50). I bought a chameleon for my 12-year-old cousin Candice and a
lizard for my 14-year-old son, James. Makone's English was superb. In exchange for
a further payment, I asked for his story.
He was from Zimbabwe, where he made the animals. Once he'd made as many as
he could carry, he would buy a city-to-city return bus ticket from Harare to
Johannesburg, costing $37.50, with a further duty of $18 at the border.” Bundell
(2004:4)
The influx of people from the rural areas into cities were matched by
equally, if not more, by the numbers of economic migrants and
refugees from the neighbouring countries, from Africa and Asia, who
were better organised and experienced in terms of informal trading.
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The exact number of foreigners in the country has always been a
mystery to almost everybody, including the government Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, the UNHCR and others. It is roughly estimated that
there were 43 850 recognised refugees in South Africa at the end of
2008, 276 000 asylum seekers and 32 344 documented economic
migrants.8 These figures do not include undocumented foreigners and
the figures are estimated between 3 and 5 million. It is generally
estimated that Zimbabweans alone, range from 2 to 3.5 million.
This situation meant that competition for space and market became an
issue. The foreign hawkers started to show progress far better than
the locals and this created conflict between the two groups. The
situation came into headlines when a group of foreigners were
attacked and thrown out a moving train between Johannesburg and
Pretoria. They were on their way to Pretoria to join the other
foreigners who were trying to lobby the government for support and
protection.
The conflict was narrowed to particular groups who were seen to be
succeeding in informal business. A number of shops belonging to the
Somali community were targeted by South Africans, including killing
the owners. In 2005 three Somali refugees were stabbed to death
outside their shop. In 2006 Somali shop owners outside Knysna, in the
Cape were chased out of the area at least 30 spaza’s burned down.
3.8. PRELIMINARY CONCLUSION:
8
The rights of others: Foreign national and xenophobic violence, NCHR Workshop
- 82 -
The situation as described in this chapter will help to lead us
into our next discussion to deal with the consequences of the
issues described in this chapter. The topics to be discussed in
the next chapter emanate directly from the situations described
in this chapter.
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CHAPTER 4
4.1. INTRODUCTION:
The problem of rapid urbanization is in most cases,
accompanied by traumatic issues that affect the people as
conditions and services are lacking or inadequate. These issues
are collectively known as “Social Problems”
Rwomire, in his book, Social Problems in Africa, says:
“These problems are closely interrelated with social changes which lead to
alterations in social structures, institutions, roles and relationships. Social
change is inevitable and universal, even though the rate at which it occurs
varies from society to society.” Rwomire (2001:8)
Rwomire further quotes Wilmot as saying:
“Social change involves slow, gradual alterations in the social organization of
society or its constituent parts over time.” Wilmot (1985)
In our discussion in this research, rapid urbanization is
characterised by population concentration, overcrowding,
obnoxious urban conditions, miscellaneous diseases, poverty,
unemployment, crime, drug and substance abuse, prostitution,
family disorganization etc, the list continues.
This chapter will therefore deal with problems or issues related
to the process of rapid urbanization affecting lives of people
directly; social problems, culture shock, housing and
homelessness, employment and unemployment, rural
depopulation and degradation in relation to the process of rapid
urbanization. These issues add to the traumatization of the
people and therefore need to be analysed.
4.1. SOCIAL PROBLEMS:
Definition of Social Problems:
The term Social problem is used to refer to a situation where a
problem exist in the society in which a large portion of society is
affected. In popular understanding a social problem is not
something like happy families, physically fit people, or schools
that teach children how to read and write. This is common
sense, the name social problem refers to conditions evaluated
as wrong because they create harm to society.
Perhaps the best introduction to this chapter would be to try to
define the concept “Social Problems” Social problems come in
different shapes and sizes. A Social problems arises when a
significant number of people, or society perceive it as problem
affecting them all.
Doleen Loseke defines Social Problem as:
“ We use the term Social Problem to indicate that something is wrong….To
be given the status of “Social Problem”, the condition must be evaluated as
widespread, which means that it must hurt more than a few people. It is a
problem for me if I lose my job but it cannot be a problem if other people are
not affected.” Loseke (2003:6)
However deplorable or disgusting the situation may be, it will
not be defined as a social problem until it affects or is
recognised as such by a large number of people within a given
society. In other words, there should be a clear distinction
between problems affecting individuals and the community or
society. For instance, if a person loses a job as defined in
Loseke’s definition above, that is a personal trouble, it is a
problem for an individual but it is not necessarily a problem of
everyone. But it becomes a social problem if it affects a large
number of people such as it is a case in most of the third world
countries, including South Africa where unemployment is rated
between 35 – 45% which affects a large portion of the society.
Achilles Theodorson defines a social problem as “any undesirable
condition or situation that is judged by an influential number of persons
within a community to be an intolerable and requiring action by the society
towards constructive reform.” Theodorson (1969:392)
Social problems are undesirable, dangerous or costly,
especially in relation to human health and social welfare. They
represent what many people refer to them as wrong, improper,
unjust, oppressive or offensive. They stem largely from the
failure of governments or malfunctioning of social structures, i.e.
when government and social institutions fail to provide
amenities or social services such as food, employment, health,
education or law and order to a substantial segment of
population.
Objective and Subjective elements of social problems:
1)
Objective element of a social problem: this can be
characterised by the following:
- Existence of a social condition
- We become aware of social problems through our own
life experience.
- Through media
- We see the homeless living with us or within the
community in which we live
- We hear guns and fighting in the streets
- We see battered women in hospital emergency rooms
- We see or read about employees losing jobs as
factories or businesses close down due to economic
meltdown.
- We see parents who are anguished by the killing of
their children etc.
2)
Subjective element of a social problem:
This refers to the belief that a particular social condition is
harmful to society or to a segment of society and that it
should, and can be changed. A social problem is not
based simply on individual failures but rather is rooted in
society. For an instance, unemployment is not just
experienced by one family, but by many in the
community. Unless a least a segment of society believes
that these conditions diminish the quality of human life,
they cannot be classified as or declared social problems.
Donileen Loseke says: “subjective social problems are how we
think about social problems as important as sometimes more important
than objective characteristic of our World. Why do we worry about
some conditions and don’t worry about others.” Loseke (2003:7 –
12)
Therefore the combination of the objective and subjective
elements comes to the conclusion that “A Social problem is a
condition that a segment of society views as harmful to members of
society and in need of remedy.” (Moony 2005:123)
The following classifications of social problems can be
made:
a)
Problems of well-being:
 Illness and health care problems
 Alcohol and substance abuse (Drugs)
 Crime and social control
 Family problems
b)
Problems of in equality:
 Poverty and economic inequality
 Work and unemployment
 Problems in education
 Race, ethnicity and immigration
 Gender and inequality
 Issues in sexual orientation
c)
Problems of globalization:
Population growth
Environmental problems
Conflict and wars
The following social problems, discussed here below, are common to
the process of rapid urbanization and in informal settlements, not only
in South Africa but globally.
4.2. THE EFFECTS OF RAPID URBANIZATION ON FAMILY
LIFE:
One of the most painful traumatisation caused by rapid
urbanization is that on families. It is painful to look at some of the
shacks that are used as homes by many families living within the
informal settlements. Remarking at the sight of one of the
shacks, Bishop Ramashapa1, says:
“You cannot imagine that children were and are still being borne in those
shacks, one room sleeps more than seven people, no privacy, which imply
that sexual encounter happens in the presence of children. This is a
humiliating situation, not only to the adults who have to expose themselves to
children but also to children who gets traumatised by this situation”
Johannes Ramashapa,(oral)
As a pastor who has been working among the people in the
informal settlements, the statement made by Bishop Ramashapa
1
Bishop Johannes Ramashapa is the Executive Director of the Lutheran Communion in Southern
Africa, one of the programmes of this organization deals with Diakonia, a programme that minister
to the marginalised communities.
confirms the researcher’s painful observations; the researcher
does concur with him on this. It is painful to think about the
psychological damage this does to children raised in that
environment. Perhaps this may raise a question; what is the
ideal family?
While there are different definitions of family, nowadays the
South African understanding of a family is that defined as a
“Nucleus” according to the Western Civilization. This definition
refers to a group of persons united by ties of marriage and
parenthood or adoption and consisting of a man, woman, and
their socially recognized children. This unit was once widely
held to be the most basic and universal form of social
organization. Even in the African context, where polygamous
marriage existed, there has always been a binding factor of a
family. The husband formed the anchor of the family with wives,
each living with her children in one homestead and all looking
at the husband for support and protection.
The other very important family unit that existed in the African
context is that of extended family. This has played a very
important role in the South Africa under the apartheid system;
the grand parents had to remain with grand children while their
biological parents were migrant labourers in the so-called
White South Africa. A number of present day middle class
people now living in the suburbs of the cities were raised by
grandparents and their mothers worked in the same suburbs
where they now live as domestic workers.
In a situation where grandparents were not available, the
mother's brother, would take care of the sister’s children. The
uncle in this case played a very important role the father could
have played. Although in some cases the uncle’s wife would not
treat such children well. It was very rare to find a child-headed
family as it is the case nowadays. If this happened, the
neighbours or relatives would be available to support the
children while the parents worked in the cities. Parents would
continue to send food and clothes to the children and money for
school.
For a family to exist, all the elements of the family should be
functional. Each member of the family should fulfil his/her role,
i.e. the father; mother, uncle, grandparents as well as children
have very important roles to make sure that the family existed.
Edward Wimberley’s Family Systems Theory states that:

This theory emphasizes that there is a constant feedback from the
environment to which the individual and family must respond. The family
needs to face this feedback with its internal mechanism operating and
incorporate new information in ways that enable each family member to
grow and develop, especially when the new information challenges the
existing patterns.

Healthy families function on positive feedback in that they process it in
ways that enhance the growth of all of its members.

Unhealthy families, however, view feedback negatively and resist taking in
new information, particularly if new information challenges existing family
patterns.
 Dysfunctional families conspire with individual family members to resist
change and hold on to current patterns interaction. Not knowing the
future, such families prefer the present. Wimberly (1999:28 – 29)
The above-described family system functioned well in many
families during the period up to the 80’s in South Africa. The
beginning of concerted efforts by the world to pressurize the
Apartheid regime out of power led to sanctions and
disinvestment. The economy of the country suffered and
unemployment started to escalate forcing people into poverty
and homelessness. People were forced to leave domestic work
and many factories closed down leaving thousands of people
unemployed. Many returned home and got stark in the rural
areas.
Those who still had the economic power ensured that very little
progress was achieved and indeed the new South Africa did not
bring about positive development. It is in this context that the
researcher wanted to explore the following issues to determine
the extent at which they had contributed to the traumatisation of
families as a result of rapid urbanization:
A Kenyan Professor of sociology based at the University of
Nairobi, Prof Preston Chitere (1998) argues that the current
African family values have been adversely affected by the
Western civilization. He argues that:
“The effects of capitalism are already being felt in our families. Individualism
in society is increasing. Even families in rural areas like to operate in
isolation, and those who offer any help, are keen to help their immediate
families only. The family is becoming more independent. The loss of
community networks and the development of individualism have resulted in
increased occurrences of suicide, loneliness, drug abuse and mental illness.
The communal system is breaking down. The extended family had certain
functions to perform, for instance, to reconcile couples at loggerheads with
each other, but this is no longer the case. It is one’s business to know what’s
happening in one’s marriage today” Kimani (1988:1)
4.3. POVERTY:
The type of poverty we are referring to here is that defined as
concentrated collective poverty by the Britannica encyclopaedia
(see Page 64 of the thesis.) This is the type of poverty that can be
found in highly industrialised areas with informal settlements or
ghettos where people are attached to the cities but do not belong
to its economy. People prefer to live in these conditions because
they believe prospects of getting jobs are higher closer to the
industrial areas this would benefit them. Even if they do not get
permanent employment, prospects of short term piece jobs are
high. They are normally people with low education and skills
which cannot be used by the industries in their neighbourhood.
The high rate of unemployment, not only affects the uneducated
people, but covers a vast spectrum of highly qualified people. It
remains to be the major reason for the abject poverty which leads
to high crime and other social problems in urban areas. Therefore
poverty does not affect one person, but many people and therefore
qualifies to be classified as “Social Problem”
Pieterse, in his book, “Preaching in the context of poverty, defines
poverty as follows:
“The inability of individuals, households, or entire communities to command
sufficient resources to satisfy a socially accepted minimum standard of living”
(Pieterse 2001:30)
Pieterse argues that this situation may exist because of the
following issues:
-
Lack of food
-
Lack of clean water
-
Lack of job opportunities
-
Break up of families
(Ibid)
The poor may also experience inequality with other citizens which
may be indicated by the following issues:

Disease caused by bad circumstances

Lack of proper housing which leads to the emergence of huge squatter camps
around cities and towns

Literacy and education
 Helplessness and vulnerability (Pieterse (2001:30 – 31)
The level of crime in South Africa, which in some ways can be
linked to poverty, is the concern of the whole nation, as it affects
almost every one. Edmond J. Keller says:
“ While South Africa has living standards that are on average significantly above
those in countries where chronic poverty is assumed to be most severe, its
particular legacy of polarization and racially embedded poverty naturally raises
questions about the ability of the poor to use social mechanisms of access to
capital in order to throw off the yoke of poverty.” He continues to say, “You can
walk down tree-lined streets or drive through well-appointed suburbs that belie
(contradict) the notion that South Africa is mired in poverty; but, not far removed
from these pleasant environs, the signs of chronic poverty are unmistakably
there.” Keller (2005:1)
The dilemma of people living in these areas is that they normally
have very few friends or relatives around them. The concept of
“Ubuntu”2 unfortunately cannot be easily realized in the urban
situation. People tend to live individual lives and when they
experience difficulties, there is no one to fall back to.
CASE STUDY NO: 6 A case of a Zimbabwean immigrant
“Nobody will be interested in helping him/her. Christina, (not her real name),
came to the Mathole Motshekga informal settlement just west of Roodepoort from
Zimbabwe five years ago. At the time she had a boyfriend and together they built
a comfortable shack in which they lived. Somehow, the boyfriend disappeared
and she was left on her own, jobless and not knowing anybody around. Life
became miserable as no-one was prepared to help her. She had to find a survival
strategy as jobs in the town were scarce.”3
The economy of Roodepoort slumped when the Durban Deep Gold
mine closed down leaving many businesses with no choice but to
move away as there was no more economic activity to ensure
sustainability. The other contributory factor was that middle class
families who provided domestic work also left the area and went to
settle in the Roodekraans and Strubenvally as crime was becoming
a major problem due to high unemployment and poverty. This
implied that even domestic work was not easy to get. Christina
ended up in the streets of Roodepoort as a prostitute to earn some
money for survival. Her story is not an isolated case.
The situation is even worse for men who find themselves in
Christina’s situation. Men have to wake up early in the morning to
2
Ubuntu: You are because I am, therefore I am
The economy of Roodepoort was built around the Durban Deep Gold mine. The closure of the
mine implied that most of the businesses that were linked to the mining activity had to close down
and relocate to the place where they could still find business.
3
go and stand in the streets of Roodepoort, at 5th Avenue in
Roodepoort, Progress and Corlette streets in Witpoortjie for a
variety of piece jobs. As there are four feeder informal settlements,
Mathole Motshekga, Durban-Deep, Princess Crossing,
Groblerspark, Tshepisong and also people from the adjacent
townships of Kagiso and Dobsonville, the availability of piece jobs,
most of them garden jobs, are very scarce. David, (not his real
name), shared with the researcher how he had to stand on the
corner of the street for three weeks in succession without
succeeding to get into cars that come to look for casual work
because of xenophobia.
The rule on the street is that first options go to the citizens and only
when everyone is collected can the foreigners come nearer. The
trauma for men is more as they cannot prostitute themselves. For
survival many men in the informal settlements tend to create
friendships and networks with friends. This helps to give support
when one has no money or food. Unfortunately men who cannot
have networks are left to suffer alone. This is the cruelty of life in
the urban setting. If you have no one to rely on when things
become difficult you are exposed to harsh realities of having to go
on without any help. Every one fends for himself or herself.
The situation in rural areas is somewhat friendlier. There is still the
culture of “ubuntu”4 ruling among the communities. When the
researcher grew up this compassion towards the poor existed.
During the agrarian period, poor families were borrowed milk
cows to provide milk for the family and in some cases they were
even given oxen to use for themselves for tilling the land and other
4
Ubuntu means “Humaneness”
issues. In return the owner would pay them with one cow for every
year they had the animals. At the end the poor person is helped to
transform from poverty. This is where the concept of “Ubuntu”
worked. The poor in turn paid by looking after the cows and
making sure that they multiply for the owner.
Several African scholars such as Prof JS Mbiti argue that:
“Whatever happens to the individual happens to the whole group, and whatever
happens to the whole group happens to the individual. The individual can only
say, I am, because we are; and since we are, therefore I am. Mbiti (1969:109)
Perhaps this concept can be clearly defined in the South African
version which says, “Motho ke motho ka batho” (Tswana) umuntu
ngumuntu ngabantu (Xhosa). This literally translates; a person is a
person through other persons. Augustine Shutte, a South African
professor of Philosophy says:
“This proverb is the Xhoza expression of a notion that is common to all African
languages and traditions. It is concerned with both the peculiar interdependence
of persons on others for the exercise, development and fulfilment of their powers
that is recognised in African traditional thought, and also with the understanding
of what it is to be a person that underlies this” Shutte (1993:46 – 47)
Dr Sam Kobia, the former General Secretary of the World Council
of Churches, in his book, “The Courage to Hope” says:
“The wholeness and fullness of human life and that of the rest of the creation is a
vision which also promises the inclusiveness of all; in turn, this challenges the
process of globalization which tends to promote exclusion and fragmentation. It
is a vision embracing the African concept in which the worthiness of individual
persons is measured not by their capacity to consume but by the quality of the
relationships between them and their fellow human beings. That is what each
one says with confidence, “I am, because we are, and since we are, therefore
I am.” Kobia (2003:137 -138)
From the Holy Scriptures, it is very clear that poverty is as old as
mankind. Already early in the Old Testament time, we are told that
laws were made to protect the poor. The Old Testament teaches us
that God had always been on the side of the poor, and showed
particular biasness towards them. In Exodus 2:23—25 it is said that
God was touched by the cries of the oppressed Israelites in Egypt
and remembered the covenant He had made with Jacob. It is very
important to note that poverty at that time was not associated with
begging. The laws were made to provide for the poor. The concept
of “Ubuntu” could be traced already at that time; therefore laws
were made that Israelites were advised not to reap everything
from their land during harvest but that they leave some parts of the
crops in the land so that the poor could come and reap for
themselves. As there was food available from these lands, there
was no need for anybody to go out and beg. (Leviticus 19:9-10)
There is abundant evidence from the scriptures that the poor
existed among the Hebrews
“but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your
people may eat; and what they leave the animal of the field shall eat. In like
manner you shall deal with your vineyard and with your olive grove”. (Exodus
23:11)
In Deuteronomy 15 we read that:
“For the poor will never cease out of the land: therefore I command you, saying,
You shall surely open your hand to your brother, to your needy, and to your
poor, in your land”. (Deuteronomy 15:11)
4.4. CHRONIC DISEASES:
Definition of Chronic Disease:
Chronic diseases are those that have a long duration and generally
slow progression. Their recurrence on individuals varies from
person to person. Most of them are not 100% curable, but thanks to
researches, there are now some medications available to control
them. Some of the well-known chronic diseases are: heart
diseases, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory ailments, diabetes,
HIV and AIDS etc. The World Health Organization estimates that
chronic diseases are responsible for more than 60% of all deaths.
While HIV and AIDS is also part of this category, the researcher
would like to treat it separately. The most common chronic
ailments found in the area under research, are stress related.
Between 2006 and 2007, the researcher, being a pastor, happened
to be involved with the Dobsonville municipality relief efforts
among the elderly and the sick. Observing that most of the elderly
people who came to receive food parcels showed signs of variety
of ailments, the mayor of the township, Mr Lekgetho,
commissioned a research of home and family background of all the
recipients of the relief aid. The intention was to try and understand
why most of them were sick. This was done in collaboration with
the local clinic and the Department of Social Welfare. The study
indicated that almost all the elderly were suffering from High Blood
Pressure, Depression, Heart problems, severe headache and
backache and neurological disorders. The explanation to this
situation was that most of the families in the townships depended
on the monthly grant given to the pensioners and the grant is not
enough to maintain the whole family. Old people therefore, spend
more time agonising about the family situation than to enjoy
retirement. The meagre monthly grant has to provide for food,
clothes for children, including grown up children and the
grandchildren, the municipality charges, school fees and transport
for grand children to school, you name them....This situation in
urban areas is not like in the rural areas where the monthly grant is
enough to maintain the whole family.
These ailments are not only confined to the elderly and the aged, a
number of young people, especially those living in the stressful
conditions, are also affected. A brief description of the ailments
described above can be summarised as follows:
Headache / Backache
One tends to get headaches and backaches in severe stress.
Under stressful conditions, your mind trigger release of pituitary
hormone, and this hormone further triggers release of a host of
other hormones to make one to face the situation. These hormones
when present in excess in your body, affects the blood circulation.
Further the presence of hormones for a long time induces more
blood flow to certain body parts and the flow of blood is restricted
to heart and brain. And this will result in you getting headaches
and even angina.
Neurological Disorder
Chronic exposure to stress will tell upon your immune system.
Stress will tend to affect the oxidants and anti-oxidants level in
your body and any alteration in the balance between oxidants and
anti-oxidants will result in you getting pathological disorders,
neurological disorders and distortion in cell multiplication that
lead to cancer.
High Blood Pressure
It is medically proven that your blood pressure will increase to an
alarming level when you are under stress. Though high blood
pressure is normal with increase in age, any high blood pressure
in relation to stressful situation is highly detrimental to your
overall health. High blood pressure is also associated with other
heart-related conditions. Further, your high blood pressure
caused due to stress is also known to affect your natural immune
system and leave you emotionally disturbed.
Asthma and Gatrointestinal Disorder
Severe stressful conditions in you will make your airways overreactive and the same will precipitate as asthma if you are already
having problems related to your breathing.
Good supply and your nervous system control your entire
intestinal system. Under severe stress, the blood flow to your
intestine is restricted which when combined with your disturbed
nervous system (emotional disturbance), result in gastrointestinal
disorders such as ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome.
The list of stress related disorders is a big one and it varies
depending upon your mind set, your position in society, your
place of living, etc. It is better you always keep a watch on all your
changing symptoms and take corrective steps in time.
Depression:
In psychology, a mood or emotional state that is marked by
sadness, inactivity, and a reduced ability to enjoy life. A person
who is depressed usually experiences one or more of the
following symptoms: feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or
pessimism; lowered self-esteem and heightened selfdepreciation; a decrease or loss of ability to enjoy daily life;
reduced energy and vitality; slowness of thought or action; loss of
appetite; and disturbed sleep or insomnia.
Depression differs from simple grief, bereavement, or mourning,
which are appropriate emotional responses to the loss of loved
persons or objects. Where there are clear grounds for a person's
unhappiness, depression is considered to be present if the
depressed mood is disproportionately long or severe vis-à-vis the
precipitating event. When a person experiences alternating states
of depression and mania (extreme elation of mood), he is said to
suffer from a manic-depressive psychosis.
Depression is probably the most common psychiatric complaint
and has been described by physicians from at least the time of
Hippocrates, who called it melancholia. The course of the disorder
is extremely variable from person to person; it may be fleeting or
permanent, mild or severe, acute or chronic. Depression is more
common in women than in men. The rates of incidence of the
disorder increase with age in men, while the peak for women is
between the ages of 35 and 45.
Depression can have many causes. The loss of one's parents or
other childhood traumas and privations can increase a person's
vulnerability to depression later in life. Stressful life events in
general are potent precipitating causes of the illness, but it seems
that both psychosocial and biochemical mechanisms can be
important causes. The chief biochemical cause seems to be the
defective regulation of the release of one or more naturally
occurring monoamines in the brain, particularly norepinephrine
and serotonin. Reduced quantities or reduced activity of these
chemicals in the brain is thought to cause the depressed mood in
some sufferers.
There are three main treatments for depression. The two most
important are psychotherapy and drug therapy. Psychotherapy
aims to resolve any underlying psychic conflicts that may be
causing the depressed state, while also giving emotional support
to the patient. Antidepressant drugs, by contrast, directly affect
the chemistry of the brain, and presumably achieve their
therapeutic effects by correcting the chemical imbalance that is
causing the depression. The tricycle antidepressant drugs are
thought to work by inhibiting the body's physiological inactivation
of the monoamine neurotransmitters. This results in the build-up or
accumulation of these neurotransmitters in the brain and allows
them to remain in contact with nerve cell receptors there longer,
thus helping to elevate the patient's mood.
By contrast, the antidepressant drugs known as monoamine
oxidase inhibitors interfere with the activity of monoamine
oxidase, an enzyme that is known to be involved in the breakdown
of norepinephrine and serotonin. In cases of severe depression in
which therapeutic results are needed quickly, electroconvulsive
therapy has proven helpful. In this procedure, a convulsion is
produced by passing an electric current through the person's
brain. In many cases of treatment, the best therapeutic results are
obtained by using a combination of psychotherapy with drug
therapy or with electroshock treatment.
4.5. HIV AND AIDS:
As far as the early 80’s, AIDS was detected in some of the
African countries. In fact it was found to have been responsible
for high fatalities but the deaths were not linked to it until it was
discovered. At that time it was known to affect heterosexuals,
both men and women who were neither homosexual nor were
involved in injecting drugs with needles. The virus continued to
spread without detection among many people in other places,
especially where it was not yet detected. Africa is such a place
where it took a long time before it could be detected. The rural
areas were the hardest hit.
By 2009 an estimated number of people in South Africa living
with HIV and AIDS virus is estimated to be 5.6 million according
to the Avert report. The report indicates that 310 000 people
died in the country through HIV related illnesses in the same
year. Prevalence was at 17.8%. The UNAIDS 2010 Report gives
the following picture:
- Worldwide there are 33.3 million people living with the HIV
and AIDS virus, of these, 22 millions are in the Sub-Saharan
Africa.
- South Africa alone has 5.7 million people living with the HIV
and Aids virus.
- Of the figure above, 3.2 millions are found to be women
- 29% of women who attended the antenatal clinic tested
positive.
- 280 000 children between the ages 0 – 11 are HIV positive
- The prevalence among adults between the ages 15 – 49 is
18.3%
On a positive note, South Africa has been found to be among the
few African countries that have managed to turn the tide on the
HIV and AIDS infections. The prevalence among women shows
steady improvement from the 30.2% in 2005 to the 29% in 20065
The report also shows significant improvement among young
people below the age of 20 years. In 2005 it was 15.9% whereas
in 2006 it was 13.7%
The comparison of prevalence with the neighbouring countries
reflects the following:6
5
6
The report the researcher had at the time of writing only shows the 2006 statistics
The figures are taken from the UNAIDS Report on the global AIDS Epidemic 2010
COUNTRY
PREVALENCE
DEATH
% of Population (Death)
Swaziland
25.9%
10000
0.8%
Botswana
24.8%
11000
0.6%
Lesotho
23.6%
18000
0.9%
South Africa
17.8%
350000
0.7%
Zimbabwe
14.3%
140000
1.1%
Zambia
13.5%
56000
0.4%
Zimbabwe records more deaths, and then comes Lesotho,
Swaziland, South Africa and Botswana. In South Africa the
prevalence differs from Province to Province, KZN, Mpumalanga
and Gauteng still being the highest and the Western Cape the
lowest.
There are a number of factors that influence the spread of this
disease. Southern Africa is migratory region and people find
themselves in situations where they are forced to accept certain
issues for survival. Margaret, (not her real name), came to
Johannesburg for a job voluntarily but found herself stranded as
she could not find a job. As she knew no one in the city, her
survival was at stake. Typical of an African woman, in the
informal and urban townships, she had to rely on a man for
survival. The unfortunate part is that she had no choice when it
came to making decisions about sexual relations. As she
depended on the man for everything, she could not refuse to
have unprotected sex. This situation does not affect stranded
women, even in normal family life; women are exposed to this
type of risk. They cannot make choices when it comes to the use
of condoms.
The other factor is the problem of promiscuity. Even at this time
of high exposure, getting involved with many partners still
remains a major problem in South Africa. Even those faithful
partners get infected by their partners. The traumatic fact here
is that thousands of orphans are produced in the process.
4.6. PROSTITUTION:
One of the most painful traumatisation of young women in the
urban areas, due to economic difficulties is the Sex industry.
This is as old as human kind, even in the Old Testament time,
instances of prostitution are mentioned. Hosea was forced to
marry a prostitute called Gomez, (Hosea 1:3, 4:15.) We also hear
of the harlot of Gaza whom Samson used to visit for services.
Rahab the harlot was praised in Hebrews 11:31, Joshua 6:17.
She was praised for having done a good job by hiding the spies.
While prostitution can be traced throughout the human history,
it can be linked with crime, in some cases what can be called
“willing crime”. There are those who willingly involve
themselves into this practice and there are those who are forced
by circumstances into the industry. It has been established that
areas near most of the institution of higher learning are prone to
prostitution, not because those who are involved are poor but
that it is an income generation for extravagant lifestyle in the
campus. Polokwane in the Limpopo Province as well as Hatfield
in Pretoria are such examples.
“It was at the local discotheque that Hanna first heard about the possibility of
getting a good job in the West. Just 16 years old, frustrated with her life at
home, she saw this as a real opportunity to better herself. The drabness of her
own town, some distance from the Polish capital Warsaw, was in stark
contrast with the descriptions of life in the West. She would take a holiday
job, earn some money and then return home to continue her education.......
Gurney (1995:36)
This is a story similar to many in the urban areas of South Africa
today. Young women are lured from the rural areas, and from
the neighbouring countries with promises of better life and job
opportunities in the cities. Sex industries is growing very fast as
unscrupulous people have realised that it is one of the “quips”
(quick impact projects) that do not need much inputs.
The story starts with a promise of a work. The trafficker will
normally come up with fake job adverts which look genuine but
when they arrive in the cities, stories about some problems
relating to the original arrangements come up and young girls
are advised about new alternatives. Unsuspecting young girls
will agree to the new offers instead of returning back to rural
areas or back to their countries. Syndicates operate from most of
the cities where they have organised systems of bringing
unsuspecting young girls and once they have them in control
they cannot escape so easily. The traffickers or syndicates
ensure that their victims are totally controlled; they confiscate
their papers, in the case of foreigners they keep their passports
knowing that they cannot go anywhere. During the night the
girls are assigned pimps who ensure they collect money before
the girls are taken away; they record the details of persons who
pick up the girls to ensure they do not escape.
CASE STUDY NO 7: Human Trafficking
“Maria, (not her real name,) was recruited from Moamba in Mozambique and
was promised that she was going to be trained as a hotel waitress. She was
made to sign a contract and paid an initial payment for her establishment
costs in Pretoria, which would be deducted from her salary at the end of her
first month. This looked real and her parents also agreed that she could go.
On arrival in Pretoria she was told that the hotel had already hired other girls
as they delayed. She was told that the hotel had made arrangement with their
other in Johannesburg and that she would have to surrender her passport as
there were some visa contractual formalities to be completed but that she did
not need to go herself. She was locked into a two-roomed house in a
backyard of a house for security purpose. For two days she didn’t see or hear
from the handler, fortunately there was enough food in the room and the bath
toilet facilities were all inside. She did not have to go outside.
The next time the handler turned was in the evening and had brought a huge
man who came to fetch her. She was told that the new hotel job has been
finalised and that the new employers would be responsible for her. The man
took the girl and raped her the whole night. The following day she was
picked by another handler who told her that this was the job she was going to
do from now on. When she tried to enquire about the hotel job she was told
that that was the job she was brought here to do and not a hotel job. She
didn’t know what happened to her passport and that meant he could not
escape even if she could find a chance. Maria was rescued by a police raid
that found her locked in the back rooms. She was arrested for being in the
country illegally and was later deported back to Mozambique.” (Human
Trafficking – ELCSA)
Hanna’s story sounds the same.”
Sometime later, the young man returned. He told her that there were some
problems about getting the job, but that she could earn some money from
men he would introduce to her. When Hanna refused, she heard the lock turn
again, and she was told she would be kept there without food until she
complied. The trap had been sprung: the classic story of a young women’s
introduction to prostitution. Gurney (1995:36)
Hanna found herself in the window of prostitution business,
helpless and at the mercy of the young man, so are thousands of
unsuspecting young women from the rural areas of South Africa
and the neighbouring countries. Once in, it is difficult to escape.
The sad end of many young South Africans girls like Hanna, is
that they are at the mercy of those who recruited them far away
and are now HIV positive, destroyed dignity, angry with
themselves and the world. Their future is destroyed and many,
even after rehabilitation, never succeed to recover.
4.7. CRIME:
The rate of crime in South Africa post 1994 dispensation seems
to have escalated tremendously. The question that comes to
mind immediately is: What was the level of crime during the
apartheid time? From face value, it looks like crime was under
control during that period. But, it is very clear, from historical
facts, that crime in the old South Africa was very high but it was
never exposed or properly reported on. Mark Shaw assets that
apartheid South Africa did not control crime but generated it. He
says:
“Police were agents of a state which created crimes in its concern to erect
moral, economic and political boundaries” Shaw (2002:1 - 8)
The policy of separate development ensured that these
boundaries were properly monitored. Privileged white minority
was protected from the impact of crime by a system of policing
that ensured that blacks were confined in townships and only
allowed to be in the white areas during working time. No black
was allowed to freely move around the white suburbs unless
he/she was doing work there. Such a person had to carry a
dompas that was regularly inspected by police to ensure that
the person was allowed to be there at that particular time. Police
aimed at preventing crime in white areas by containing it in
black areas. By preventing uncontrolled movement of blacks
who were seen to be the perpetrators of crime, the apartheid
government believed that it could keep the whites safe. The
phenomenon of high walls around houses, are clear signs of
keeping crime away, although these walls end up helping
criminals to do their job without being detected by the
neighbours.
Crime was isolated in the black townships and police took all
efforts to ensure that it did not spread to the white areas. Black
people were policed for control and not for prevention of crime.
Police resources were concentrated in the white areas and
Police Stations in the black townships were neglected. Black
policemen in townships patrolled on foot or bicycles and the
station had one or two vehicles that were not adequate to
respond to crime. If crime affected or threatened to affect white
people priority would be given to that response.
The other factor is that the statistics of the country at that time
did not include the Bantustans and therefore the few blacks who
happened to qualify for permanent residency in the urban or
white South Africa (Section 10(A) were the only blacks
mentioned by the apartheid system. This gives the answer to
the high statistics in the country now because the whole country
is included. The current statistics of crime seem to be
alarmingly high but if we bear in mind the facts above, we shall
understand that the distorted figures made it look like crime was
under control.
In the new South Africa, there are a number of factors that can
be attributed to the high crime rate Debates about the real
extent of the problem have been hot and depended from which
platform the figures are debated. The ANC government and the
police are being accused by opposition parties of downplaying
the real problem or distorting crime statistics for political gain.
At the same time opposition parties seem to exaggerate the
whole issue out of proportion for the very same purpose they
blame the ruling party for, political gain. The first State
President of South Africa post-apartheid, Dr Nelson Mandela
admitted for the 1st time in 1996 that crime in South Africa was
out of control. He alluded to the fact that crime could be linked
to poverty. Eradication of poverty would be a long term strategy
against criminal behaviour. The following issues could be linked
to crime in the new South Africa:
a) The effects of the repeal of the Influx Control Act of 1986
This allowed the free movement of people in the country to work
and reside anywhere they wanted. The crime that was contained
in the townships found its way out and organised crime
syndicates established themselves in posh places such as
Sandton city where they were never allowed before. They set up
their operational networks in these areas and operated from
there. Wealth and money they wanted were not in the townships
but in the affluent suburbs.
b) The cessation of civil conflicts in the neighbouring
countries:
The end of civil conflicts in Angola, Namibia and Mozambique
created a serious challenge to neighbouring countries,
particularly South Africa with proliferation of weapons. During
the conflict, weapons were freely distributed to the warring
parties without any record and at the end of the conflict nobody
knew who had what. These weapons remained with people and
they were used or sold to make a living. Dangerous weapons
such as the AK47 found their way to the criminals in South
Africa. Bank robberies, cash in transit, car hijackings, business
robberies became the real issue in the new South Africa.
Furthermore, the problem of disengaged cadres who survived
on the war and now without jobs have become potential danger
in the region.
c) The products of the political conflict in the country during
the struggle against apartheid.
Just as the case in the paragraph above, the proliferation of
weapons that were used during the struggle became a problem
as well. All the political formations, including the government,
distributed weapons into hands of irresponsible people and
could not account for them. Hostels were created into
operational zones for certain political movement and became
“no go areas.” They became serious crime factories and
police had problems to contain crime from these places. A
hostel in Nancefield, Soweto was flooded and residents could
not go out to look for help from the neighbouring township as
they were afraid that people were going to attacked. The local
councillor, who was an ANC visited the hostel and found old
people, women and children trapped in filthy conditions that
had been worsened by flooding. In his own words, “The place
was not even good for the pigs.” He then appealed to the
Churches to intervene. Some of the residents confessed that it
was for the first time that they came out of the hostel since the
political conflicts.
d) Gradual Breakdown of Bantustans:
The urge to leave the Bantustans had always been the dream of
many dispossessed people dumped in the arid, lifeless
Bantustans. With the Group Areas Act, repealed, the influx to the
cities happened so fast that the infrastructure was not ready to
cope. There was no accommodation and jobs that many people
thought they would get if they came to the cities. The creation of
sprawling massive informal settlements began with no
employment or livelihood. To survive many people in the
informal settlements depended on piece jobs and informal
trade. Unfortunately some who cannot make it resort to crime.
e) Rising of unemployment:
The high expectation on the new dispensation became a serious
disappointment to many South Africans. The jobs promised by
the ruling party turned into massive retrenchment and loss of
jobs. It has been very difficult to get the right statistics but
unemployment has been estimated between 30 – 40%,
depending on who says what. The unfortunate part is that the
South African case was different from other countries; ours was
not total “uhuru,” (Total independence) but a negotiated
settlement. While the government changed hands to black
majority, the economy remained in the hands of the white
minority. The other issue was that at the time of settlement,
many companies had left the country due to the disinvestment
process. Those that left did not want to return immediately as
they were not sure that the settlement would last longer bearing
in mind the history of many African countries that turned into
chaos, an nearby example being Zimbabwe. The arrival of
illegal and undocumented migrants also created a problem of
competition for the scarce resources. This resulted in
xenophobic crime and many other crimes to try to survive.
f) The minibus taxi industry:
While the country’s public transport is a mess and the
commuting community abundant, the fight for routes, lucrative
routes and passengers among the taxi associations has become
part of life in urban areas. Innocent people get caught between
the fires of the warring taxi owners or drivers. This is not the
only frustration commuters have to deal with. Mini Bus taxis that
are currently running on our roads are actually moving coffins.
Many of them are not roadworthy and their owners do not care
as they are able to pay bribes to the traffic police to leave them
to remain on the road.
The difficulty South Africans face is that the new government
was not able to cope with the rapid urbanization process in
terms of the public transport. The lack of efficient public
transport leaves commuters in the hands of taxi warlords. Take
for instance the train services in and out Johannesburg. The line
that runs from Park Station to Naledi for instance, was
established in the fifties when Soweto was established. The
intention was service all the townships along the route and at
that time, Naledi was the last township in the West. Soweto has
grown so big because of the Rapid urbanization and stretches
up to Zuurbekom, almost to Randfontein but the railway line has
never been extended to cover commuter from that area. The Bus
services are also so limited and slow; people who work far away
need a faster transport and taxis are the only solution for them.
The Rapid Bus Services being developed in Johannesburg will
take years to cover all the sections of the city and
4.8. UNEMPLOYMENT
In the old South Africa, prior to the 1976 uprisings, it used to be
a crime to be unemployed. From a distance it seemed that there
were plenty of jobs but knowing that only few people could be
allowed to stay in urban areas through the influx control, the
picture was deceiving. The legacy of apartheid in this country
produced employment dependent society, particularly among
the black people. The type of education system for black
people was that which produced good employees and not
people who would make their own businesses or create
employment. The other issue is that the former government had
excluded over 80% of the population from the economic plans
of the country as they had planned, and succeeded in some
areas, to dump them into the homelands and make them
independent.
The new government therefore has an enormous task of
incorporating them into the economy. Robin Gurney in the
chapter dealing with Germany post the cold war depicts the
state of the unified Germany. The country did not expect to deal
with the massive unemployment crisis. The West Germany
economy had to accommodate people from the East who had
never experienced unemployment in their history because of
the Communist history. (Gurney 1995, 54 – 58)
This is almost the same situation South Africa finds herself in.
Though slightly different, in the sense that those who come here
come from impoverished countries. The influx of illegal
migrants and refugees from the neighbouring states, because
of the deteriorating economies and conflicts is not making the
situation easier for the government. The already impoverished
millions of South Africans have to compete with foreigners who
are prepared to accept any form of remuneration for
employment and casual work.
In the area under research, the parking lots of the main
shopping complexes such as Makro, Westgate, and the others
have become bones of contention. At first there was a struggle
between black and white unemployed for car guards but now of
late the complexes have been completely taken over by
foreigners. Even the street corners of Progress Road and
Corlette drive in Witpoortjie, the Paul Kruger and 5th Avenues
Roodepoort, which have been a place for pick up for casual
labourers, have been overtaken by foreigners. Inhabitants of
the adjacent squatter camps have used these spots as source of
income and many were able to earn enough money to keep the
families going.
Many profit-driven employers would rather employ people who
will ensure that, at the end, they (employers) get more profit
from their businesses. The debate around the percentage of
unemployment in the country indicates the grave situation the
country finds itself and to get the figure, it will depend on who
is telling you. For those who want to highlight the seriousness of
the issue puts it at more than 46% and those who try to paint a
better and optimistic picture they put it at 26 - 30%. This leads
us to the next topic, xenophobia.
4.9.
XENOPHOBIA:
The word Xenophobia derives from the Greek words, xenos,
meaning "stranger," and “phobos” meaning "fear." The two words
together can be defined as fear of foreigners or strangers
Xenophobia can manifest itself in many ways involving the
relations and perceptions of an in-group towards an out-group,
including a fear of losing identity, suspicion of its activities,
aggression, and desire to eliminate its presence to secure a
presumed purity. Xenophobia can also be exhibited in the form
of an "uncritical exaltation of another culture" in which a culture is
ascribed "an unreal, stereotyped and exotic quality" The Cultural
Dictionary defines Xenophobia as:
“an unreasonable fear, distrust, or hatred of strangers, foreigners, or
anything perceived as foreign or different.” (Cultural Dictionary)
Xenophobia can manifest itself in several ways in a country –
derogative name calling, “Makwerekwere” a name coined from
the languages spoken by the foreigners, victimization by
police, identification by colour (most of the brothers and sisters
from the north are darker in colour), brutal assaults, murders,
ethnic cleansing in an area, mass expulsion from the country
etc. Some of the issues that are blamed on foreigners are:
a) Jobs – employment:
The failing economies and political instability in the
neighbouring countries forced highly qualified artisans and
professionals to leave their countries and come to South
Africa. These include University lecturers, medical doctors,
nurses, technicians, sales person etc. As they are
experienced and highly qualified, finding jobs in the
country has been very easy opposed to the black South
Africans who, due to the apartheid system, are just starting
to access institutions of higher learning and therefore have
no experience of the same level as of those of their
counterparts from outside.
Artisans such as mechanics, builders, plumbers, electricians
do not need to seek for jobs but create their own companies
in townships. It is estimated that 60% of taxis in the township
are driven by the same group. The reason for depending on
foreigners is that they do not demand high salaries and
therefore taxi owners are able to make more profit than
employing a South African who should be registered to
comply with SARS and other legal requirements.
b) Informal trading:
Many of the foreigners who come into the country come with
artisan skills that are needed by the local communities. They
come together and form small businesses e.g. builders,
plumbers, electricians, motor mechanics etc. For instance,
the main street through the Doornkop (Snake Park) a
township north west of Dobsonville is lined with informal
businesses ranging from motor mechanics, to Hair saloons
all belonging to the Mozambican nationals. Their services
are much cheaper and better than those of the local artisans.
They and reliable, unlike the locals who will come and start
a job and then disappear for two weeks after getting
payment and then return when the money is finished. Those
involved in hawking seem to be more experience when it
comes to marketing and selling of goods. They are able to
get involved in businesses the local people are not
interested in. This causes jealousy and then they are
attacked.
c) Crime:
The escalating crime in the country is being blamed on
foreigners for a number of reasons. While the majority of
foreigners have behaved well since coming into South Africa
there are a number of incidences that have been positively
identified with foreigners and people tend to put every
foreigner in the same basket when it comes to apportioning
blame. In 2007, an informal settlement in the northern
suburbs of Johannesburg attacked and drove out
Zimbabwean immigrants because of spate of serious crimes
which included murder. The young man had killed a young
woman and ran away to Zimbabwe. The local community
demanded him from the elders of Zimbabwe and when they
could not help to bring him they were blamed for
harbouring him. When the churches tried to intervene the
local police brought a pile of dockets indicating that 70% of
reported serious criminal cases in the very police station
were committed by foreigners who were in partnership with
the South African criminals, in that situation Zimbabweans
and Mozambicans were singled out. Nigerians were
generally believed to be heavily involved in business
scams, the 419 scam and drug trafficking.
“The so-called "419" scam (aka "Nigeria scam" or "West African" scam)
is a type of fraud named after an article of the Nigerian penal code under
which it is prosecuted.
Typically, victims of the scam are promised a lottery win (example) or a
large sum of money sitting in a bank account or in a deposit box at a
security company. Often the storyline involves a family member of a
former member of government of an African country, a ministerial
official, an orphan or widow of a rich businessman
The victims are promised a fortune for providing a bank account to
transfer the money to. Then - if they fall for the scam - they are made to
part with thousands and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars in
"bribes" for local officials or other "fees" (taxes, insurance, legal fees,
etc) before the "partners" finally disappear without trace. In almost all
cases, the criminals receive money using Western Union and
MoneyGram, instant wire transfer services with which the recipient can't
be traced once the money has been picked up.” (Crossloop website:
crossloop.com, Accessed 2011.07.25)
While these are committed by few people, they whole
community is painted with the same brush. But, it has been
found that some of the organized crimes are led by South
Africans who use foreigners as foot soldiers. The secret here
is that some of the foreigners are undocumented and
therefore their finger prints do not exist in the files of the
police and the Department of Home Affairs. It would become
extremely difficult for the police to arrest such criminals.
d) Stealing of women:
The problem of poverty has led many young women to
attach themselves to men for material support. This is not a
new phenomenon in South Africa. The culture of this country
and many African countries has made men to be providers
for women and children. The dilemma here is that young
South African men have not learnt the art of looking after a
woman. In Johannesburg in particular, young men who do
not work had developed a culture of adhering to working
women for survival. They ill-treat them and do not give them
any support. When the foreigners came into the country, it
was discovered that they knew how to treat women.
Herbert, not his real name, lived with a young woman in a
flat in Hillbrow for many years. He was not working and
depended 100% on her for survival. One day he came back
to the flat in the evening to find a hefty Nigerian man who
had moved in during the day. He was no match to Herbert
and the only thing Herbert could do was to take whatever
belonged to him and left. The following day new furniture
was brought into the flat and the young woman felt different.
She got real comfort from this man and felt like a real woman
and not a tool for the man. Other young women followed this
example and chased their men. This is what came to be
known as “stealing of women”.
The other dynamic is the issue of sexual satisfaction.
Foreigners who are known to be good in bed are the
Mozambicans. There is a myth that there is a special tree,
also known to be growing in the Limpopo province which
makes men to be powerful. Women who had the chance of
sleeping with them decide to chase away their men as they
found new satisfaction. Many South African men suffer from a
number of stresses due to unemployment and other
difficulties and therefore psychologically cannot focus on
their life including sexual performance.
e) Spreading of infectious diseases:
HIV and AIDS is one disease that is blamed on foreigners.
While this cannot be proved beyond any doubt, the
paragraph above may have a clue to this myth. The urge to
find a man who can support young women often leads to the
challenge of having to have unprotected sex. The Nigerian
Men are known to refuse to use condoms and young women
who want their support have no choice but to sleep with
them without the protection. A wife of a prominent politician
and sport administrator in Kwandebele, north east of
Pretoria got involved with a foreigner for comfort. The man
bought her a comfortable car which her husband could not
afford. She lied to her husband that she managed to raise
money from her sewing project. In no time she realized that
she was HIV positive and she knew that she was not going to
convince her husband about how she got infected. She went
to the petrol station and bought a 20 litre of petrol, drove the
car to the secluded place and dowsed it with petrol inside
and outside, locked herself in and torched it.
It is interesting to note that xenophobia is not a new
phenomenon in South Africa although it was not expressed as
such at that time. The separate development and the influx
control systems had created strangers within the same country.
This was very familiar in Johannesburg for instance. People
coming from the rural areas were seen as strangers in the
cities. People used to identify strangers by the way they
walked in the cities. A relaxed a slow walking person in the
middle of Johannesburg would easily be identified as a
stranger and a person rushing or even running would be
identified as local person. In the cities people are always
rushing to catch trains or to work.
The current xenophobia can be traced from 1994 after the
demise of the apartheid system. The then minister of Home
Affairs, Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi, addressing the parliament
for the first time, said:
“If we as South Africans are going to compete for scarce resources with
millions of aliens who are pouring into South Africa, then we can bid
goodbye to our Reconstruction and Development Programme.” (Fact
Sheet: Population movement in and to South Africa: Forced
migration Studies Programme, Wits NCR workshop on
advancing Socio Economic Rights: Session 7 Group 2.)
At the same time his political movement, the Inkathata
Freedom Party was also campaigning against foreigners. IFP
was threatening to take physical action if the government failed
to respond to the perceived crisis of undocumented migrants in
South Africa. In 1997, the then Minister of Defence Joe Modise
linked the issue of undocumented migrants to serious crimes.
The recent xenophobic violence in South Africa was primarily
directed against foreigners living in some of the poorest urban
areas of the country, particularly the informal settlements e.g.
the Ramaphosa informal settlement outside Reiger Park in
Boksburg, and old townships such Alexander. While the
attacks were directed at the illegal immigrants, this also
impacted on those who acquired citizenship by virtue of their
specialized skills, such as medical doctors, academics,
scientists and engineers. And it has also impacted on those
with legitimate work and study permits, such as the tens of
thousands of Mozambican mineworkers working in mines,
Mathematics teachers from Zimbabwe and foreign university
students.
Unfortunately, many South Africans, and not just those living in
the poorest areas, are opposed to the presence of a large
number of foreigners from other African countries. It is sad to
note that immigrants from other continents other than Africa
are enjoying all the benefits of hospitality while blacks are not
welcome. Not even one could ask, what are the real problems
behind xenophobic attacks? While accusations range from
stealing of jobs, wives or girlfriends, high unemployment of
locals, HIV and AIDS and crime, the real reasons may not be
foreigners but the government of the country itself.
At the time of transition, many promises were made to improve
the lives of previously disadvantaged people but the reality is
that only few people are enjoying the fruits of the new
dispensation at the expense of the majority of people living in
abject poverty.
- Service delivery by local municipalities is a major problem in
all the informal settlements.
- Corruption by government officials have seen houses being
allocated to foreigners while people who have been on
waiting list do not get any answers.
The recent xenophobic violence that started from Alexander,
east of Sandton City and spread throughout the country, was
sparked partly by accusations of foreigners stealing local jobs;
but also by the denial of the government that this was a
"misconception." The government insisted that foreigners were
in fact creating jobs for the locals. Membathisi Mdladlana, the
then Minister of Labour, addressing the 21st Annual Labour Law
Conference in Sandton, said:
“It is therefore a misconception to conclude that migrants steal jobs from
South Africans, the opposite is actually true. They are job creators, first for
themselves – and for the rest of us” (ANC Daily News briefing,
2008.06.26)
The recent ugly face of xenophobia that swept across South
Africa in 2008 shocked the whole world. Due to unemployment
and scarcity of jobs, foreigners in the country are competing
with the nationals for jobs. They are prepared to take any form
of employment and remuneration and therefore unscrupulous
employers would rather prefer them over the nationals who will
not be prepared to accept low salaries and are protected by the
labour unions.
Nicholas Geladaris, a specialist in visa and immigration, also
concurs with Mdladlana, he does not believe that migrants steal
jobs but believes that their presence in the country can be
beneficial to the country only if controlled. He says:
"South Africa should welcome immigration," ….. "it must be legal
immigration; illegal immigration needs to be stopped. But foreigners are
integral to the growth of South Africa." www.globalvisas.com.
In the news bulletin of the Radio 702 on Wednesday morning,
the 9th of February 2011, listeners shared their views on the
employment pattern that they have observed. One of the
listeners, who cannot be named, shared how he discovered that
a filling station, one of the leading Oil brands, on the N1 south of
Johannesburg, had only one South African worker among the 14
staff they had. The station used to employ only South Africans
but the pressure on living wages, workers’ rights championed
by the labour laws had pushed profit driven businesses to resort
to employing foreigners who cannot go on strike.
The bone of contention that fuels xenophobia is the informal
trade market. Foreigners seem to be well ahead of their South
African counter parts and therefore efforts by unemployed
South Africans to make a living out of this market are
challenged.
4.10. CULTURE SHOCK:
Perhaps if there are people who have experienced culture
shock in their lives, are the priests and pastors of the sending
churches, i.e. Churches that call and send pastors to different
congregations at regular intervals. A personal testimony by the
researcher of this dissertation:
CASE STUDY NO: 7 (A personal testimony by the researcher
of this dissertation)
“Having grown up in the Western Transvaal, now North West Province, the
researcher had grown up in the Tswana culture and grew up in that area and
attended school up to tertiary level, including Theological Training in the
same area. After completion, the initial church placement was in Mogwase
near Sun City but two weeks after the announcement of the placements, the
Presiding Bishop of the Church called to say there was a crisis in one of the
Dioceses and the Executive committee had decided that the researcher’s
placement be changed to fill the gap left by the pastor who had resigned. The
new place was 500 km away from Rustenburg and the initial reaction was
traumatic; why such a sudden change? Why didn’t the Church discuss this
with the researcher before making a final decision? This is the experience of
many pastors from different churches. What was awaiting the researcher was
a total shock; different languages, the parish was within two ethnic groups,
the Northern Sotho’s and the Shangaan’s. The researcher could at least
communicate with the Sotho’s though there were different dialects, but with
the Shangaan’s it was completely blank. Not a single word could be
understood by the researcher. The language was not the only foreign
encounter, the whole culture was different. Even in the Church the way things
were done were completely different from the Diocese the researcher grew.
The Diocese in question was a former Berlin Mission Church and the
researcher came from the Hermannsburg Mission. The researcher had a
choice, either to shut completely and return home or begin to adapt to the
culture and the new life. The latter was the best the research had done, to
accept the new challenges and be part of the new life.”
Here is another story about culture shock from one of the
members of the congregation in Dobsonville:
“One Saturday afternoon a group of young men, dressed like women who
were drinking and having fun at a house in the neighbourhood of a house in
the township in Soweto. At the next door neighbours, there was a ceremony
of receiving lobola and this ceremony is always concluded with feasting to
indicate that negotiations were successful. Among the people who were at the
gathering were relatives from rural areas who had never seen gays and
lesbians. The group joined the celebration and this was a shocking sight for
the people from the rural areas. What puzzled them more was that local
people did not seem to see anything abnormal.
Throughout history, human beings have lived together in
communities in which they developed a culture of living
together with norms and values to govern their lives. The
reaction of people from rural areas to the sight of the gay and
lesbians is the reaction normal people will show when
confronted with the “unknown and the foreign”. This is
something strange to the culture of the people from the rural
areas. They expect men to behave like men and women like
women.
How do we define Culture Shock?
Culture shock is that experience people feel when they get into
or encounter a foreign environment that is different from the one
they have been familiar with. It is the difficulty people have
adjusting to a new culture that differs markedly from their own.
(Wikipedia) There is no uniform reaction by people as the
situation may differ from place to place and from person to
person. Looking at the reaction of people to culture shock, we
can categorise such reactions as follows:
- Some people find it impossible to accept the foreign culture
and refuse to integrate. They isolate themselves from the host
country’s environment, which they come to perceive as
hostile; they withdraw and remain isolated and believe that
the only solution is to return to their original culture and life.
This can be detected with many refugees and asylum seekers
who came to South Africa with the hope of improving their
lives and when they see and experience the reality of South
African life, they feel it was a mistake to come here and
isolate themselves from the rest of the people. But, the
strange thing is that they also find it difficult to adjust when
they get back home.
- The second category is that of people who integrate easily
and fully and take on all the aspects of the host culture, totally
assimilating it. Such people may even remain in the new
environment for a long time and may even lose their original
identity. In the 60’s and the 70’s many citizens of Malawians
came to South Africa to work in the gold and platinum mines
as domestic workers as well as hotel workers and have since
been in this country. Many of them have assimilated the South
African culture and have become complete South Africans.
- The third category is that of people who manage to adapt
certain aspects of the host culture that they see as positive
and avoid the negatives ones. Such people manage to keep
their own and create a blend of their own. Such people have
no problem returning home and continue with their original
life style or culture. They can relocate to other new places
without any problem. Such people are called to be
cosmopolitan.
KALVERO ‘S FIVE STAGE THEORY OF CULTURE SHOCK:
A number of scholars have coined theory stages of culture shock
such as Lesser O and Peter HWS who had developed a 3 stage
culture shock model and Torbion, Pederson P 1995, who had
developed a 4 stage model, but the researcher would like to
concentrate on the famous Kalvero Oberg’s 5 stage theory.
Pederson P quotes Peter Adler (1975) in his book (Paul
Pederson’s) the five stages of culture shock: critical incidents
around the world (1995) Page 3
STAGE 1:
The stage of initial contact or the honey moon stages is where the newly
arrived individual experiences the curiosity and excitement of a person who
is a tourist may experience. At this stage the person’s identity is still rooted in
the back-home setting.
STAGE 2:
This stage involves disintegration of the old familiar cues, and the individual
is overwhelmed by the new culture’s requirements. The individual typically
experiences self-blame and a sense of personal inadequacy for any
difficulties encountered.
Stage 3:
The third stage involves reintegration of new cues and increased ability to
function in the new culture. A balance perspective emerges that helps the
person to interpret both the previous home and the new host cultures.
Stage 4:
The fourth stage continues the process of reintegration toward gradual
autonomy and increased ability to see the bad and good elements in both the
old and the new cultures. A balanced perspective emerges that helps the
person interpret both the previous home and the new culture.
Stage 5:
Reciprocal interdependence where the person has ideally achieved biculturally or has become fluently comfortable in both the old and the new
cultures. There is some controversy about weather this stage is an
unreachable ideal or whether persons actually can achieve this stage of
multiculturalism
Having gone through these five stages, one can come up with
the following conclusions:
 In a new environment, an individual needs to construct new
perspectives on self, others and the environment that “fit”
with new situations.
 Culture shock is a subjective response to unfamiliar
situations.
 It is a process and not a single event
 May take place at many different levels simultaneously as the
individuals interact with a complex environment
 Becomes stronger or weaker as the individual learns to cope
or fails to cope
 Teaches the individual new coping strategies which
contribute to future success.
 Applies to any radical change presenting unfamiliar or
unexpected circumstances,
 It is a process of initial adjustment to an unfamiliar
environment
 It is an adjustment process in its emotional, psychological
behavioural, cognitive and physiological impact on
individuals.
SIX INDICATORS THAT A CULTURE SHOCK ADJUSTMENT
IS TAKING PLACE.
1) Familiar cues about how the person is supposed to behave
are missing, or familiar cues now have a different meaning.
2) Values the person considered good, desirable, beautiful and
valuable are no longer respected by hosts
3) The disorientation of culture shock creates an emotional state
of anxiety, depression, or hostility, ranging from a mild
uneasiness to the “white furies” of unreasonable and
uncontrollable rage attributed to colonials in the last century
by indigenous people.
4) There is dissatisfaction with the new ways and an idealization
of “the way things were”
5) Recovery skills that used to work before no longer seem to
work.
6) There is a sense that this culture shock discrepancy is
permanent and will never go away.
KALVERO OBERG’S NEGATIVE REACTIONS TO CULTURE
SHOCK:
Oberg states six main negative reactions to the process of
culture shock as follows:
i)
Strain caused by the effort to adapt to the new culture
ii)
Sense of loss and feelings of deprivation in relation to
friends, status, professional and possessions
iii)
Feeling rejected by or rejecting members of the new
culture
iv)
Confusion in role, values and self-identity
v)
Anxiety and even disgust or anger about “foreign”
practices
vi)
Feeling of helplessness, not being able to cope with new
environment.
Many people who find themselves in urban areas due to rapid
urbanization are exposed to culture shock in many ways. As you
discuss with people in the area under review, one gets the
impression that many people were not prepared for the situation
they find themselves in once they arrive in the urban areas.
Usually the drive to come to cities is the desire to have a better
life or a better job. The Mathole Motshekga informal settlement,
just a kilometre from the central business district of Roodepoort,
is a home to different ethnic groups from South Africa. Many of
these people came from the rural areas in the North West
province but with a continuing rising population from the
Eastern Cape. Their expectations were that they would find jobs
and places to stay only to find the harsh realities of the Gauteng
Province. While at home in the rural areas people lived within a
homogenous community, but in the urban setting, the situation
they find themselves in is complex. Under the normal
circumstances, (created by the apartheid government) the area
is supposed to have the Batswana people with the Tswana
culture but the situation is that this is now multicultural society.
In this situation, many strange things that people are not used to,
occur within the community. Prostitution, drug abuse and many
strange things that the communities from the rural areas are not
used to seeing, become part of life of people within the
community. Patrick, coming from Zeerust to look for a job, found
himself in a difficult situation to accept the new culture. Instead
of a better life than that in rural Dinokana village near Zeerust,
he found his life was deteriorating at a fast pace. He then
decided that the best option would be to return home and try to
restart his life there.
To add to the confusion, immigrants from the neighbouring
countries are also forming a larger community, with
Zimbabweans and Mozambicans forming a larger contingency
of foreigners. The culture shock is even worse for this category
fuelled by xenophobia. The housing and job competition makes
life difficult for both the foreigners and the locals. The RDP
Houses are only entitled to the citizens of the country though
through corruption many foreigners end up owning houses and
the locals being removed from the waiting list. The set up in all
the informal settlements is that almost every RDP house has one
or more shacks that are let out to foreigners as source of
income. The implications are that one family has more than one
culture within the same premises.
The other painful experience is that many foreigners when they
come to South Africa they know very little about the real life
here and they only start to know and understand it once they are
inside. Salamao, not her real name, left Mapulangweni in
Mozambique to South Africa after seeing people who have been
here returning with lots of new goods and looking very healthy
and beautiful. The majority of people in Mozambique, even
other countries, knew or heard about Johannesburg and nothing
about the rest of the country. When they want to come to South,
they use the phrase, “hi ya Johnny” a Shangaan word translated
into, “we go to Johannesburg,” when they actually speak of
going to South Africa. People do not know anything about the
rest of the country until they arrive here.
The six negative reactions identified by Oberg and tabled
above, can be observed among the people living within the
rapid urban situation. As the situations become hostile, people
also become desperate and feel dejected, tensions build up
within them and they end up becoming violent. The situation
that erupted in Zandspruit informal settlement between the local
citizens and the Zimbabweans in particular in 2007 is indicative
of the culture shock.
Foreigners, especially those coming from unstable countries,
are forced to adapt to the new culture. They have very little
choice
4.11. RURAL DEPOPULATION AND DEGRADATION:
The apartheid regime had made a thorough study of the
topography of the country before deciding on the demarcation
of the homelands. All fertile and arable land was classified as
white land and the arid and empty portions given to the
homelands. The government also established what used to be
called “Border Industries” along the borders with the
homelands. The idea was to create some employment in those
areas so that people from the homelands should not go into the
white South Africa. Those factories were owned by the Asians
who exploited the people. When South Africa changed
government, most of the industries were abandoned by the
owners and were left as white elephants. People who used to
work there also left for greener pastures. Therefore the rural
areas remained undeveloped and there was, even now nothing
to keep the population there. People had to leave for better life
elsewhere.
The exodus from the rural areas by the young generation to
seek for better life in the cities has left the rural only with only
the children and elderly people. Most of the children depend on
the monthly grants of the grand- parents. (The researcher is one
of the beneficiaries of such services)
4.12. PRELIMINARY CONCLUSION:
Chapter 4 dealt with the situation of the South African victims of the
rapid urbanization process. The following chapter will look at the
situation of the foreigners who find themselves in the same
predicament with South Africans. It will be interesting to see how the
situation affects the different groups.
CHAPTER 5
TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE OF FOREIGNERS IN THE RAPID
URBANIZATON SITUATION IN SOUTH AFRICA
5.1. INTRODUCTION:
In this chapter, the sub-headings will be organised as follows:
a) The professional economic migrants, i.e. professionals who left
their countries due to urge to earn better salaries in South Africa.
(Brain drainage)
b) The issue of undocumented and economic immigrants; people who
came to the country purely for greener pastures and were not
forced by political situation to flee the country.
c) The next sub-heading will discuss people who have been forced to
come into South Africa to seek political asylum due to the fear of
persecution or safety of their lives. Sometimes there is a thin line
between economic and political migrants. An example here is a
situation in Zimbabwe where people have been forced to leave the
country due to the civil war or political mismanagement of the
country but at the same time the collapsed economy left people
with no choice but to find life somewhere outside the country.
d) Xenophobia: The fear of strangers that is related to the attack of
foreigners, particularly economic migrants and refugees who are
seen to be taking economic means for the local citizens.
e) A special discussion on Mozambican nationals situation in South
Africa
f) Preliminary conclusion
The traumatic effects of rapid urbanization are more serious among
the refugees and immigrants who find themselves in a difficult
situation they did not anticipate. The high expectations among the
previously disadvantaged South Africans prior to the 1994 elections,
were also the expectations of people in the neighbouring countries
and those beyond the SADC region. Everyone looked forward to the
new South Africa with hope.
As the economic and political situations in the neighbouring countries
continued to be unbearable, the urge to move to the new South Africa
became more apparent. Though the apartheid South Africa was a
closed chapter at that time, the general perception about the gold and
honey flowing through the streets of the cities, in particular
Johannesburg, became the major force of attraction.
The sight of returning mine workers with lots of goods and money
had always been the envy of many people in the neighbouring
countries. The desire to come to South Africa did not only attract
neighbouring countries, the mood could be felt as far as West Africa.
The first Ghanaians to make a debut in South Africa after 1994
returned home and opened hotel businesses with the money they
earned here and kindled the desire for every young man to come to
South Africa. The same trend can be seen in Ethiopia. The capital city,
Addis Abbaba is seeing modern high rise buildings all over the city
and most of them are built by Ethiopians who live in South Africa
(Most of the Ethiopians currently working in South Africa were
refugees who fled during the Ethiopia/Eritrea conflict, some of them
running away from conscription.)
The unfortunate and painful truth is that the information about the
reality of life in South Africa has been grossly distorted and many
realise the truth once they are already inside the country. Michel, an
economic migrant from the Democratic Republic of Congo said:
CASE STUDY NO 8 A case of economic migrant from DRC
“It is so easy to come into South Africa through syndicates but it is impossible to
leave the country once one realises that it was a mistake to come here” “It is so easy
to come into South Africa through syndicates but it is impossible to leave the country
once one realises that it was a mistake to come here. Michel says, besides having to
negotiate your way out of the country either by reporting yourself to the Embassy of
your country or to the police, there are other reasons that are very difficult to
handle. One of them is shame or saving of the face. One left home coming to look for
a job and returning home without the promised wealth is another issue.
(Michel Mulunda, a refugee staying in Roodepoort)
Robin Gurney, in his book, the Face of Pain has this story to tell about
the saving of the face:
Jonas, an economic migrant from West Africa, unaware of the strict immigration laws
that are now part of the European scene, entered France to look for a better life
away from the miseries of West Africa. France had tightened its immigration laws in
July 1991 in response to growing number of undocumented immigrants. Jonas was
arrested and was being prepared for deportation. While the process was going on,
Jonas was kept at an internment centre, not really a prison but a place where asylum
seekers and those who have been rejected were allowed to stay until their time of
departure. Jonas had only 20 days to board a plane but was determined that he
would not do that. Nobody understood his problem until Brigitte, a social worker
from the Church organization called CIMADE met and discussed with him.
Brigitte gave him a listening ear and came to understand that Jonas problem was
more than just being deported back to West Africa. His major concern was the
humiliation he would get when he arrives home. The problem is that when he left
home he made everybody know that he was going to get a better job and life.
People did not expect him to return clutching his meagre belongings in a plastic
bag. The humiliation would not only be with the local people but also with the
immigration authorities. He would face a possible arrest for being a beggar.
Brigitte succeeded in understanding his major problem after giving him a listening
ear. By buying him a decent bag, Jonas’ fear of humiliation was solved and he would
face his arrival back home with dignity like any returning migrant worker. People
would not be able to notice that he was deported. Gurney (1995: 23 – 25)
This story corroborates the story as contained in Case Study no 1 in
Chapter 1. The man refused to return home because of shame; he
could not face the family and the community. This is the problem with
many economic migrants. They left home coming to South Africa but
once they are here they find that the Gold is not on the streets of
Johannesburg, instead there is misery, grime, crime, desperation,
poverty, no jobs or opportunities etc. How do they go home and face
the world? The families are awaiting money and goods from South
Africa and if they cannot bring the explanation do they have to give?
Forces of attraction:
a) Prospects of job opportunities and better life in the cities of South
Africa lured many young people, in particular, to come to South
Africa.
b) Opportunities to further studies at stable South African institutions
of higher learning
c) The possibility of working in South African and later on becoming a
permanent resident and eventually a citizen has been a driving
force for the SADC citizens. South Africa had granted this in 1995,
including the former Mozambican refugees.
d) For refugees who have been refugees in other countries the fact
that South Africa had no refugee camps where life is miserable, the
prospect of living in town where amenities and job opportunities
were available became an attraction to such people.
The aim of this chapter is to assess the situation of legal and illegal
or undocumented economic migrants, refugees and asylum
seekers, who are found in the Roodepoort townships and informal
settlements and to assess challenges brought to them by the rapid
urbanization process. To further examine the effects of social
exclusion on the group particularly on the following issues:
 Residence, accommodation
 Employment and unemployment
 Education
 Exploitation
 Social benefit exclusion
 Institutional harassment and unfair discrimination
 Stigmatization on HIV and AIDS, Crime, including serious crimes
 Drug trafficking
 Human trafficking.
The researcher wants to make a clear distinct difference between
economic migrants and refugees/asylum seekers.
5.2. ECONOMIC MIGRANTS:
When the new government took power after the 1994 elections, the
focus was on correcting the wrongs of the past for the majority of the
impoverished South Africans. At that time, the country was not aware
of the impending influx of immigrants from the neighbouring
countries and from the rest of the continent. The Reconstruction and
Development Programme, which was intended to address the
economic imbalances immediately, got in trouble as the immigrants
were not planned to be part of this. The new government therefore
has an enormous task of incorporating them into the economy. Robin
Gurney, in his book, The Face of Pain and Hope, 1995, Pages 54 – 58,
in the chapter dealing with Germany post the cold war, he depicts the
state of the unified Germany. The country did not expect to deal with
the massive unemployment crisis. The West Germany economy had
to accommodate people from the East who had never experienced
unemployment in their history because of the Communist history. This
is the situation South Africa finds herself in.
The influx of illegal migrants and refugees from the neighbouring
states because of the deteriorating economies and conflicts is not
making the situation easier for the government. The already
impoverished millions of South Africans have to compete with
foreigners for employment who are prepared to accept any form of
remuneration. Many profit-driven employers would rather employ
people who will ensure that, at the end, they (employers) get more
profit from their businesses.
The debate around the percentage of unemployment in the country
indicates the grave situation the country finds itself and to get the
figure, it will depend on who is telling you. For those who want to
highlight the seriousness of the issue puts it at more than 46% and
those who try to paint a better and optimistic picture they put it at 26 30%.
A Focus Group Discussion with a group of 7 men who gather every
Saturday morning at the corner of Progress and Corlette drives in
Witpoortjie, Roodepoort, waiting to be picked up for odd jobs
revealed a number of frustrations that the foreign nationals living with
South Africans urban areas and the informal settlements are going
through. This discussion was tricked by an elderly man who, after
failing to get into the car for a garden work, still insisted on talking to
the man who came to pick someone for a piece job. While he
understood that only one person could be picked up for a piece job,
he still requested to be given the priority. The researcher happened
to be on the spot for the same purpose, to get someone to do a
garden. The old man’s plea invoked an interest to understand more
about the plight of these men. It should be noted that the researcher
was in anyway planning to conduct this type of interviews and this
came at the right time. The researcher pledged to take the old man
for a piece job that morning but first wanted to talk to the group to
find out more about their situation.
The group was made up of people from different countries, but the
majority of them were from Mozambique and Zimbabwe. There were
a few South Africans who mainly come from the rural Eastern Cape.
The group interviewed comprised of 3 Zimbabweans, 3 Mozambicans
and 1 South African from Matatiele in the Eastern Cape.
The researcher was informed that the spot used to belong to South
Africans only but the influx of foreigners had driven them away, not
because they were not preferred by the job providers, but that the
rising number had drastically reduced the possibility of getting
regular piece jobs. Many had relocated to far away spot such as those
in Randburg and other northern suburbs where the presence of
foreigners was lower.
This discussion revealed that all of them were unemployed and
depended wholly on piece jobs and had no decent accommodation.
Two of them had families with them and the other five had left their
families back home. The old man who insisted on being given the
priority was one of those who had a family. It came to the attention of
the researcher that, apart from suffering from poverty, all men
seemed to have a common problem of stress related ailments. Even
those who did not have their families with them, spent sleepless
nights thinking about the families back home. Families were
expecting them to return home or send money home, unfortunately
this was not possible.
These people have different experiences and different interpretation
of their situation as it affects their physical and mental state. Some of
them complained of ‘migraine and sleeplessness' as the symptoms of
their regular thinking about their family back home, unemployment,
and their precarious living conditions in South Africa. Families are
expecting them to send money home but what they earn on piece
jobs is not enough to take care of them and, let alone, send some
home. The normal price is R100, 00 per day and the number of men
looking for jobs is so high that some take a whole week without
getting any opportunity.
This first focus discussion prompted the researcher to want to talk to a
number of foreigners in order to understand the extent of the
problem. The researcher took advantage of the afternoon shopping at
the Makro Mass Store to talk to the second group that ply their trade
as car guards on the parking lot of the store in Strubensvalley, a fast
developing business suburb north of Roodepoort. They are all
Zimbabweans, not even a single South African can be seen on the
grounds. It came out that the management of Makro had made special
arrangements with Zimbabweans to guard the cars on their premises
as an attempt to reduce the occurrence of theft and break in in of the
cars. The Zimbabwean group were doing much better than those who
wait for piece jobs on the roads. They are not paid by the company
but they get tips from the owners of the cars.
CASE STUDY NO: 7 A case of a Zimbabwean female immigrant
Simon Dube, not his real name, came from Bulawayo to South Africa to look for a job
in 2007, after suffering major setback in his life. He had investments that he
accumulated over years as he was earning a good salary. Simon was confident that
when he retired he would have a comfortable retirement until one day he opened
his investment statement to find that the balance was zero. He had lost everything
due to the economic meltdown and there was no hope of ever recovering. When he
arrived in South Africa he was advised to join a group of car guards. With his
teacher’s diploma and a Master Degree he had no choice but to join. Though Simon
had expected a better job to match his qualification, the reality made him to accept
being the car guard.
They do not only guard the cars but help the shoppers to carry the
goods to the cars and help to pack them. For this, they get between
R2, 00 and R5, 00. On a busy month end week-end, most of them take
home more than R800, 00. The store opens on Saturday from 09:00 to
16:00 and then Sunday until 14:00. The two days at month end yield a
better income than week-days. Simon and his friends are happy
because they are able to send money home at the end of the month.
The third group that the researcher interviewed was a group of
Nigerian men staying in the Florida suburbs. 70% of my informants
sleep in Nigerians shops and often eat the leftovers (if there is any) of
those Nigerians that have restaurants while the remaining 30% stay in
shared but often congested apartments. This set of immigrants are
not refugees and thereby getting no aid from any local or
international organization except from the leftovers they eat from
Nigerian restaurants and the sense of belonging they share with the
Nigerian community. One of the interviewees, Mudenda, (pseudo
name) stated that:
CASE STUDY NO 8: A case if Nigerian Immigrant:
"I used to have this sharp pain in my head because I always think about my family
and future but this people (Nigerian group) has shown me love and I am better than
before, there is no barrier among the working class and those that are not working
because we believe the problem of one is the problem of al". Lobola (pseudo
name) says, “What I heard was not what I met in South Africa and I nearly ran mad
because I thought I had failed myself and my family back home, you know at times,
people told me to stop speaking to myself. I was so depressed that I never noticed
nor observed this. I think it was one of those periods when I had nobody around me
and the stress was much for me. I am better now because of the love from my
brother."
It is impossible to analyse the whole interview in this paper because
of the limited space but what is interesting here is that these groups of
Nigerians that are not refugees also feel what the refugees feel and
they ease through with social supports.
The changing face of migrant labour system in South Africa has seen
hundreds of thousands of migrants from the neighbouring countries
pouring into South Africa after the demise of the apartheid system.
During the apartheid time, recruitment of foreign workers,
particularly mine workers in the goldfields of Johannesburg, was
strictly controlled through WENELA, a recruitment system that was
located in the neighbouring countries to facilitate recruitment of
workers, especially for the mines. Witwatersrand Native Labour
Association, more usually known by its initials WNLA or more
popularly as "WENELA", was set up by the gold mines in South Africa
as a recruiting agency for migrant workers. Eventually it comprised a
large organisation with its own depots, buses and airplanes.
This system was spread all over the Southern Africa - South Africa
(The former Bantustans)1, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia Botswana,
Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Angola, Mozambique, also extending
into the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania. The system
ensured that prospective recruits were registered while they were in
their countries before they were brought into South Africa. Each
1
Bantustans were homelands created for the blacks (bantus, as the black were referred to at that
time.
depot had administrative and medical staff and "barracks" to house
recruits both before departure and on their return. Some had clinics
and even schools, where the recruits were taught, first, Fanagalo2, the
lingua franca of Southern Africa (fifteen hours of tuition was enough to
be useful), and then the rudiments of what mining was all about.
Unfortunately, this system was only designed for black citizens of the
neighbouring countries.
WENELA was later changed to “TEBA” “The Employment Bureau of
Africa.” TEBA’s core purpose, as a company was to recruit employees
for the chamber of mines of South Africa from the same countries as
the mother organization did. When the mining industry started to
suffer due to declining demands for gold and diamonds, mines
started to retrench thousands of workers and the recruitment drive
slowed down. In order to try to look after the needs of retrenched
workers, the National Union of Mine Workers (NUM) established a
section 21 company called “TEBA Development” to try to give
support to those workers who were retrenched.
Interestingly, the white people who happened to have grown up in
those countries did not have to use the system to look for jobs in South
Africa. They went through a different recruitment system that was part
of the strategy of the regime at that time to allow as many white
immigrants as possible. Hillbrow, just north of the Johannesburg
central railway station, was created to be a transit camp for the
recruited persons of European decent. They were allowed to be
recruited into the job market like any South African white person and
2
Fanagalo: A language made up of a mixer of languages to create a common language mainly
used in the mines.
did not have to go through the labour recruitment process that
dehumanised black people.
The people recruited through the TEBA and WENELA systems were
tied to their contracts and could not do anything or decide to change
their employment status once they were in South Africa. To ensure
that they returned home after the contracts, part of their salary was
paid in the trust account held by the home country. The workers were
paid enough money to sustain them while working in the mine and the
rest of the funds were deposited in the trust account which was held
by the home government. These funds were not available until the
end of the contract. This recruitment system was popular with
neighbouring countries because at that time, for black South Africans,
it was degrading to work in the mine, especially doing underground
work.
The neighbouring countries benefited from these trust funds as they
used them for economic and infrastructure development. That is why
the neighbouring countries cried foul when South Africa decided to
grant permanent residence status to those miners who had been
working in the country for a long time. This meant that the much
needed cash was cut.
The WENELA recruitment system was abandoned when the apartheid
system collapsed along with many other issues that were seen to be
oppressive. This meant that people could make it, and could now find
their own way into South Africa to look for jobs. Thousands of people
streamed into the country illegally to look for jobs and in the process,
creating the new phenomenon of undocumented or illegal migrants.
At that time, the government did not have international instruments to
control migrants and refugees, and had no option but to try to deport
as many foreigners as they could arrest. The workshop conducted
under the auspices of the National Council of Human Rights, gave the
following figures of people who were deported as illegal immigrants
by South Africa since 1990:
YEAR
1990
1993
1995
1996
1997
TOTAL
NUMBER
534 040
96 000
156 313
180 200
176 000
1 144 553
From these figures 82% were deported to Mozambique, 11% to
Zimbabwe, 4% to Lesotho and 1% each to Swaziland and Malawi. The
remaining 5% to other African countries. The explanation to the
disparity between the Mozambicans and the other countries is that at
that time, the Peace Accord in Mozambique had just been signed and
the government had invited those who wanted to return home to use
the free and decriminalised deportation system that was offered
them. They had been in the country from the early 80’s, after a civil
war broke out between FRELIMO and RENAMO.
It should also be noted that the overwhelming majority were from the
SADC countries. These figures do not take into account people who
immigrated from Asia, Pakistan and China, and from East Europe who
came to South Africa to look for better life just like the Africans.
The figures of deportation show an interesting picture in the later
years. For the period 2004/5, the majority of people who were
deported were to Zimbabwe; 312 733 were deported. This is clearly
an indication of the development of political and economic situation in
that country. At the moment Zimbabweans remain the biggest group
of immigrants in the country. The estimated number of Zimbabweans
in South Africa is put between one and 3 million though the recent
statistics showed that the figure of 3 million has been a gross
exaggeration. The Department of Home Affairs, after concluding the
registration process at the end of 2010, indicated that just about
300 000 people. These are the people who showed up for registration
and the number of those who did not register may not be known.
The presence of illegal immigrants in the country brings about a
serious challenge on a number of issues:
a) Accommodation:
To understand this problem, one needs to visit the Central
Methodist Church in central Johannesburg. Every little space,
including the stair cases, is occupied as there is no more room or a
decent place to sleep. The situation in most of the flats, especially
in Hillbrow, is pathetic. Unscrupulous people are making a fortune
on the desperate people. A room that was made to sleep one
person is shared by more than ten people and each person pays a
fixed amount. Some of the abandoned buildings have been
hijacked by syndicates that use them to let them to foreigners at
exorbitant fees, without them spending a cent on the building.
In the informal settlements, foreigners are sold RDP Houses by the
people who, in the first place, did not qualify to have those houses
due to their better economic situation. Hundreds of thousands are
forced to live in squalor conditions in the shacks that were
supposed to have been demolished when the owners got RDP
houses. The foreigners, who cannot qualify for RDP houses have no
choice but to rent these shacks.
Those who cannot find accommodation are left to sleep under the
bridges and the merciless Johannesburg winter conditions do not
spare them.
b) Employment/unemployment:
The major force of attraction to illegal immigrants is the prospect of
getting employment in the cities of South Africa. The popular belief
that the streets of Johannesburg are lined with gold and jobs
attracts foreign people to this city. Unbeknown to many,
Johannesburg is the worst city to try to make a living. Millions of
South Africans have left rural areas to come to this city for jobs and
illegal immigrants find themselves in competition with them for
piece jobs. The old trend of gathering at the popular spots for
Saturday piece jobs has now become a permanent phenomenon in
most of the suburbs of Johannesburg and the adjacent satellite
towns.
In the area under research, the corners of 3rd avenue in
Roodepoort, Progress and Corlette drives in Witpoortjie, the
Caltex Garage opposite the Zandspruit informal settlement in
Honeydew are teeming with men who have come to wait to be
picked up.
c) Exploitation:
The desperation of foreigners for survival exposes them to
exploitation by many local employment providers. Many of them
are not registered for job seeking nor registered as asylum
seekers and; therefore are at the mercy of those who employ them.
This situation is not only rife in the urban areas but also very
severe in the farms. People are employed and at the time of pay,
they are either under paid or police are called to arrest them for
the illegal presence in the country.
d) Social benefits exclusion:
Foreigners do not have access to many social benefits in the
country. The most painful sight of disabled foreigners, particularly
Zimbabweans, is an indication of exclusion from the social benefits
of the country. Blind people and cripples were brought into the
country by unscrupulous people who use them for begging. These
people cannot access the local social benefits and the only way to
survive is to stand at the corners of main streets to beg. When they
get sick, it becomes difficult for them to get hospital and clinic
help, particularly those who are undocumented. The South African
Council of Churches in 2004 had to check on the conditions of the
cripples and blind people from Zimbabwe in Hillbrow. At the time,
the researcher was working for the Council of Churches and the
discovery was that blind people were crammed into a single room
that was meant to sleep at the most two people had 40 people
sleeping in. There was hardly a space to move around in the room.
Each one had a handler who takes them out in the mornings to the
corners of the streets and then returns them in the evenings. The
money, very little in most cases, was shared between the blind
person and the handler. Allegations were that blind people got the
smallest share as they cannot see how much money had been
collected during the day.
e) Institutional harassment:
While this cannot rightly be attributed to the Police Institution per
se, but to individuals within the system, the popular allegation of
harassment of foreigners is attributed to the police. It is alleged
that foreigners who have been picked up in the streets or as a
result of searches conducted in the work places or where they stay
have been forced to pay exorbitant fees to individual police. Many
have reported that their temporary documents were destroyed in
front of them and then arrested for being in the country illegally
when they failed or refused to pay bribes to police individuals.
The second institution that is blamed for harassing foreigners is the
Department of Home Affairs. We should also be careful as well to
say that it is individuals within the department. There are two
categories of individuals within the system who are abusing it in
order to solicit bribes from foreigners; the immigration officers
manning the borders and the home affairs officials who are
responsible for legalising of the status of the foreigners. Foreigners
have been subjected to bribes to obtain illegal documents such as
birth certificates, Identity Documents, passports and to certain
extent marriage certificates. When these documents are found in
possession of the foreigners, they get arrested and cannot get their
monies back.
f) Unfair discrimination:
The names given to foreigners by the locals are a clear indication
of discrimination. They are called “Magrigamba, Makwerekwere,
and Makwapa etc.” These names indicate the negative attitude
towards them. The discrimination manifests itself at work, school
and in the community. The other form of discrimination is in the
form of colour. It is generally believed that most of the brothers
and sisters from the north of Limpopo River are darker in skin and
anybody found to be that way is immediately taken to be a
foreigner. Unfortunately, South Africans who happen to be darker
in skin tone have also become victims of this discrimination, not
only by the public but also by the police. Unless a person is able to
produce positive identification, he or she may find himself or
herself at Lindela3 transit camp in Krugersdorp. A number of South
Africans have been taken there until they were positively
identified.
g) Stigmatization: HIV and AIDS, Crime, drug trafficking, human
trafficking:
i.
HIV AND AIDS:
Foreigners are being accused of spreading a number of
diseases in the country with HIV and AIDS topping the list. The
foreigners are being accused of sleeping with local girls without
using protection such as condoms as they are paying good
3
Lindela is a repatriation waiting facility, based in Krugersdorp, along the main road to
Randfontein where those arrested for being in the country illegally are kept while their
deportation papers are being processed.
money for their services. But, painfully, local girls are not being
blamed for this. The allegation is that many local girls get
involved with foreigners because of poverty. They still continue
to keep relations with local men who are not aware of their
girlfriends’ behaviour. They continue having unprotected sex
with both men, and in the process, infect their local men.
ii.
Crime:
The increasing spates of serious crimes that are blamed on
foreigners are also part of the discriminatory process. As
described in this chapter, few foreigners who have been
involved in crime are tarnishing the image of innocent people
who came to South Africa for survival, either as refugees or
economic migrants. The majority of foreigners are not involved
in crime. This type of discrimination is also unfair to them. It can
be proved that within every crime syndicate involving
foreigners South Africans are also involved. In most cases, South
Africans are masterminds and foreigners are used because most
of them are undocumented and their fingerprints are not filed
with the Department of home affairs or the police.
iii.
Drug trafficking
The increasing abuse and spread of drugs in the country is
blamed on foreigners particularly the Nigerians. While this
cannot be attributed to every foreigner in the country, a number
of arrests have been made of foreigners, belonging to the
Nigerian community in South Africa for being involved in drug
trafficking. The sale of illicit drugs at schools has also risen and
the blame is put at the door of Nigerians who make it easy for
the substance to be distributed. There are a number of
charismatic churches all over the country and there are rumours
that they are the front for drug businesses. Elizabeth, not her
real name, joined one of the charismatic churches and was
instructed to go and deliver Bibles to other members of the
same sect in Durban. Unsuspecting, she collected the parcels,
booked them for a flight as accompanying baggage. When she
arrived in Durban, she was arrested for the possession of dagga
which was packed in parcels that looked like Bibles. She didn’t
open the boxes as she did not suspect any foul play.
The discrimination is unfair in that it paints everyone with the
same brush; there are instances where certain foreigners were
convicted of drug trafficking but this not implicate the entire
migrant community. This type of perception makes South
Africans to believe that every foreigner is involved in drugs and
other criminal activities.
5.3. OPPORTUNISTIC MIGRANTS:
Perhaps the most famous opportunistic migrants were the ten
Tanzanian migrants who posed as Rwandese refugees immediately
after the 1994 genocide. At that time, South Africa had no full
presence of the United Nations Missions. The only presence of the
United Nations at that time was the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees, hereinafter referred to as the UNHCR, which was in the
country specifically for the repatriation of the South African exiles.
Very unfortunate to the ten immigrants was that the head of the
mission was a Tanzanian who grew up near the border with Rwanda
and Burundi and could differentiate between Tanzanians and the
Rwandese, their language and culture. Their case was publicised in
the local media and almost everybody was sympathetic to their case
as Rwanda was in the news at that time.
At that , South Africa had just got a new government and the United
Nations instruments for the control of migrants were not yet in place,
the country was still using the old Immigration laws and there was no
provision for refugees; except for the Mozambicans who were given
special a status. The government then requested the UNHCR to attend
to the issue of the Rwandese refugees and make recommendations to
the government.
5.4. XENOPHOBIA: (See definition of Xenophobia on page113
above)
People coming from the countries that hosted the South African exiles
during the struggle against apartheid cannot control their emotions
when they see what the South Africans are doing to them.
Moses, from Liberia, came to South Africa for refuge during the civil war in that
country had hoped to be welcomed by South Africans, one of the very first cabinet
ministers of the new South Africa had stayed at his home in Monrovia and they had
shared everything with him. He asked to be helped to contact the minister as he
expected him to help him but when the minister learnt about his presence in the
country, he literarily denied knowing the guy. He refused to give any help and the
poor guy turned to the Lutheran Church, to which the minister belonged for help. In
Liberia, the minister who was a refugee at the time, was picked by the family who
met him at the St Peters Lutheran Church in Monrovia. This was part of the outreach
ministry of the Church to help South African refugees. (SACC Refugee
Ministry Report, 1993:12 – 17)
The same emotions were expressed by one of the Practical Theology
students, who, himself is a pastor in the Limpopo area and originates
from one of the countries in the SADC countries. He could not control
his emotions when he remembers how they had sacrificed so many
things to ensure that the South African exiles were comfortable. But to
be called a kwerekwere is something he cannot comprehend.
The word Xenophobia derives from the Greek words, xenos, meaning
"stranger," and phobos meaning "fear." The two words together can
be defined as fear of foreigners or strangers
Xenophobia can manifest itself in many ways, involving the relations
and perceptions of an in-group towards an out-group, including a fear
of losing identity, suspicion of its activities, aggression, and desire to
eliminate its presence to secure a presumed purity. Xenophobia can
also be exhibited in the form of an "uncritical exaltation of another
culture" in which a culture is ascribed "an unreal, stereotyped and
exotic quality" One dictionary definition of Xenophobia is that it is an
unreasonable fear, distrust, or hatred of strangers, foreigners, or
anything perceived as foreign or different.
Xenophobia can manifest itself in several ways in a country –
derogative name calling, “Makwerekwere” a name coined from the
languages spoken by the foreigners, victimization by police,
identification by colour (most of the brothers and sisters from the
north are darker in colour), brutal assaults, murders, ethnic
cleansing in an area, mass expulsion from the country etc. Some of
the issues that are blamed on foreigners are:
a) Jobs – employment:
The failing economies and political instability in the neighbouring
countries forced highly qualified artisans and professionals to
leave their countries and come to South Africa. These include
University lecturers, medical doctors, nurses, technicians, sales
person etc. As they are experienced and highly qualified, finding
jobs in the country has been very easy as opposed to the black
South Africans, who, due to the apartheid system, are just starting
to access institutions of higher learning and therefore have no
experience of the same level as of those of their counterparts from
outside.
Artisans such as mechanics, builders, plumbers and electricians
do not need to seek for jobs but create their own companies in
townships. It is estimated that 60% of taxis in the township are
driven by the same group. The reason for depending on
foreigners is that they do not demand high salaries and therefore
taxi owners are able to make more profit than when employing a
South African who should be registered to comply with SARS and
other legal requirements.
b) Informal trading:
Many of the foreigners who come into the country come with
artisan skills that are needed by the local communities. They come
together and form small businesses e.g. builders, plumbers,
electricians, motor mechanics etc. For instance, the main street
through the Doornkop (Snake Park), a township north west of
Dobsonville, is lined with informal businesses ranging from motor
mechanics, to Hair salons, all of them belonging to the
Mozambican nationals. Their services are much cheaper and
better than those of the local artisans. They and reliable, unlike
the locals who will come and start a job and then disappear for two
weeks after getting payment and then return when the money is
finished. Those involved in hawking seem to be more experienced
when it comes to marketing and selling of goods. They are able to
get involved in the businesses that the local people are not
interested in. This causes jealousy and as a result, they are
attacked.
c) Crime:
The escalating crime in the country is being blamed on foreigners
for a number of reasons. While the majority of foreigners have
behaved well since coming into South Africa, there are a number
of incidences that have been positively identified with foreigners
and people tend to put every foreigner in the same basket when it
comes to apportioning blame. In 2007, an informal settlement in
the northern suburbs of Johannesburg attacked and drove out
Zimbabwean immigrants because of a spate of serious crimes
which included murder4. The young man had killed a young
woman and ran away to Zimbabwe. The local community
demanded him from the elders of Zimbabwe and when they could
not help to bring him, they were blamed for harbouring him.
When the churches tried to intervene, the local police brought a
pile of dockets indicating that 70% of reported serious criminal
cases were committed by foreigners. In that situation,
Zimbabweans and Mozambicans were singled out. Nigerians are
known to be heavily involved in business scams and drugs. While
4
The name of the Police Station cannot be revealed to protect the police officers who shared the
information
these are committed by few people, the whole community is
painted with the same brush. But, it has been found that some of
the organized crimes are led by South Africans who use foreigners
as foot soldiers. The secret here is that some of the foreigners are
undocumented and therefore their finger prints do not exist in the
files of the police and the Department of Home Affairs. It would
become difficult for the police to arrest the criminals.
d) Stealing of women:
The problem of poverty has led many young women to attach
themselves to men for material support. This is not a new
phenomenon in South Africa. The culture of this country and many
African countries has made men to be providers for women and
children. The dilemma here is that young South African men have
not learnt the art of looking after a woman. In Johannesburg in
particular, young men who do not work had developed a culture of
adhering to working women for survival. They ill-treat them and
do not give them any support. When the foreigners came into the
country, it was discovered that they knew how to treat women.
Herbert, not his real name, lived with a young woman in a flat in
Hillbrow for many years. He was not working and depended 100%
on her for survival. One day, he came back to the flat in the
evening to find a hefty Nigerian man who had moved in during the
day. He was no match to the Herbert and the only thing Herbert
could do was to take whatever belonged to him and leave. The
following day, new furniture was brought into the flat and the
young woman felt different. She got real comfort from this man and
felt like a real woman and not a tool for the man. Other young
women followed this example and chased their men. This is what
came to be known as the “stealing of women”.
The other dynamic is the issue of sexual satisfaction. Foreigners
who are known to be good in bed are the Mozambicans. There is a
myth that there is a special tree, also known to be growing in the
Limpopo province, which makes men to be powerful. Women who
had the chance of sleeping with them decide to chase away their
men as they find new satisfaction. Many South African men suffer
from a number of stresses due to unemployment and other
difficulties; and therefore they psychologically cannot focus on
their life including sexual performance.
e) Spreading of infectious diseases:
HIV and AIDS is one disease that is blamed on foreigners. While
this cannot be proved beyond any doubt, the paragraph above
may have a clue to this myth. The urge to find a man who can
support young women often leads to the challenge of having to
have unprotected sex. The Nigerian Men are known to refuse to
use condoms and young women who want their support have no
choice but to sleep with them without the protection. A wife of a
prominent politician and sport administrator in Kwandebele, north
east of Pretoria, got involved with a foreigner for comfort. The man
bought her a comfortable car, which her husband could not afford.
She lied to her husband and that that she managed to raise money
from her sewing project. In no time, she realized that she was HIV
positive and she knew that she was not going to convince her
husband about how she got infected. She went to the petrol station
and bought a 20 litre of petrol, drove the car to the secluded place
and dowsed it with petrol inside and outside, locked herself inside
it and torched it.
It is interesting to note that xenophobia is not a new phenomenon in
South Africa although it was not expressed as such at that time. The
separate development and the influx control systems had created
strangers within the same country. This was very familiar in
Johannesburg for instance. People coming from the rural areas were
seen as strangers in the cities. People used to identify strangers by
the way they walked in the cities. A relaxed a slow walking person in
the middle of Johannesburg would easily be identified as a stranger
and a person rushing or even running would be identified as local
person. In the cities, people are always rushing to catch trains or to
work.
The current xenophobia can be traced from 1994, after the demise of
the apartheid system. The then minister of Home Affairs, Dr
Mangosuthu Buthelezi, addressing the parliament for the first time,
said:
“If we as South Africans are going to compete for scarce resources with millions of
aliens who are pouring into South Africa, then we can bid goodbye to our
Reconstruction and Development Programme.” (Fact Sheet: Population
movement in and to South Africa: Forced migration Studies
Programme, Wits NCR workshop on advancing Socio Economic
Rights: Session 7 Group 2.)
At the same time, his political movement, the Inkatha Freedom Party,
was also campaigning against foreigners. IFP was threatening to take
physical action if the government failed to respond to the perceived
crisis of undocumented migrants in South Africa. In 1997, the then
Minister of Defence Joe Modise linked the issue of undocumented
migrants to serious crimes.
The recent xenophobic violence in South Africa was primarily
directed against foreigners living in some of the poorest urban areas
of the country, particularly the informal settlements e.g. the
Ramaphosa informal settlement outside Reiger Park in Boksburg, and
old townships such Alexander. While the attacks were directed at the
illegal immigrants, this also impacted on those who acquired
citizenship by virtue of their specialized skills, such as medical
doctors, academics, scientists and engineers. And it has also
impacted on those with legitimate work and study permits, such as
the tens of thousands of Mozambican mineworkers working in mines,
Mathematics teachers from Zimbabwe and foreign university
students.
Unfortunately, many South Africans, and not just those living in the
poorest areas, are opposed to the presence of a large number of
foreigners from other African countries. It is sad to note that
immigrants from other continents other than Africa are enjoying all
the benefits of hospitality while blacks are not welcomed. Not even
one could ask, what are the real problems behind xenophobic
attacks? While accusations range from stealing of jobs, wives or
girlfriends, high unemployment of locals, HIV and AIDS and crime,
the real reasons may not be foreigners but the government of the
country itself.
At the time of transition, many promises were made to improve the
lives of previously disadvantaged people but the reality is that only
few people are enjoying the fruits of the new dispensation at the
expense of the majority of people living in abject poverty.
-
Service delivery by local municipalities is a major problem in all
the informal settlements.
-
Corruption by government officials have seen houses being
allocated to foreigners while people who have been on waiting list
do not get any answers.
The recent xenophobic violence that started from Alexander, east of
Sandton City, and spread throughout the country, was sparked partly
by accusations of foreigners stealing local jobs; but also by the denial
of the government that this was a "misconception." The government
insisted that foreigners were in fact creating jobs for the locals.
Membathisi Mdladlana, the then Minister of Labour, when addressing
the 21st Annual Labour Law Conference in Sandton, said:
“It is therefore a misconception to conclude that migrants steal jobs from South
Africans, the opposite is actually true. They are job creators, first for themselves –
and for the rest of us” Tamar Blieden; Negative Economic Impact of
Xenophobia (2008.06.27)
The recent ugly face of xenophobia that swept across South Africa in
2008 shocked the whole world. Due to unemployment and scarcity of
jobs, foreigners in the country are competing with other nationals for
jobs. They are prepared to take any form of employment and
remuneration and therefore; unscrupulous employers would rather
prefer them over the nationals who will not be prepared to accept low
salaries and are protected by the labour unions. In the news bulletin
of the Radio 702 on Wednesday morning, the 9th of February 2011,
listeners shared their views on the employment pattern that they have
observed. One of the listeners, who wanted to remain anonymous,
shared how he discovered that a filling station, one of the leading Oil
brands, on the N1 south of Johannesburg, had only one South African
worker among the 14 staff they had. The station used to employ only
South Africans but the pressure on living wages, workers’ rights
championed by the labour laws had pushed profit-driven businesses
to resort to employing foreigners who cannot go on strike.
The bone of contention that fuels xenophobia is the informal trade
market. Foreigners seem to be well ahead of their South African
counter parts and; therefore efforts by unemployed South Africans to
make a living out of this market are challenged.
The phenomenon of xenophobia has not been an issue in South Africa
until mid-90’s. There were very few foreigners in the country because
of the past history of the country. In fact those who were found in the
country at that time were mine workers and since mining was a
despised job sector, people did not worry so much about foreigners
working in the mines. The recruitment of migrant workers into South
Africa has a very long history.
The famous ”WENELA”5 recruitment instrument was created and
given exclusive rights to recruit labour in the neighbouring countries
such as Namibia, (formerly South West Africa), Botswana, Zimbabwe,
Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique. The agency
opened offices in all the above-mentioned countries to recruit migrant
workers. The sending countries also benefitted from the funds that
were deposited into their countries’ accounts until the return of the
migrant workers. The majority of the people who were recruited from
5
WENELA – Witwatersrand Native Labour Association
these countries we deployed in the mines and industries which were
not attractive to the local people. These were coercive and highly
regulated measures which ensured that foreigners were accounted
for and remained in the designated areas.
In addition to these, there were Malawi nationals who were mostly
found in the hotel and domestic industries, their recruitment into
South Africa could be traced as far as 1960’s. Malawi, under Hastins
Banda, was very friendly to the apartheid regime and therefore its
citizens received warm reception. During those days, the South
African nationals knew about these people but did not worry much
about them. One of the reasons was that the unemployment rate was
still not a problem as many South Africans, even those from the rural
areas were able to get some jobs in the cities.
The bitter struggle against apartheid, which ended in the 90’s with the
demise of the apartheid system, caused many investors to leave the
country and unemployment became a serious problem. Competition
for scarce jobs became a major problem and the arrival of economic
migrants into the country created a new attitude towards foreigners.
The following categories of refugees and asylum seekers are top on
the list of xenophobia:
Congolese (Congo Kinshasa):
Targeted for crime and dealing in drugs and other illegal activities.
Ethiopians:
For being successful in businesses and therefore, getting South
Africans out of informal business.
Mozambicans:
Targeted for taking businesses such as motor mechanics, construction
(building of houses) and serious crime and theft of cars that
transported across the border into Mozambique. Mozambicans are
also blamed for stealing South African women.
Nigerians:
For human and drug trafficking, including business scams, marrying
South African women and then dumping them after receiving
citizenship.
Somalis:
Targeted for spaza shops and transport business
Zimbabweans:
For being in the country in big numbers, taking jobs from the local
communities and also for being in serious crimes such as murder and
stealing and transporting goods across the borders.
5.5. THE INFLUX OF REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS FROM
OTHER COUNTRIES POST THE 1994 ELECTIONS
As described in the paragraph above, the positive changes in South
Africa were not only for South Africans, but for the whole of Africa,
including refugee communities who were already enjoying protection
in other countries.
It should be noted that up until 2002, South Africa did not have
international instruments to deal with the regulation of refugee and
asylum seekers. South Africa was not a signatory to the Geneva 1951
Convention and therefore, could not have the UN agencies working in
the country. However, at the time in question, South Africa was
already in the process of reform and many laws were being repealed
and new ones replacing them. When refugees started coming into
South Africa, the only law in place that was used to deal with the influx
was Aliens Act Control No 96 of 1991. This act was amended several
times to try to make it user friendly to foreigners; especially after the
influx of Mozambican and Lesotho refugees. This act did not
recognize people as refugees but as illegal aliens and to its best, the
act was used to arrest and deport such persons.
When South Africa was ready, the Aliens Act was replaced with the
Refugee act that was based on the 1951 Geneva Convention and the
1967 OAU Protocol on refugees. The Refugee Act no 130 of 1998,
which was later amended in 2002, legally recognised refugees and
asylum seekers. (Government Gazette no 19544, Vol. 1558 2nd
December 1998. The unfortunate part is that, due to historical
reasons, the backlog on registration of refugees is still very high. It is
being complicated by the fact that there too many economic migrants
and serious scanning of each applications is needed.
The Refugee Act of 1998 defines a refugee as follows:
a) Owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted by reason of his/her race, tribe,
religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social
group, or is outside the country of his or nationality and is unable or unwilling to
avail himself or herself of protection of that country, or, not having a nationality
and being outside the country of his or her former habitual residence is unable
or owing to fear, unwilling to return to it or,
b) Owing to external aggression, occupation, foreign domination or events
seriously disturbing or disrupting public order in either a part ot the whole of his
or her country of origin or nationality, is compelled to leave his or her place of
habitual residence in order to seek refuge elsewhere or.
c) Is a dependent of a person contemplated in paragraphs a) and b) above.
The Bill is more generous compared to the UN Convention that stipulates that the
reason to leave country should be based on the cause by the government;
however, it endorses the following exclusions:
1) Committed crime against peace, a crime or a crime against humanity
2) Has committed a crime of a political nature and which, if committed in South
Africa, would be punishable by imprisonment
3) Has been guilty of acts contrary to the objects and principles of the United
Nations organizations or the OAU (Now AU)
4) Protection of any other country in which he or she has taken residence.
5) Cannot return home and come back as a refugee. (Immigration Bill (2002)
Department of Home Affairs presented by the Portfolio Committee of the
Department of Home Affairs
(The Refugee Act of 1998, Cape Town, Government Gazette)
The difference between the refugees in South Africa and those in the
other African countries was that those in South Africa were not locked
into refugee camps and that life in general was much better than in
those countries. Therefore, South Africa was felt to be more
comfortable than those countries. Having said this, one should note
that the situation in South African Homelands was also difficult
although not as critical as in the countries mentioned above. In terms
of the South African reality, you needed to have a job to survive. The
homelands were chosen carefully by the white minority government
and there was no agricultural livelihood in those areas. Mozambicans,
who were by nature agrarians, found it difficult to survive. The jobs
were available in the so-called white areas and this community was
not allowed to leave the homelands. There were a kind of a bond
between the black South African and the people of Mozambique.
The white South African government tried all it could to arrest and
deport them but the local people, particularly in the areas where the
majority settled, i.e. former homelands, helped them and protected
them. But the new trend is that local people have changed their
attitude completely and even those who used to be sympathetic to
Mozambicans do not show that anymore. During the course of 1991,
the SACC Emergency Programme organized discussions with people
in the affected areas to make them aware of the plight of the refugees
and asylum seekers.
Over the past three years, the programme, in collaboration with other
stakeholders, had to be called to address serious issues of
xenophobia in the informal settlements between the South African
nationals and foreigners. In Johannesburg, north of Sandton city, a
clash between the Zimbabwean nationals and South Africans was
sparked by what was seen to be a criminal act. A young woman was
killed in the Zandspruit informal settlement and this was attributed to
the Zimbabwean nationals. Negotiations with the locals drew blank as
the attitude was just too strong.
A similar situation developed again in the Rustenburg mining areas.
This time the ignition of the clash was also attributed to a criminal
case in which a small girl was raped by a young man from the
Shangaan speaking community of the Zakhele informal settlement.
This clash spilled over to the Freedom Park informal settlement and
the entire Shangaan speaking Mozambicans were driven out of the
settlements.
The problem of xenophobia cannot be looked at as an issue of South
Africans versus foreigners only. The recent problems in the
Rustenburg mining informal settlements also proved that while there
were problems between the nationals and foreigners, there was also
a growing xenophobia based on ethnic attitudes. It is matter of
language and tribe.
The situation described above, is familiar with the old South Africa
where people were classified according to racial or ethnic groupings.
Soweto is a typical example of what the Apartheid system did to the
communities of South Africa. While this could not be termed
‘xenophobia”, one became a stranger outside the area of his/her
abode. One section of Soweto was designated to one ethnic group
and anyone not belonging to this group was a stranger. For instance,
Dobsonville in the north-west was for the Batswana people, Zola and
Zondi for the Zulu’s, Phiri for the North and South Sotho’s, Chiawela
for the Venda’s and Tsonga’s. In extreme cases, a township as big as
Meadowlands was divided into Zones that were designated according
to ethnic groups. Rivalry among the young people especially,
became a game. A young boy who gets romantically involved with a
girl from the other section would be chased by local boys whenever
he tries to visit his girlfriend until the relationship is ruined. The local
girl will be ridiculed by both boys and girls as a traitor to discourage
her from getting on with the relationship. Even among the white
groupings, the demarcation was according to nationalities. For
example Roodepoort and Krugersdorp, including their sub-sections,
was exclusively for Afrikaans speaking nationals, while the northern
suburbs were for the rich English speaking nationals. There were
clear “No Go” areas and violation of this could result in tragic
consequences.
When foreign nationals arrived in South Africa, the seed for hatred
towards strangers had already germinated.
On a broader sense, the country was divided according to ethnic and
racial groupings. To understand the situation better, one needs to
look at the settings of most of the towns across the country. These are
very clear in smaller towns as cities are almost integrated due to
economic growth. Take Nelspruit (Mbombela now) as an example.
The west part of the city was for whites, then closer in the east was the
Valencia Park, for Indians and further east the Coloured Township
and 26 km away the Kanyamazane black township. If one looks at
Rustenburg, Polokwane (Former Pietersburg, Potchefstroom,
Klerksdorp etc., one will find almost a similar pattern.)
5.6. THE MOZAMBICAN REFUGEES AND THE ATTITUDE OF
THE LOCAL COMMUNITIES:
To understand the attitude of South Africans towards Mozambicans, a
bit of a history is necessary. Due to the escalating xenophobic
attitudes towards all foreigners, the Mozambicans are now part of
those who are targeted.
While the experience and problems of foreigners in the country seem
to be the same for all categories of people, it is interesting to note that
the attitude of South Africans towards different categories seem to be
influenced by a number of issues.
When Mozambicans came into South Africa in the early 80’s, South
Africans (black South Africans) were generally receptive to them as
there was, at that time, a spirit of comradeship towards the
Mozambicans. This was influenced by the fact that Samora Machel was
openly critical to the then government and oppressed people in the
country came to see him as a sympathiser. Therefore, the
Mozambicans were generally accepted by the black communities as
friends of the South African exiles. The researcher of this thesis was at
the time deployed in the then Eastern Transvaal as a Parish Pastor in a
parish bordering the Mapulaneng and Mhala Districts of Lebowa and
Gazankulu homelands. The researcher witnessed how the first
arrivals of refugees were summarily rounded up by the security
forces and deported back to Mozambique through the Komatipoort
border post, back into the boiling pot of the civil war. At that time,
local people risked arrest by hiding refugees within their families.
The culture and language, made it difficult for the police or soldiers,
who came from outside the area, to easily spot the foreigners from
among the local community. The only way to identify them was
through the vaccination mark on the hand. For South Africans the
mark is on the shoulder and for Mozambicans on the lower arm. The
whole community, including the local chiefs, were sympathetic
towards them.
At that time, there was no sign of xenophobia towards them. One
good example was when the researcher was conducting a Church
service in one of the rural villages near the Kruger National Park
when some local people alerted the congregation about foreigners
who were found in the bushes in a terrible state; hungry and naked.
The congregation immediately requested that the service be
suspended and organised to have the people brought into the village
and arranged relief for them.
It was easy for Kangwane and Gazankulu Homeland leaders to
persuade the Central Government to allow refugees to settle within
the borders of their homelands as visiting relatives. The reason being
that both the homelands were bordering the northern, central and
southern part of the South Africa/Mozambique border line with
people on either side speaking the same language and having the
same culture. The Shangaans in Gazankulu had their origin from the
Gaza Province in Mozambique.
The only negative attitude towards Mozambican refugees was found
in the Kwazulu and Lebowa homelands as well as from the central
government. The negative attitudes were from the government
officials rather than from the people. Even in these circumstances,
ordinary people remained sympathetic to the refugees. In Kwazulu,
the fear was that ANC combatants would pose as refugees and
infiltrate the homeland, while in the Lebowa homeland the dispute
over certain border areas with Gazankulu were the reason for the
attitude. There was a fear that the Gazankulu Homeland would use the
refugees to bolster their efforts to take over those disputed areas. The
other issue that nearly brought about conflict between the
Mozambican refugees and the local communities was the relief aid
given to the Mozambican refugees while thousands of poor local
communities, who have agreed to have refugees in their area, were
not receiving anything. After the signing of the Peace Accord in
Mozambique in 1990, a number of Mozambicans decided not to return
to Mozambique and were granted permanent residency. This allowed
them to stay in South Africa and, in line with the immigration laws,
qualified to be permanent citizens after five years.
The current influx of Mozambicans in the country is a totally different
category. Elements of serious crime syndicates such as that of the
infamous Ananias Mathe are emerging in the country. These have
completely changed the attitude of South Africans to Mozambicans
who used to be taken with sympathy.
5.7. PRELIMINARY CONCLUSION:
This chapter concludes the qualitative research or the literary
research process on the traumatic effects of rapid urbanization. The
next chapter analyses the results of the questionnaires, the focus
group discussions and individual interviews and then make
recommendations on the model the Church should follow in
addressing the plight of the people in this situation.
CHAPTER 6
6.1. THE RESEARCH PROCEDURES:
Chapter six will analyse the results of the survey carried out in the
areas indicated, identify challenges and conclusions. It will then help
to develop a pastoral model for the Churches to follow or apply in
carrying out the ministry of compassion to the millions of
disappointed, destitute and broken people who are trapped in the
cities and urban areas due to the of rapid urbanization process.
6.2. THE SCOPE OF THE STUDY:
In order to achieve good results within the time-frame of the study, it
was very important to focus on a particular area. Therefore, this
research was limited to the greater Roodepoort municipality and
covers the informal settlements, However, it, also includes the
townships; as many people who come from the rural areas have also
sought accommodation in the backrooms of the houses in the
townships. This has also been found to have been an income
generation initiatives by the unemployed local residents. The
following areas were covered:
- Dobsonville Township
- Doornkop (Snake Park) township – a former informal settlement
now developed into a modern day township.
- Tshepisong Township: An RDP housing estate between Kagiso and
Dobsonville
- Braamfischerville Township: A sprawling RDP housing estate north
west of Dobsonville and almost bordering the Durban and Deep
Mines
- Mathole Motshekga informal settlement
- Mhlangeni Informal Settlement near Witpoortjie
- Zandspruit informal settlement in Honeydew
6.3. STATEMENT OF LIMITATION:
While there were a number of issues that were positive towards the
research process, there are a number of issues that were not easy to
handle which had made it difficult for the researcher to get the
information needed:
6.3.1. The interview with the foreigners:
Though the climate in South Africa is relatively welcoming these days
to foreigners, there is still fear from many of them that a research such
as this one would help to get information about their whereabouts and
their activities in order to help police to track them down. It was
therefore not easy to get the foreigners to relax and give the
researcher the needed information. One had to find one trusted
person among their community to encourage foreigners and to make
him or her understand the purpose of the study before one could sit
down with them. The xenophobic attitude that can be traced in the
questionnaire and the focus group discussions are still problems that
South Africa still has to deal with.
6.3.2. Interviews with sex workers:
This has been the most difficult part of the interviews to attempt to do.
Not only was it a problem with the sex workers themselves, but the
problem of doing it on the streets, where one could be seen by the
public. As most of the sex workers ply their trade at night and cannot
be easily tracked down during the day, the researcher had to find a
way of accessing them without being implicated in the whole issue.
This could have done a lot of damage to the reputation of the
researcher and had the media picked it up. It was not going to be
easy to explain what the researcher was doing with sex workers at
that time of the night.
It was also not easy to interview them directly as they were going to
shut down. The researcher had to pretend to be someone interested
in talking to them about their situation without making it clear that this
was an academic research. The timing of the discussion was good as
at that time there was no business and participants were interested in
taking up a discussion to keep them busy while waiting.
6.3.3. The state of apathy among the South Africans:
The morale and the general feeling among the disadvantaged people
in South Africa today is that the ruling party has betrayed millions of
people and, therefore, people have lost hope. Too many promises
have been made and no results are seen. The two most crucial issues,
employment and housing, have been so badly mishandled.
Corruption in the housing sector has seen houses being allocated to
foreigners who are able to pay the officials money and leaving
hundreds of thousands of people on the waiting list. The researcher
was made aware that there were people who have been on the
waiting list since 1997 and were still not allocated houses. However,
foreigners who came as late as 2009 already have RDP houses and are
comfortable. A lot of data had been collected and in many cases no
results were shared with the communities. Therefore, trying to have
interviews with people in such a state becomes difficult to do. People
dismiss you as one of those who came before and will not make any
difference. Therefore, one had to convince people that the study was
not in any way related to service delivery but an academic paper that
could help highlight their plight. People were however, assured that
the paper was intended to be read by faith communities and that it
would also serve as a model of response to their plight.
6.4. STATEMENT OF DELIMITATION:
While there were some difficult issues that the research had to face in
carrying out this research, there were issues also that were possible
to implement without problems. These are the issues:
6.4.1. COMMUNICATION:
The languages spoken in the area under research are familiar to the
researcher and there was no need to use an interpreter. Even with the
French speaking people from the DRC and other West Africa
countries, communication has been a lot easier. Most of them are
struggling to learn English. So are the Ethiopians and Somalis. For the
Mozambicans who could not speak English, especially those who
come from the South, Maputo, communication with them was through
their indigenous language, Shangaan. The researcher worked for
many years among the Mozambican refugees and had a lot of contact
with the Mozambican NGO’s and Churches. This involvement helped
the researcher to learn their language and culture.
It is also surprising to learn that, for survival purposes, a number of
foreigners are trying hard to learn the local languages. In the case of
the area under research, Setswana and Zulu are languages that are
commonly spoken and foreigners are trying hard to learn them from
the streets. The two young persons the researcher engaged to assist
could also speak most of the languages and therefore communication
with the foreigners was not a problem.
6.4.2.
ACCESS TO THE INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS:
The involvement of the researcher within the communities as a pastor
has helped the communities to recognize him and therefore,
interaction was much easier. Even in the situation of apathy and
mistrust, the man of cloth is still respected and therefore people were
easy to deal with. Even some of the migrants and refugees, though not
many, could still remember the researcher’s work with the SACC and
therefore they were able to open up.
In the situation where there might have been doubt, the researcher
produced the consent letter, and people relaxed and were prepared
to share the information. In fact it came out that people have been
yearning to meet someone they could trust to off load their frustration
to. There is complete mistrust of the politicians and any person
associated or is perceived to be associated with them is treated with
suspicion.
6.4.3.
Mobility:
The fact that the research is mobile made it possible and easier to
move around the area under research. Using public transport would
have been extremely difficult as informal settlements are scattered
over a wide area.
6.5. THE ANALYSIS OF THE FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSIONS AND
THE QUESTIONNAIRE:
6.5.1.
THE QUESTIONNAIRE:
The questionnaire has been developed in such a way that it
addressed major topics of the research. This was intended to test the
literature research results against personal views of those
interviewed.
Distribution:
The questionnaire was distributed in the following areas: Dobsonville
Township, Snake Park, Braamfischerville, Groblerspark informal
settlement, the Prince Crossing Informal Settlement, Slovoville
informal settlement, Mathole Motshekga informal settlements, and
Zandspruit Informal settlement. The distribution of forms was done
randomly without targeting a certain number per age group or sex.
Forms were distributed to any person who was met. But, upon
collecting the forms, the researcher was able to deduct as to how
many people according to sex, location and age group returned the
forms.
The age groups were classified as follows:
a) Under 18
b) 18 – 25
c) 26 – 45
d) 46 – 60
e) 60 and above
Marital status:
- Single
- Married
- Divorced
- Widow
- Widower
Method of interviews:
While the majority of people in the areas visited are somehow
literate, it became clear that many people were not familiar with
questionnaires and they needed assistance to be able to answer the
questions. As the scope of the area covered was wider, it became
clear that there was a need for the researcher to allocate a longer
period to conduct the research. It was also possible to mostly conduct
these interviews on week-ends as most of the interviewees were
struggling to earn a living during the week. Therefore it was
important to find the right time when people would have time to
discuss.
The researcher targeted Saturday and Sunday afternoons when many
people were at home. This implied that one had to take longer time
and the distances between the informal settlements also made the
process slower. The researcher trained two youth members from the
church to assist and conduct some of the interviews, i.e. helping filling
forms for those who could not fill them independently. The youth were
only robed in to do the questionnaire with the local residents and the
more sensitive category such as immigrants and senior community
leaders were done by the researcher himself.
The distribution of the questionnaire:
a) 20 questionnaires were distributed to each of the three main
townships, Dobsonville, Doornkop (Snake Park) and
Braamfischerville to South Africans living in the formal townships
but residing in the back rooms of the local owners: (60 in all)
- Dobsonville 18 forms were returned, i.e. 90%
- Snake park 15 forms returned i.e. 75%
- Braamfischerville 13 form returned i.e. 65%
A total of 46 forms of the 60 were returned making 76.7% the total
of forms returned.
b) 20 questionnaires were distributed to each of the five (5) informal
settlements (100 in all). 27% were assisted to fill the questionnaire
and the remaining 73% were distributed to those who could fill
them independently.
All the 27 forms filled-out, with the support or assistance of the
youth, the researcher checked them to ensure that they were
correctly filled. 35 forms from the independent people were
returned, making it 47.9% of the forms completed.
c) 35 forms were distributed to local people in Dobsonville, people
who have been in the townships long before the 1994 dispensation
(Permanent residents) The aim was to gauge how permanent
residents in the urban areas felt about changes.
28 forms were returned properly filled = 80% and the remaining 7
not returned.
All in all a total of 195 forms were distributed and 136 returned,
bringing the total number to 69.7%. It is on the basis of this that the
results of the analysis were based.
ANALYSIS OF THE FORMS FROM THE LOCAL PERSONs:
1. Age group interviewed:
AGRE GROUP
NO
PERCENTAGE
Under 18
18 – 25
26 – 45
46 – 60
Over 60
13
35
43
36
9
9.6%
25.7%
31.6%
26.5%
6.6%
Sex:
Male: 47
Female: 89
= 34.6%
= 65.4%
Marital Status:
ITEM
Single
Married
Divorced
Widowed
Widower
Orphaned
NO
PERCENTAGE
58
47
2
3
2
24
Education:
Attended a modern School Yes_____ No_________
43%
35%
1%
2%
1%
ITEM
None
Primary
Secondary General
Secondary technical
NO
PERCENTAGE
136
93
43
100%
68%
32%
Occupation Status:
ITEM
NO
Formal
Informal
Farm
Livestock
Others
PERCENTAGE
56
67
13
0
0
41%
49%
10%
0%
0%
Main Type of Housing
ITEM
NO
Shack
RDP
Free Standing House
Apartment
Back yard room
PERCENTAGE
58
37
15
3
23
43%
27%
11%
2%
17%
Household Properties and Housing Characteristics:
ITEM
Radio/Cassette
TV (SABC)
TV (Decoder)
Fridge
Stove (Electric)
Stove (Gas/Paraffin)
Car
Telephone
Cellular
NO
136
98
35
67
80
20
22
23
122
PERCENTAGE
100%
72%
26%
49%
59%
15%
16%
17%
90%
Type of Fuel Used for Cooking:
ITEM
NO
PERCENTAGE
Wood
Charcoal
Electricity
Gas
Kerosene (Paraffin)
Others
24
10
45
23
34
0
18%
7%
33%
17%
25%
0%
Sanitation
ITEM
NO
PERCENTAGE
Flushing toilet
Pit Latrines
Bucket
Bush
Others
Economic Indicators:
Access to Housing
Ownership:
ITEM
NO
PERCENTAGE
Shacks
Title deed
RDP
70
35
31
51%
26%
23%
10.6. Do you think that in the new South Africa during the past 15
years poverty has: (In this category participants were asked to
make a choice from, increased, remained stable or has
aggravated.)
Decreased:
30
=
22%
Remained Stable:
38
=
28%
Has Aggravated:
68
=
50%
Additional responses:
a) Increased because:
- More shacks are built, no proper housing
- People still don’t have access to the basics e.g. electricity, water
etc.
- Public servants can’t afford houses but yet but cannot have access
to subsidised houses, RDP
- No job creation, those who are working are paid far less.
- A gap between the rich and poor is still continuing to grow
- Economy is still in the hands of few people
- High rate of unemployment
b) Remained stable because:
- There are still issues that people are complaining about.
- Not much has been achieved but some services have been
improved therefore very little has changed in terms of service
provision
- Poverty remains stable because the efforts or improvements made
are taken by the foreigners who come into the country, they do not
pay taxes but take money out of the country, especially
Zimbabweans who use the South African currency back home.
- Government keeps on making promises but does not fulfil them.
c) Decreased because:
- Due to the current social grants, people receive some monetary
relief
- Some communities had joined hands to establish NGO’s to uplift
themselves
- Government sponsor small businesses
- Grants given to mothers of young babies, who have no support,
fathers or mothers employed
- Job creation has helped to curb poverty
- Government trying harder to create jobs and to ensure those who
are employed remain employed.
- The government’s support to destitute families through the Social
Grant to pensioners helps to keep poor families alive, something
that is not available in the neighbouring countries.
- Students are helped with learnership programmes and these help
to improve their chances of getting jobs
d) Has aggravated because:
- The rand has lost its value. Things are too expensive, even if you
get money, it is still not enough.
- The annual increase of basic commodities such as electricity and
petrol make life difficult for the ordinary people.
- The introduction and increase of existing toll gates make it too
expensive for workers, transport costs are increasing beyond the
reach of ordinary people, bus, taxi and train fares are beyond
reach to ordinary people.
- Unemployment is increasing
- The influx of immigrants takes jobs from local people
- The state of economy is declining and continues to be unstable
10.7. From your point of view, do you think, poverty is growing
more severe today than 15 years ago? (The respondents were
asked to rank this as less severe, unchanged, and more severe.)
Less severe
41 = 30%
Unchanged
27 = 20%
More severe
68 = 50%
No opinion
0 = 0%
Additional responses:
a) More severe because:
- Poverty is growing more severely because South African money is
worth much less than it was before, it has lost value. People’s
needs are not matched by the level of income
- The rising level of commodities is not matching the income, i.e. the
salary increments do not match the inflation.
- Global warming affects farming
- Affordability of basic commodities is a problem to many people
- Education is no longer a priority of the country and therefore the
level of educated people remain lower and educated people from
outside the country come and get jobs that are belonging to the
South Africans.
- Job losses are increasing at an alarming rate while the government
is doing nothing to curb this.
- More child-headed families due to the HIV and AIDS pandemic
- Unemployment is very high
- Education is becoming more expensive and only the rich can
afford to educate their children
- Immigration and emigration leads to abuse of the country’s
resources
- Government does not care about the welfare of its citizens; those in
government are only worried about their own pockets.
b) Less severe because:
- Many of South Africans are working and there are more
opportunities now in the urban areas than before 1994
- The situation since the 1994 elections has improved the standard of
many people; there are opportunities to improve one’s education
by having access to tertiary and education aid.
c) Unchanged because:
- The new government has not done much to improve what they
found when they took over. In fact, they maintained the level they
found and improved the status of those who are closer to them
- The increasing number of children who get grants
- Empty promises about job creation
- Increasing number of people accessing education with no jobs
10.8. Do you hope that, in the next five years of the current
government under Jacob Zuma, the economic situation of
ordinary South Africans will improve? (Interviewees were
requested to rate: Decrease, remained stable and aggravated)
Decreased:
54
=
39.7%
Aggravated:
54
=
39.7%
Remain Stable:
28
=
20.6%
- He is autocratic
- He does not listen to the concerns of the people
- His government is full of people who steal from their own country
and people
- They are enriching themselves and their families only, whilst the
people are getting poorer by the day.
- Corruption within the government by officials is the threat to the
economy
- Nepotism and political appointments (Deployment) in work places
is the major problem
- Elite people get all the things they want
- Poor people are marginalised
- The gap between the rich and the poor is increasing by the day
- Promises of economic improvements under the current
government have not been fulfilled.
- The youth is left to run the country without the government taking
control
- Government is extravagant
- Unskilled people put in leadership positions
- Good constitution that is misinterpreted and violated to suite those
in power
- Irresponsible citizens
- Influenced by Global warming
- Government pretends to be coping with the situation but in fact it
has lost control
- It is not in control of the inflation and economy, increases f taxes
and basic commodities such as petrol, electricity, are out of
control.
- The increase of the Budget is not in line with the reality on the
ground.
- The local governments are totally incompetent, cannot deliver
services to the people because comrades have been appointed to
senior positions without proper qualifications
10.9. From your point of view how can the economic situation be
alleviated in your community
Families’ personal initiatives
11
=
84
=
8%
Creation of more jobs
62
Creation of self-help schemes
30
=
11
=
0
=
22%
Increase of Government Benefit
8%
Development by other parties’ interventions (NGO’s)
0%
People had to add more, but it looks like everybody was satisfied with
the above.
10.10. In your opinion, the presence of immigrants and refugees
in the country has contributed towards the increased loss of
jobs by the citizens. (Interviewees were requested to rate:
Decrease, remained stable and aggravated)
Decreased:
23
=
17%
Has aggravated:
34
=
25%
Has aggravated:
79
=
58%
- Immigrants are used as cheap labour therefore, they save the
employers a lot of money. They are therefore preferred over the
local people.
- They have taken over the local businesses
- They do not pay taxes but benefit from them
- They have skills that South Africans do not have
- They do not mind getting any form of remuneration
- They bring fake goods into the country
- They strain the country’s infrastructure such as sanitation, water
supply and electricity and garbage
- They do not engage in strikes, i.e. do not get involved in trade
union activities; hence employers prefer them.
- They grab and dig anything that come their way whilst the citizens
are choosy
- Privatisation that lead to foreigners taking over companies and
employing their own people.
10.11. Theme: The presence of immigrants and increase/Decreased
of crime:
Increased:
Remained stable:
Has aggravated:
58
0
78
=
=
=
42.6%
0%
57.4%
- Most of them are not registered with the home affairs i.e.
identification not in the states’ records
- Their fingerprints are not recorded with the government
- Starvation due to unemployment cause them to be involved in
crime
- Being abused by South Africans who commit crime and blame it on
foreigners
- Their advanced knowledge of technology enable them to fake
almost everything
- Vulnerability to temptation due to poverty
- The trafficking, distribution and sale of drugs is done foreigners
- They use school children in the distribution and use of drugs
- The 419 Scheme carried out by the Nigerians, especially
- Are involved in fly-by-night business that fleece money out of
unsuspecting communities and then disappear after making
enough money
- A lot of fly-by-night schools that are not accredited
- Bogus Medical Doctors carrying out illegal abortions
- Setting up Charismatic Churches as fronts for crime activities
- Using unsuspecting South Africans as drug mules which resulting
in them ending up in jails in foreign countries, especially in South
America and Asia
- Unlawful marriages of unsuspecting South Africans in order to gain
the citizenship
- Production of illegal documents such as passports and Identity
Documents by using corrupt Home Affairs officials
- Corruption in the country has increased as foreigners teach South
Africans how to do it.
- They are hired as hit men in serious crimes
10.12. The Xenophobic attacks that occurred in 2008 in the
country were justified because the government ignored citizens
and supported foreigners:
(Respondents were asked to say True or False:
True:
102 =
75%
False
34
25%
=
- South Africans have serious housing and accommodation problems
but foreigners are allocated RDP houses and are preferred by
apartment owners over South Africans. For an example, they
occupy the whole of Hillbrow and Johannesburg, while locals are
struggling to get accommodation.
- People see them as having more rights than South Africans
- Bribe Housing officials and get allocated RDP houses
- Open spaza shops in informal settlements and sell their goods
much cheaper than locals
- They have removed, through cheap services, local fenders. In one
of the settlements, the whole business street is occupied by
foreigners
- Government neglects service provision to locals and seem to
support foreigners.
- Department of Home Affairs does not seem to be in control of the
security and borders of the country.
10.13. The rate of HIV and AIDS and other infectious diseases in
South Africa is increasing due to influx of foreigners:
In this section, participants were requested to say whether the
statement was true or false:
True:
42 =
30.9%
False:
94 =
69.1%
Additional responses:
False:
- People do not use protection when engaging in sexual acts
- Awareness campaigns are ignored
- People do not know their status because of fear, they don’t test
- Those who know their status sleep around without protection in
revenge
- It increases not because of foreigners but because of the lack of
education by the Health Department.
- Inadequate dissemination of information by the local health
departments
- The myth around sexuality, which make it difficult for people to
discuss it openly.
True:
- Because foreigners have a lot of money
- Poverty lures poor young girls to foreigners for survival
- Foreigners are not examined medically
- They have multiple partners here and at home
- Some foreigners do not believe that HIV and AIDS exist and
therefore, do not use prevention.
10.14.
What are the 3 best means to fight poverty in the
community?
Issues were:
 Develop income generating activities
 Develop basic social services
 Create job opportunities in the rural areas
 Provide support in materials and finance to the community
 Train the population and educate them
 Promote social justice
 Open up remote areas and develop road infrastructures
The best 3 issues picked by the respondents from the list were:
Train population and educate them:
61.5%
Promote Social Justice :
15.4%
Create job opportunities:
23.1%
10.15. From your point of view, what are the 4 main priorities of
your community?
Potable water
Schools construction
Access to health facilities
Productive activities
Literacy
Remoteness
Housing
Provision of basic necessity products.
The four priorities were picked up as:
Literacy
Access to health facilities
Housing
Potable water
7. The Focus Group Discussions:
=
=
=
=
30.8%
26.9%
23.1%
19.2%
The Focus group discussions were done randomly from some of
the townships and informal settlements and the researcher
grouped them as follows:
Women
=
7 Groups interviews
Men
=
8 Groups interviews
Youth
=
6 Groups interviews
Refugees
=
5 Groups interviews
Economic migrants =
6 Groups interviews
- The groups did not have fixed numbers but differed from
location to location.
- Sex workers (managed to interview only 2 people)
- The Councillors of Ward 48 in Dobsonville and Doornkop 1 in
each
The Focus group discussions were conducted in almost the same
way as the questionnaire but being flexible in order to allow free
participation by the group.
Theme 1: Perception of Poverty in the urban areas:
Questions were as follows:
- How does the group define poverty?
- According to the group, what were the causes of poverty?
- How does poverty manifest itself and what are the
consequences?
Women in the informal settlements:
Women tend concentrate more in the household and children.
 Lack of basic needs for the households and more specifically
food, clothing and basic household equipment
 Lack of money to buy basic household equipment such stoves,
furniture, to take children to schools etc.
 Lack of job opportunities to support the families. 60% of women
interviewed were either not in stable relationships or were
single parents and therefore, had to support children on their
own.
 Lack of electricity for lighting and cooking
 Lack of piped water to households (taps are in the corners of
the streets and time and again they are vandalised.)
 Lack of clothing, particularly for children.
Men:
 Most men saw unemployment as the major issue, this implies to
the lack of money, which is important for most of the things in
the family
 Lack of money for transport to work
 Lack of factories in the vicinity of the settlements
 Inadequate education that cannot allow them to compete for the
jobs in the market
 Lack of skills for self-employment.
 Lack of clothes
 Lack of food
 Lack of electricity which implies that families are forced to use
paraffin, coal and wood. These items are not easily found.
Youth:
 Lack of money to study at tertiary level
 Lack of access to job markets, qualified but no experience
which is needed by many potential employers
 Lack of connection with those in charge of jobs, many youth
interviewed come from the rural areas and prospects of
knowing anybody, especially in government, jobs are very slim
 Lack of both parents, majority of the youth is from single
parents home.
 Lack of health care
 Lack of proper housing, most live in shacks sharing rooms with
parents
 Lack of recreational facilities in the area.
 Lack of clothes
 Substance abuse by parents leading to impoverishment of
children
 Extended families (Too may dependants)
 Dependency on monthly grants from grand parents
 Illegitimate children, fathers disappearing, leaving
unemployment young girls with responsibilities of taking care
of children.
Economic Migrants:
 Lack of legal documentations makes it difficult for economic
migrants to get legal employment.
 Lack of accommodation
 Lack of access to the health facilities of the host country
 Lack of proper funding for the schooling of their children
 Xenophobic attacks by local communities make it unsafe for
migrants to look for jobs, where they are available.
 Lack of food for the family
 Lack of proper clothing
 Lack of sanitation
 The inability to support families back home
 Failure to access the RDP houses because of citizenship unless
one has money to bribe housing officials
 The inability to open bank accounts unless one has asylum
seeker or refugee status.
Refugees:
Lack of official papers to recognise one as a refugee
Lack of clear policies on the status and welfare of refugees/asylum
seekers
Lack of support from the UNHCR, leaving refugees/asylum
seekers at the mercy of the local communities
Lack of Refugee grants for scholarships and general support
Lack of properly designated living areas for refugees leaving
them to fend for themselves and being exposed to abuse.
Sex workers:
- The security situation surrounding their area of operation scare
potential customers away and therefore, income is difficult to
get.
- The growing number of sex workers reduces the chances of
getting picked up and therefore, it does happen that some
nights they do not catch anything.
- The harassment of clients by the police makes it difficult for
clients to come to pick them up.
-
The criminalisation of the industry makes it to be too
dangerous and risky. Sex workers risk being picked up, raped
and even killed. They are afraid to report this as it will put them
in trouble with the law.
The groups understand that there is a concern about the growing
crime which affects all the areas:
Theme 2: Perception on Xenophobia and crime:
The debates or discussions on xenophobia invoke very emotional
debates. This is something people are very much unhappy about.
One can already pick it up that the history of the country had denied
South Africans the opportunity to know their neighbours and to
understand their situation. Even those who have been in exile have
very negative attitude towards foreigners, especially those that did
not get high opportunities in the government. Their argument is that
while in exile, they were banished to the refugee camps, where
security was extremely tight and they were not allowed to move
freely in those host countries like they see it happening here. They
had to apply for permission to go shopping while foreigners here do
not have those restrictions. While the majority of people that were
interviewed do not condone the xenophobic attacks on foreigners,
people had this to say:
- The new government is neglecting local people at the expense of
foreigners.
- Foreigners are given priority when it come jobs.
- The pretence to recruit qualified artisans is a disguise to pay back
the foreigners for having looked after the ANC cadres during
struggle.
- Government is incapable of policing the borders therefore,
foreigners are left to roam all over the country
- They seem to have more rights than the locals and they also use the
country’s resources without paying taxes
- Serious crime has escalated since the foreigners had arrived in the
country
- The type of crime that was never found in the country before has
been brought in by foreigners e.g. drug trafficking, especially in
schools can be blamed on them
- Job opportunities for local people are fast disappearing because of
the competition with foreigners. Many foreigners are highly
qualified because they were not denied opportunities as it was the
case with South Africans. Instead of helping upcoming South
Africans priority is given to foreigners.
- Foreigners are blamed for bribing government officials for houses,
passports, identity documents and marriages in order to get
citizenship of the country.
Theme 3: Perception on service deliveries:
The general feeling from people is that they have been used to enrich
the ruling party’s elites. Almost all the services for poor people are
neglected.
- Electricity and water have been installed in some of the informal
settlements but they are far too expensive for the people living in
those areas.
- Prepaid metres for the commodities mentioned above, ensure that
people cannot use them. They are available but not affordable.
- Infrastructures in the places where people stay are non-existent.
- Schooling for children is another major problem. Most of the high
schools and tertiary institutions are out of reach of the ordinary
South Africans. The good schools are in the suburbs where people
have to use transport. Payment of school fees is also another
burden.
6.6
CHALLENGES TO THE CHURCHES AND PASTORAL CARE
GIVERS:
6.6.1. THE PROPHETIC MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH AMIDST
THE SUFFERING DUE TO THE RAPID URBANIZATION
It would be important for us, to first, review scripture and several
practical theologians before we come up with a suggested model of
response to the situation in South Africa. This will guide us in what we
would suggest to the Churches of South Africa.
THEOLOGICAL REFLECTIONS:
Now that we have analysed the situation as it is in South Africa today
since the 1994 dispensation, how should the Church respond?
Perhaps James’ question as it appears in 2:14 – 17, could be relevant
to this question. Is wishful thinking adequate to comfort the victims? In
this text, James emphasises the importance of faith and deeds. He puts
it very passionately by saying:
“If a brother or a sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to
them, “Go in peace, be warned and filled,” without giving them the things they
needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead”
(The Revised Standard Version)
James’ version is strengthened by the Apostle John in his 1st Epistle
when he says: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life
for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone
has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on
them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love
with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (John 3:16 – 18) (NIV)
Paul also challenges us in 1 Corinthians 13:1 - 13
The Church that cannot be moved with compassion at the sight of the
suffering of brothers and sisters is dead in terms of faith. Therefore,
the Church in South Africa has the obligation to continue to be a voice
of the voiceless and be involved with the people who are suffering
from humiliation, deep hurt and disappointment by what they had
thought would be better life. People are now crammed in squatter
camps or informal settlements in abject poverty, while a few
individuals are becoming millionaires throughout the country.
Perhaps the question that needs to be asked from here is, why the
Church? John De Cruchy, in his article entitled Christian Community,
refers to the Book of Act 2:42ff. He reminds us that the Church is a
fellowship or community which is rooted in the activity of the Holy
Spirit, as the action of God to bring unity and by giving life to the
body. De Cruchy & Villa-Vicencio 1994: Right from the beginning, the
Christian Church saw itself as a “fellowship of believers.” The
concept of Koinonia is repeated again in Acts 4:32 – 37.
“The believers stayed, prayed together, they were “one in heart” None of them
said that any of their belongings were their own….There was no one in them who
was in need. Those who owned fields or houses would sell them, bring the money
received from the sale, and hand it over to the apostles, and the money was
distributed to each one according to his or her need. (Good News Bible,
Today’s English Version)
Ananias and Saphira, his wife, tried to cheat the fellowship of
believers by selling their land and hiding their money. They were
punished for this act of betrayal. On this understanding, Koinonia is
not to be regarded as something spiritual and separate from daily
concerns and life. The fellowship welcomed everyone, including the
Greeks and Gentiles. The divisions of society were overcome.
26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were
baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor
Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you
belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
(Galatians 3:26 – 29)
This reminds us of Jesus’ first message right from the beginning of his
ministry, which has been quoted at the beginning of this research,
Luke 4:18 – 19, which is also found in Isaiah 61:1 – 3.1 This clearly
indicates that Jesus’s ministry was two-fold. To preach the gospel and
1
See Page chapter 1 page 1
to take care of those who are in need. Jesus repeated this in Matthew
25:31 – 46 when he said:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on
his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate
the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He
will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my
Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of
the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you
gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed
clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and
you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed
you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger
and invited you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or
in prison and go to visit you?’ Matthew 25:31 – 46 (New International Version)
And to those who did not do this, Jesus said they would be
condemned. The Church of Christ is faced with needy people in the
midst of filthy rich. The message that our Lord brought to the world is:
a) To bring good news to the people; the Gospel and to
b) To talk about God’s love to them and to show it practically by
loving those who are in need.
Millions of people in South Africa had hoped that the new South Africa
was going to change their lives. People participated in the first
elections with such enthusiasm as they all hoped to have their lives
changed. During the 2009 General elections, such vigour was no
longer there and the 2011 municipal elections indeed reflected the
frustrations among the people of South Africa. While the ruling party
still maintained comfortable majority, this has been reduced in most
of the provinces as compared to the previous elections, with Western
Cape and the city of Cape Town falling comfortably into the hands of
the Democratic Party. People are wounded and need to be healed.
If the church wants to heal the wounds of those who are wounded, it
needs to be clear on the kind of services it needs to provide to the
wounded people.
The ministry of listening with Love or the ministry of pastoral
counselling cannot be replaced with any other ministry.
God is on the side of the poor and the marginalised. He rebukes those
who do not respect the needs of the poor. Amos 2:6 – 8
This is what the LORD says: "For three sins of Israel, even for four, I will not turn back
[my wrath]. They sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals. 7
They trample on the heads of the poor as upon the dust of the ground and deny
justice to the oppressed. Father and son use the same girl and so profane my holy
name. 8 They lie down beside every altar on garments taken in pledge. In the house
of their god they drink wine taken as fines.
1 The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa--what he saw concerning Israel
two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son
of Jehoash was king of Israel. 2 He said: "The LORD roars from Zion and thunders
from Jerusalem; the pastures of the shepherds dry up, and the top of Carmel
withers."
3 This is what the LORD says: "For three sins of Damascus, even for four, I will not
turn back [my wrath]. Because she threshed Gilead with sledges having iron teeth, 4,
I will send fire upon the house of Hazael that will consume the fortresses of BenHadad. 5 I will break down the gate of Damascus; I will destroy the king who is in the
Valley of Aven and the one who holds the sceptre in Beth Eden. The people of Aram
will go into exile to Kir," says the LORD. 6 This is what the LORD says: "For three sins
of Gaza, even for four, I will not turn back [my wrath]. Because she took captive
whole communities and sold them to Edom, 7, I will send fire upon the walls of Gaza
that will consume her fortresses. Amos (8:1 – 7)
The church needs to provide
 a safe space to talk and listen to the wounded people
 Help people explore important issues that concern them
 Does not seek to judge others
 Look at problems through the eyes of faith
 Respect other people’s beliefs, yet offer a challenge
 Listens with love and to be a healing presence
Luke 4:16 – 19: Jesus speaks about the immense value of each
individual that must be taken into consideration when evangelism is
applied, i.e. not only the spiritual side of person is important, his/her
welfare also should be considered.
46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large
crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus),
was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth,
he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" 48 Many rebuked him
and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on
me!" 49 Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called to the blind man, "Cheer
up! On your feet! He's calling you." 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his
feet and came to Jesus. 51 "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see." 52 "Go," said Jesus, "your faith has
healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
Mark (10: 46 – 52)
In his ministry, Jesus took time to listen to the problems and
tribulations of people. When the blind man, Bartimaeus, shouted for
Jesus, the crowd that was there to listen to Jesus rebuked him and
shouted at him to keep quite. The man continued to call out to Jesus
who listened to him. Jesus called him and healed him. The situation in
the informal settlements, is calling for the church to help. Just by
visiting the place one can hear the voices of the people, they are very
loud. Every year, people are being washed away by the rivers due to
poor planning, Alexander and Diepsloot are very clear examples.
Even when other people and the municipality say: “leave them alone
because they do not listen when they are advised to build far away from the river
bank,” the Church should listen like Jesus did. People have no option
but to build on those places due to the lack of land.
Zacchaeus, a short man who wanted to see Jesus but his stature
prevented him from seeing him among the crowds, had decided to
climb a tree in order to have a good sight of the Lord. But the most
important part of this story is that Jesus went to this man’s house and
ate there. His disciples and other people were not happy about this.
Why should Jesus eat and sit in the house of sinners? Tax collectors
were famous for being the worst sinners and some followers of Jesus
did not understand why he should spend time with them. It is not only
sinners who are shunned by community or believers. In many cases
poor people are also shunned by society. People do not want to be
associated with them. They are isolated and left on their own. The
Church should do like Jesus did, and go and visit those who need
healing. Zacchaeus might have been a rich man but Jesus realised that
he needed to be saved from the clutches of greed. People give
excuses that the informal settlements are dangerous, that there is
crime and that they are afraid to be mugged in there. Yet, there are
human beings, who are made in the image of God in the midst of what
people fear.
1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of
Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who
Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. 4 So he ran
ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come
down immediately. I must stay at your house today." 6 So he came down at once and
welcomed him gladly. 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone
to be the guest of a 'sinner.' “8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look,
Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated
anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." 9 Jesus said to him,
"Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." Luke (19:1 – 10.)
The other moving story is that of a woman who suffered terrible
bleeding for twelve years. She had consulted medical experts and
had not been helped. When she heard that Jesus of Nazareth was
coming to her village, she knew that if she spoke to him she would be
helped. Out of desperation that she could not reach to him, she
insisted on touching his gown in order to be healed.
25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26
She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she
had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus,
she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she
thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." 29 Immediately her bleeding
stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30 At once
Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd
and asked, "Who touched my clothes?" 31 "You see the people crowding against
you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?' " 32 But Jesus
kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had
happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the
whole truth. (Mark 5:25 – 33)
37 When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was
eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38 and as
she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears.
Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
(Luke 7:37 – 38)
A woman who lived a sinful life touched Jesus and poured perfume on
Jesus’ feet. The Pharisee who hosted Jesus for a meal did not
understand why Jesus had to allow the woman to touch him. For him,
sinners should not come any near to the Lord.
LITERATURE REVIEW:
Before we can come up with a concrete suggested strategy for the
Church’s response to the rapid urbanization problem as detailed in
this document. It is important to look at a number of Pastoral Care
theologians and how they deal with the issues of pastoral care. This
section, therefore, will study a number of authors and practical
theologians, who have written or developed pastoral care models that
can help the researcher develop his own model:
- HJC Pieterse: White Practical Theologian who have taught at the
University of South Africa during the time of apartheid and who
also had first-hand experience on the suffering of black
communities by spending sufficient time in black townships
experiencing their way of life.
- Anne Streaty Wimberly: A professor of Christian Education at the
International Theological Centre in Atlanta. She is the author of
several books and has immense experience on working with
African Americans
- Stephen Pattison: A Professor of Religion, Ethics and Practice at
the University of Birmingham and a former Professor of Religious
and Theological Studies at the University of Cardiff
- Kinoti: Was an Associate Professor and a former Chairperson in
the Department of Religious Studies, University of Nairobi
- Waruta: Associate Professor and former Chairperson in the
Department of Religious Studies, University of Nairobi. A Former
Secretary of both the Association of Theological Institutions in
Eastern Africa and Conference of African Theological Institutions.
- Mucherera: An Assistant Professor of Pastoral Counselling at
Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, and an
ordained minister of the United Methodist Church from Zimbabwe.
- Lartey: A lecturer in Pastoral Studies and Pastoral Theology at the
University of Birmingham, UK.
- Dr Osborne Mbewe, Pastor in the Church of Central Africa
Presbyterian Nkhoma Synod, who also worked with the World
Vision in Malawi
A)
HJC PIETERSE: Preaching in a context of poverty
The author has served the Practical Theology Department of
University of South Africa for a number of years and is currently a
Professor Emeritus at the same university. He has also, on several
occasions, contributed to the Department of Theology of the
University of Pretoria. As a practical theologian, Pieterse had been
involved with black communities in and around Pretoria where had
experienced first-hand, the suffering of black communities due to the
apartheid system. Together with the late Dominee Nico Smith, they
had worked among the communities of Mamelodi where they
understood the reality of separate development. Even though his
book was written during the apartheid period, it is still very relevant
in post-apartheid time, and for this research, it is indeed a valuable
contribution.
In dealing with the subject of Preaching on the context of Poverty,
Pieterse identifies four very important steps that preachers should
consider when applying the text in the context of the listeners:
Pieterse, HJC (2004: 81— 92)
a) To approach the Bible in the perspective of the marginalised:
In this context Pieterse agrees with Anne Wimberly that preaching
should be able convince listeners that indeed God is nearer and is
able to help them out of misery and that He is on the side of the
poor. The Old Testament teaches us that God had always been on
the side of the poor, and that He showed particular biasness
towards them. God was touched by the cries of the oppressed
Israelites in Egypt and remembered the covenant He had made
with Jacob.
23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in
their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went
up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with
Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was
concerned about them. Exodus (2:23—25)
It is very important to note that poverty, at that time, was not
associated with begging. At the time agriculture was successful
and most of the people could make a living out of it. The poor were
people, who were indeed unable to till the land and these could be
elderly and the disabled. The laws were made to provide for the
poor; therefore Children of Israel were advised not to reap
everything from their land during harvest but that they should
leave some parts of the land so that the poor could come and reap
for themselves.
9 “When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your
field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Do not go over your vineyard a
second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and
the alien. I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus (19:9-10)
When the researcher grew up in what is now called the North West
Province, the community still relied on subsistence farming and, as
part of the “Ubuntu culture,” some crops were left on the land
deliberately during harvest. The grandmother to the researcher,
who had plot, would not pick up corn that had fallen on the ground
as this was left for the poor to pick. After they had finished, they
would invite the poor families within the neighbourhood to come
and pick and use the barn for winnowing. In most cases, such
families would pick enough to carry them over a long period,
sometimes until the next harvest.
As there was enough food available from these lands, there was no
need for anybody to go out and beg. Liberation Theologians such
as de Cruchy and Villa-Vicencio believe that the Bible should be
read with the bias that God opts for the poor, for whom he has
special concern and compassion. He further indicates that Jesus
himself came from a poor background and therefore, was very
humble. He continued with the teachings of the prophets in which
he confirmed the teaching of prophets that God is on the side of the
marginalised.
b) The preacher’s need to experience the situation of the poor
existentially:
Pieterse continues to argue that a true preacher is the one who
understands the situation of the people he preaches to. Pieterse
himself, in companion with the late Dr Nico Smith2, spent a lot of
time among the poor people in the sprawling townships of
Pretoria. He got to understand, first hand, what poverty tasted like.
It was important for them, not only to show solidarity, but to be part
of the daily life of the congregation and the community in the
context of their poverty stricken situation. They needed to live
among the people in order to experience and understand their
lives better. A preacher who lives outside the community will not
be able to contextualise his/her message in preaching. He or she
will depend on hearsays or the media.
c) Prophetic preaching in a context of poverty:
Pieterse defines prophetic preaching as preaching in which a
summoned witness becomes the mouthpiece of a living, acting as
God; the preacher should preach with authority.
The preacher should be able to translate, in the interpretation
process, as a creative response to the meaning of the text that the
exegesis has produced.
In summary, Pieterse suggests that the preacher who delivers a
sermon to the poor should have very good skills of hermeneutics and
that he should be able to translate the message of the text into the
current situation of the listeners, i.e. he should be competent in
making a proper and informed exegesis of the chosen Biblical text
from the perspective of the poor. It should be someone who is familiar
2
Dr Nico Smith was the Dutch Reformed Church minister who went all the way to reach out to the
black communities.
with the real situation of poverty and he should not be theoretical in
his preaching.
B)
ANNE E. STREATY WIMBERLY: Nurturing Faith and Hope
“Preaching As A Means To Reach Out To People In Stress:”
The second person that the researcher would like to refer to is A
Wimberly who had worked as a PHD Professor of Christian Education
at the Interdenominational Theological Centre in Atlanta, USA. Anne
has written a number of inspiring books and the researcher had the
opportunity to listen to her when she visited the University of Pretoria
in 2010. She is such an inspiring presenter. Just like HJC Pieterse,
Anne has developed three functions of preaching:
 Prophetic
 Priestly and
 Apostolic
For this thesis, the researcher will concentrate on the first two, i.e. the
prophetic and the priestly functions.
Anne Wimberly quotes James Harris who says: “The preacher should be
able to say something that addresses the needs of the people, directing the message
to the heart and head” Harris (1991:56)
Harris continues to say: Black Church goers expect the preacher to have
knowledge, and faith to assure them of God’s power, not to question or doubt it.
(Ibid)
The nurturing task of pastoral care is to, literally “build a case:”
especially through story telling that can evoke in worshippers a
deepening faith in the nearness of the able God to worshippers.
The black worshipping congregation expects the black preacher to
carry out a prophetic function in the preached word.
This function centres on the preacher to engage black worshippers
and help them see hope in the midst of chaos by imparting, during,
sermons, a perspective that is based on faith in the divine imperative
“God wants you free”
This function on black preaching include a view of nurture that
involves
“unsettling worshippers in a way that pushes them beyond a position of
complacency, and towards the necessary and intentions struggle for justice in
everyday life.” Wimberly AES (2004:
The emphasis or focus is on describing the prophetic function of
sermons that nurtures worshippers in a way that brings about
heightened awareness and existence that exemplifies a living faith
and hope within the Church and throughout the World.
The Bible is the basis for the black preacher’s engagement of black
worshippers in interpreting and critiquing the human situation.
Anne assets that worshippers’ visualization and anticipation is of
concrete actions in everyday life that carry out the agenda of God
made known by Jesus Christ.
PRIESTLY FUNCTION OF HOPE BEARING PREACHING:
The central focus of this function is building faith and hope within
worshippers through the intentional attention to the worshippers’
identity, formation and views of life as well as offering coping
strategies amidst life’s trauma – Upliftment
- Emancipatory focus and is rightly called a homiletic of
emancipatory uplift that is centred on faith in God’s activity on
behalf of person’s release from the things that bind to a future or
promise.
- The nurturing task of the black preacher is that of the priest who
evokes in the hearer an understanding that his or her life situation
does not have to remain the same.
- Discloses the wisdom that is pertinent to claiming and maintaining
the valued identity that has already been given by God.
- Helps the worshippers to envision a vocation and specific Christian
life skills that are critical to living families and in the World as
Christians, even when theirr backs are pressed to the wall by
challenges of life.
- Nurturing faith offers hope through the priestly function and it
entails that the preacher shares pivotal information that helps
worshippers to form positive views of self and life – thus inspire
faith and sojourn amidst the challenges of life.
- Preaching evokes self- examination, deepening self-understanding
and affirmation of our valued identity that is given by God and is
lived within the community and offers sustenance for the journey
ahead.
- It is through the priestly function that the redefining of identity
takes place.
Worshippers come into the worshipping congregation with many
facets of their lives. We come with stories great and small,
promising and problematic about our identities, the places we live,
our relationships, the direction of our lives and the meanings we
assign to our lives.
This type of preaching gives hope to an individual to believe that,
it is possible to achieve things that seem to be impossible.
Too much pain and meaningless in the lives of people sitting in
Christian sanctuaries, week-after-week need to allow such
conditions to be answered. Priestly preaching should and can
nurture and lead faith, hope, transformation and healing.
Wimberly, A. 2004, Nurturing Faith and Hope, in the chapter that
deals with: “Preaching as a pathway to nurture of faith” says
In this regard, Anne quotes James Harris who says”:
“The preacher is compelled to say something that addresses the needs of the
people, directing the message to the heart and head.” Harris (1991:98 - 99)
In the Prophetic Function of preaching, Anne stresses the fact that
the worshipping congregation expects the preacher to carry out a
prophetic function based on that has been preached. This function
centres around the preacher to engage the black worshippers and
help them to see hope in the midst of chaos by disclosing, in sermons,
a perspective based on the faith in the divine imperative “God wants
you free”
In the Priestly Function, Wimberly says that the central theme is
building faith and hope within worshippers through intentional
attention to the worshippers’ identity formation, views of life, and
coping strategies amidst life’s traumas.
C)
STEPHEN PATTISON: A critique of Pastoral Care
“What is Pastoral Care Anyway?”
Pattison defines pastoral care as: “An attempt to bring theology or the good
news to bear in mind the relationship to the members of his congregation to seek to
care in a manner that is sensitive to the other person or persons and to be faithful to
the theological commitments which we have been brought together.”
Pastoral care is a matter of doing and not thinking. You find what
pastoral care is by doing the job and definition is unnecessary.
The cura animarum which means care of souls. This definition seems
to have been a feature of the life of the Christian Community from the
earliest times.
Pastoral care has been generally characterised by the following
elements:
Healing, sustaining, reconciling and guiding.
Pattison asserts that, in concrete terms, pastors have at different times
undertaken some of the following activities:
- Listened to congregations
- Given advice and counselling, both spiritual ad practical (Verbal
and in writing)
- Offered consolation to the needy and given practical help
- visited people in their homes, and in prison or hospital
- Tried to cure people of their diseases using sacramental and
medical means
- Became involved in educational activities
- Exercised a caring ministry both within the Christian Community
and outside
- Undertaken social a practical roles in the interest of their
communities
- Conducted services or pastoral offices at crucial points in the lives
of individuals in times of bereavement or marriages
- Pastoral care has always been pluralistic, variegated and flexible
according to the need and circumstances
- It had an identifiable core of healing, sustaining, reconciling and
guiding.
MODERN TIMES:
Pastoral and Pastoral care have been even wider and more loosely
construed.
Pastoral Care is nothing other than a caring activity of recognised
pastors or churches. In this definition, pastoral care is confined to a
small distinctive group of people.
Pastoral care is that activity which is undertaken, especially by
representatives of Christian persons, and is directed towards the
elimination and relief of sin and sorrow and the representation of all
people, perfect in Christ to God.
D) WARUTA DW AND KINOTI HW: Pastoral Care In African
Christianity:
“Pastoral Counselling”
The two authors use the term shepherd to define Pastoral Care. In an
African context, the concept shepherding can be easily understood as
it has been part of the African culture. The context in which the book
has been written, clarifies the term easily. The Masaai tribes, which
are nomadic, are good examples of how shepherds give their entire
life to their livestock.
Therefore, Waruta and Kinoti use this concept from their personal
experience. For them Pastoral Care can be defined as the
specialization which is indicated by the adjective “pastorally” from the
noun “pastor”. It is derived from the Latin word “pascere” which means
to feed. In terms of the Latin meaning, the adjective pastorally refers
to the art and skill of feeding or caring for the well-being of others,
especially those in need of help. It is religiously oriented and is
backed by theological point of view.
They quote these words:
“The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need. He lets me rest in fields of
green grass and leads me to quiet pools of fresh water.” Psalm (23: 1 – 2)
In the Gospel according to John, Jesus declared himself the Good
shepherd, who gives his life for the sheep.
7
Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All
who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened
to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come
in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the
sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when
he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf
attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand
and cares nothing for the sheep.
14
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as
the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the
sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also.
They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
John (10:7 – 16)
John 21:15: Jesus sends his disciples to feed the sheep
Why is the term pastor not universally used in various Churches?
“It would be interesting to find out why the term “pastor” is not universally used in
various churches. Could it be because in some churches the minister’s primary task
is no longer considered to be “feeding the sheep?’ or it because feeding the sheep
has been narrowly defined as giving spiritualized homilies and conducting
impersonal rituals on Sundays? It is the responsibility of church ministers to be
available when God’s people are suffering, and to help them towards the restoration
of their wholeness. This responsibility is the essence of pastoral counselling.
Waruta and Kinoti (2005:5)
Waruta and Kinoti asset that Pastoral Counselling affirms the theory
that human life is sacred and must be preserved, defended,
supported and enhanced as a matter of priority. The sanctity of human
life is based on the Doctrine of “Imago Dei”:
That human beings are created in God’s image and that whenever
human life is undermined or destroyed, God seeks ways of restoring
it.
Those who are engaged in the task of restoring the wholeness of
human life are co-workers with God in the primary task of perfecting
divine creation.
Pastoral Counselling also views the human condition from a spiritual
perspective.
Human crises have spiritual dimension and that they cannot be fully
overcome until spiritual yearnings of the human beings have been
met.
It is important for pastoral counselling to be conversant with the
spiritual and cultural factors that create or compound human
suffering.
It should utilize God-given knowledge of psychology, human nature
and nurture as we as the scientific tools available and effective in
dealing with most human suffering.
E)
MUCHERERA TN: Pastoral Care from a Third World
Perspective; A pastoral Theology of Care for the Urban
Contemporary Shona in Zimbabwe:
“Implications for the practice of pastoral care”:
Mucherera, in this book, deals with the situation of the upper middle
class Shona people who live in the urban areas of Zimbabwe and who
find themselves at the cross roads of culture and religion. Due to
political changes in Zimbabwe, many economically viable people
moved from the rural areas to work and live in urban cities. The
change in life style had influenced their religion and culture whereby
most of them adopted the culture and the way of life that is found in
the cities. The situation in the cities has influenced some of the
peopleand has resulted in them abandoning the traditional life and
adopted the life in the cities. In most cases, people try to use both
rural and urban cultures and religious beliefs.
Though the context of the book does not deal with the issue this
research is about, there are some very important elements of
Mucherera’s analysis that can be useful for analysing and formulation
of a strategy to respond to the needs of the victims of the rapid
urbanization.
Mucherera’s analysis of the Case Studies contained in Chapter 5 of his
book, may act as guide to the researcher’s analysis of the three case
studies used in the introductory part of the thesis. In his analysis of the
Case Studies, Mucherera analyses the Cases under the following subheadings:
 Analysis of the Socio-cultural issues:
 Anxiety, its sources, and Psychological issues:
 Theological or Religious Response:
 Suggested Pastoral Response:
Mucherera, in the concluding chapter of his book, develops a fivepoint method that is essential for the implications for the Practice of
Pastoral Care. In a complex situation such as the one being dealt with
in this research, the flexibility of the care-giver to apply these
methods is very important.
a) Narrative or story telling method comes naturally in most African
societies. It is part of the African heritage – the oral tradition. The
African tradition had always used folklore stories to interpret
certain events or to make certain issues more understandable to
ordinary people. The animal stories have been used to show how
weaker animals survived under difficult situations. Rev Ishmael
Motswasele, a retired Lutheran Pastor in the North West province
of South Africa, used his retirement time to compile a book based
on folklore stories; which he links to Biblical stories. His stories
support Mucherera’s method.
One of his stories is about a huge animal (A Dinosaurs) that attacks villagers, eat
them and then continue to the next village to do the same. One day, a young man
from the other village decided to sacrifice his life in order to save the nation. He
planned to allow himself to be swallowed by the animal but with a sharpened
knife in his hand. While inside the belly of the animal, he started to work his way
out of the stomach by cutting a hole. People who were swallowed with him
escaped from the belly of the animal and were saved. This story is linked to the
story of Jesus’ redemption of the world. The big animal is the earth/world with its
problems and suffering. The young man is Jesus who sacrificed his life by getting
into the belly of death. Jesus found his way out of the belly of the monster by
conquering death and rose to victory. In so doing, Jesus rescued the people from
the belly of the monster. Therefore people should be assured that death and
suffering have been defeated.” Motswasele (2010:11)
Edward Wimberly is his book, ‘Moving from Shame to Self-Worth,’
also uses narrative or story telling method as rhetoric style. He
says:
“Story telling is not normally associated with pastoral counselling, yet for more
than a decade telling stories and using metaphors in counselling have been on
the rise. These stories help us learn from Jesus how he feels about ourselves, our
relationships, and our ministry. The hope is that we will be able to address the
malady of lack of purpose and meaning in life.” Wimberly (1999:14)
b) Issues of interpersonal relations or lack of them in the narratives.
Mucherera says: “The analysis of interpersonal relations involves the family,
church, the community at large, God and creation.” It i s important for the
care-giver to determine the interpersonal relations of the careseeker in order to understand his context.
c) Caregivers must be attuned to both cultural and religious worldviews of the care-seekers. The pastoral caregiver should
determine if the care-seeker has assimilated a foreign culture or
still adheres to his original or culture. Does the person feel
culturally connected or lost? Does the person feel sense of cultural
dissonance or confusion? This analysis is very helpful in the
situation this research is still dealing with. Many people find
themselves in the pool of different cultures and for survival, they
have to adapt to one or several cultures. In the process, the
original culture may be affected. This is possible with the next
generation. Children who grew in a mixed culture society tend to
adopt the nearest one and the original parent’s culture disappears.
d) The pastoral caregiver must be attuned to the type of diagnosis
given by the care-seeker. Mucherera here refers to the medical
treatment but this is also applicable in the type of counselling or
helps the care-seeker needs. Is it Western or African? The Western
Culture had demonised certain African cultural issues even simple
issues may be taken to be paganism.
e) The pastoral caregiver must be attuned to the care-seekers sense
of community of embeddedness or lack of. The caregivers should
be able to determine if:
- The care-seeker’s community of embeddedness is; is it of the
Church community, or secular community? Is it a community
geared towards economic success? Or within the extended
family or the nuclear family situation. The community to which
the care-seeker belongs provides him/her with values, culture
and a sense of personal and religious identity. Mucherera
quotes Furnish:
“The group whose definitions of the situation constitute a plausibility
structure for the person’s worldview is called her or his “reference group.
There are many possible reference groups available in the pluralistic society,
and the one we choose as ours has major implications. Pastoral care, as the
exploration with care-seekers of the possibility and implications of religious
definitions of their situation, is crucially involved with dynamics of reference
group behaviour and resulting social identity.” Mucherera (2001:174)
F)
LARTEY : In Living Colour; an intercultural approach to
Pastoral Care and Counselling
“Counselling as Pastoral Care and Counselling”
Lartey, a lecturer in Pastoral Studies and Pastoral Theology at
the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, developed
a six point model approach to pastoral counselling. This model
attempts to separate pastoral counselling from General
Counselling:
1) Secular Usage
2) Counselling by the ordained
3) Counselling with a religious frame of reference
4) Christian Counselling
5) Counselling for the whole person.
a) Secular Usage:
This model is popularly used in British schools especially in
the educational circle. In this context, pastoral care has to do
with a concern for the personal welfare and well-being of
persons. In this situation, school teachers, tutors, school
guidance and counselling officers, directors of studies have
pastoral responsibility for those they oversee. Four
dimensions of such Pastoral care are identified as follow:
- Discipline and order
- Welfare and personal well-being
- Curriculum and academic achievements
- Administration.
b) Counselling by ordained:
Pastoral counselling is understood to be that form of
counselling which ordained and trained clergy persons offer.
In this regard, Lartey quoted Campbell as follows:
“The utilization by clergy of counselling and psychotherapeutic methods
to enable individual couples and families to handle their personal crises
and problems living constructively” Campbell (1987:198)
In most of the USA Churches ordination has been a
prerequisite for accreditation as a pastoral counsellor,
although there are a number of secular clinical Pastoral
education centres which offer programmes to educate laity as
pastoral counsellors. Among the Jewish Jews, rabbis are
counsellors who are concerned with the inner life of the
individual, family and community. The commandment to visit
the sick and counselling the bereaved are now seen as part
of the rabbinical duties.
c) Counselling with a religious frame of reference:
In this context, counselling takes religious problems
seriously and is informed by the counsellor’s concern for
ultimate values and meanings.
d) Counselling offered within and by faith community:
Lartey quotes RA Lambourne of Birmingham who argued for a
more corporate conceptualization of pastoral counselling,
seeing it as ‘the Church growing towards perfection.’ He was very
critical of pastoral counselling that is regarded as
individualism. His concerns are echoed in the work of
American pastoral theologian, EE Thornton, who recognizes
that the individual or dyadic concentration of pastoral
counselling is a symptom and not the cause of a wider
cultural malaise in which the institutionalised church fully
shares, in the absence of the community.
e) Christian Counselling:
This type of counselling emerged from the evangelical
Christians. They do not use the term “pastoral” to convey
their counselling practice, and issue that distinguishes them
from the more liberal branches of Christianity. The
evangelicals base their counselling on a particular text and
interpretation of the Bible that is based on an experience of
salvation through personal faith in Jesus Christ.
The interpretation is then central around the theological and
interpretative framework in relation to which people’s
responses to the exigencies of life are exposed. The main
difference between the evangelicals and other Christian
Counsellors have to do with the degree to which they are
prepared to make use of secular psychological knowledge in
relation to their Biblical and doctrinal framework.
f) Counselling for the whole person:
Lartey quotes Chris R Schlauch who defines this type of
counselling as follows:
“Counselling for the whole person, as an individual as well as part of a
family and social unit, and as a whole person, body, mind and spirit, but
with particular reference to the person’s psychological, ethical and
theological frames of reference Schlauch (1985:223)
This view of pastoral concern as is being the concern for the
whole person is what distinguishes it from the other concerns
that appear to have particular religious concerns.
The difficulty with Lartey’s approach in this model is that it is too
western. Though he is an African writer, his theology has too
much western influence.
G.
JODA-MBEWE AND H.JURGENS HENDRIKS
Towards a Malawian Urban Ministry model, an article
published in the Missionalia Volume 31 (April 2003)
The article deals with the urbanization situation in the Malawi
cities. This article deals with almost the same situation that this
research is dealing with. It addresses the issues which are
related to the urbanization process such as poverty,
secularisation, disorientation, pollution and many other issues
that affect the communities in that situation; as it is seen
anywhere in the world. The study has been conducted in
relation to the Church of the Central Africa Presbyterian
Nkhoma Synod.
The article outlines the context of the problem of urbanisation,
describes the characteristics of the problem and develops a
theory that acts as a methodology for dealing with this problem.
The two researchers have developed what they called “Holistic
Hermeneutical Practical Theology.” This is an attempt to guide
the church to redefine its role and methods and to adapt its
ministry to the new changing situation. The church is challenged
to influence or participate in the effort to change the appalling
human living conditions of people who are trapped in city
slums. The two authors above, quote Ammerman, who says:
“Practical theology refers to a way of doing theology that incorporates the
context of people” Ammerman 1998:25 (Studying
congregations)
The two researchers have developed a ten point model for
doing ministry in Malawi. For them, the way of doing theology
emerged or has been prompted by the fact that the world is
changing so fast that individual believers and their faith
communities are continually confronted by new questions and
challenges.
This approach to ministry requires people’s full participation in
evaluating the results when they put their insights to work. The
church is described as a chameleon with its capacity to adapt to
new surroundings to find colours that fit into various
environments. The church should be seen in relation to its social
context, the setting, local and global context to which it must
respond. Theology is intrinsically contextual and abstract
theology does not exist. The writers of the article affirm that
knowledge of the understanding of the context of a
congregation and denomination in order to undertake ministry
can make an impact on people’s lives. The Church needs to
continue to understand an ever changing context in order to
deliver a relevant witness. The ten points are as follows:
1) Accept the new era and context:
The mission work of the Churches of Malawi was borne out of
rural context. The urbanization process has challenged the
church to start thinking in a new direction. The ethos of the
traditional rural ministry poses a problem of doing theology
in urban areas. This pillar therefore attempts to redirect the
mission of the church to be effective in a new situation.
2) Community participation:
The pillar attempts to help communities to realise the
potential in them that can help them to develop their own
situation. The myth that poor people are unable do anything
for themselves and should depend entirely on hand-outs is
wrong and this pillar attempts to correct this.
3) The Gospel in word and deed in urban areas:
The need for relevant preaching is being addressed by this
pillar. This is support of HJC Pieterse and AES Wimberly on
the importance of preaching. Good preaching and liturgy
meet many needs of people in difficult situation. It helps
people to understand their situation in relation to God at that
particular moment . Advocacy on behalf of the marginalised
is one of the important functions of the Church.
4) Christian faith development:
The main purpose of Christian faith development is to
provide a communicative praxis as a crucial part of a holistic
hermeneutical practical theology.
5) Urban evangelization:
Evangelism means the verbal sharing of Jesus Christ’s good
news and his offer to fallen human beings, as well as
participating in the enactment of his Kingdom. In Luke 4:18 –
19, Jesus emphasises the importance evangelism and good
pastoral care. The two should be balanced in order to be
effective.
6) Urban mission requires effective pastoral care:
Urban mission is a valuable opportunity for effective pastoral
care. The Church that does not identify with the suffering of
its people is out of touch with reality. Intense pain may create
the impression that God is not present and the Church should
be able to bring the hope that God is alive even in such
situations of suffering. Youth ministry is one key component
of the ministry in urban situation that should be strengthened.
7) Building moral faith communities:
This pillar stresses the importance of communities of moral
conviction based on the family as a nuclear support system.
The urbanization process breaks family system in that some
members are forced to remain in rural areas while others go
to the cities to work. The migrant labour system has been a
phenomenon in the entire Southern Africa region as a direct
influence of colonization. In most cases male members of the
family were forced to live separately from the rest of the
family and visit occasionally, depending on the distance from
home. In acute situations, some men only visit their families
once a year, during the Christmas recess. This alienates the
father from the family. This situation is articulated in the
Doctoral thesis of Rev Ananias Nyanjaya, a Practical student
with the University of Pretoria and also a United Methodist
Pastor from Zimbabwe who dealt with the situation of absent
fathers and its influence on growing boys.
8) Edification in urban ministry:
This refers to the equipping of the ministers and lay people to
be ready for the implementation of the holistic ministry.
Developments in the slum areas challenge the Church to
have well equipped personnel, not only ordained clergy but
lay persons as well.
9) Ecumenical alliances in Malawian Churches:
The importance of one voice by the churches in Malawi is
emphasised in this pillar. According to the two writers, the
ecumenical approach of the Church is the pillar of ministry.
Joint or collective approach to national issues makes the
voice of the church better heard by those in power. Sharing
of resources and personnel helps the churches to be more
effective in its ministry. Governments, especially African,
hate to be criticized and if they can identify an individual who
pose as a threat, they would go all the way to deal so harshly
with him. Advocacy is done better by joint efforts and it helps
to avoid individual marginalisation by those in power.
10)
Congregational study:
The purpose of this pillar is to assess the impact of the
congregational life, its ministry and impact. The minister
has to understand the dynamics and surroundings of a
congregation in order to be effective. A pastor, who
spends most of his time in the parish office, misses a lot in
terms of developments of current issues. There is a need to
be constantly in touch with the community in order to
know the current issues. This process will help the pastor
to gather process and analyse information in order to
assess the state of affairs.
6.6.2. THE SUGGESTED THEOLOGICAL MODEL OF RESPONSE:
The relevance of the Church in the midst of devastation and
poverty among the victims of the rapid urbanization.
Is the Voice of the Church in South Africa still as relevant as it
was during the struggle against apartheid? During that time the
common enemy was apartheid and indeed the voice of the
Church was heard everywhere. When the political formations
were banned, the Church came out very clearly as the voice of
the voiceless. Is there still any role to be played by the Church
now? Yes, the common enemy at the moment is poverty. As
indicated in the introduction of this research, the poor still have
hope that the Church has the ability to change their lives.
People go to Church and pray God and believe that their
prayers will be heard. To understand this argument, one needs
to pass the by buildings or tents of some of the Churches that
promise people prosperity and miracles and see how desperate
people flock to those Churches as their central Message is:
“Come to our Church and your Tears will be wiped off.”
Unscrupulous people, who have identified the fact that poor
people, are desperately looking upon the Church to solve their
problems, end up fleecing money out of the poor and making
them even poorer. The tears that are wiped are those of the
people, who are supposed to be wiping the tears of the poor,
they become filthy rich at the expense of poor people. What
ministry should the Church carry out at this stage?
A)
ACCOMPANIMENT OF THE VICTIMS BY THE CHURCHES:
Church to help address the situation of victims3 of rapid
urbanization by getting involved with the people.
The Apostle Paul, in the Epistle to the Church in Corinth, vividly
describes the Church as one body in which every part is linked
to the body, when one part is not feeling well, the rest of the
body will be sick
12
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one
body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[a] one Spirit so as to
form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all
given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part
but of many.
15
Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the
body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the
3
The researcher uses the word “victims” whenever he refers to the people involved in this
situation to indicate that people have been lured into situation with the promise of better life but
find themselves in difficult situations, rather than prosperity they expected. They are therefore
victims of these circumstances.
ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it
would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body
were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an
ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the
parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they
were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts,
but one body.
21
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot
say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body
that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are
less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are
unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable
parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving
greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division
in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If
one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part
rejoices with it.
27
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And
God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third
teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of
different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all
teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in
tongues[b]? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. 1
Corinthians 12:12 – 31
The same picture can also be found in Romans 12:4 – 21, one
body with different parts. The two texts clearly indicate that the
Church as an incarnate body of Christ cannot rest peacefully
when one member is not well. Paul has compared the Church to
the parts of the body that have to function well for the entire
body to be well. If the Church takes every member as an
important part of its body, it will be challenged to act.
People in the informal settlements belong to the churches; even
those who come from outside the country are Christians who
belong to the body of Christ. Most of the mainline churches in
South Africa cross over the boundaries of the neighbouring
countries. Most of them are connectd through global
organizations such as the World Council of Churches (WCC)
Lutheran World Federation (LWF) the Methodists, the Catholic
Church, the Anglicans, the World Alliance of the Reformed
Churches, the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) etc.
Through these bodies, the Churches form a network of one
body of Christ. Therefore most of the foreigners found in this
country are members of these churches belonging to these
networks hence cannot be treated as strangers. The World
Council of Churches has developed a document entitled
“Moment to Choose, Risking to be with the uprooted people and
also coined the term, “The Church of the Stranger”
If the Church in the new South Africa is to remain true to its
ministry, the Church should champion the course of the poor
and the marginalised as it has been the case during the struggle
against the apartheid system. It is very clear from the literature
review and the interviews that poverty is the main enemy which
manifests itself in different forms. People are forced to leave
their places in search for better life like the Masaai tribes4
moving from one place to the other looking for greener
4
The nomadic tribes found in Kenya and Tanzania
pastures. The economic migrants and refugees from other
countries are all driven by poverty to South Africa.
While millions of the poor South Africans had hopes of changing
their lives after the demise of the apartheid system, such hopes
have already disappeared and many are desperate,
disappointed by the slowness of transformation. The job
prospects many had hoped for are not materialising. There is a
growing dissatisfaction with the way the government is doing
things and many start to think it is not doing much. There are
allegations of corruption within the employment sector,
particularly of the government.
Every week thousands of posts are being advertised but nobody
knows how these are filled up. People apply but they are never
contacted to be informed about the progress and process of
their application. They hide behind this phrase: “If you do not
hear from us within the next two months know that your
application has not been successful, only shortlisted candidates
will be contacted.” It is hurting to calculate the costs incurred
by unemployed people who have to go to extent of borrowing
money with the hope that they would pay it back if employed.
The service delivery related protests that are becoming the
order of the day, particularly whenever there is something
coming, are indication of the level of frustration. What happened
to the powerful Ecumenical Movement in the country that used
to be the voice of the voiceless?
One would summarise the major challenges facing the Churches
as follows:
 Unemployment
 Corruption
 Family break ups
 Crime
 HIV/AIDS
 Child Headed Families
 Pensioner Headed families
 Suicide among young people
 Suicide among adults which include wiping out the whole
family
B)
RESTORATION OF THE DIGNITY AND SELF-WORTH OF
THE POOR; QUEST FOR WORTH AND VALUE:
One needs to pay a visit to the informal settlements and the
streets of cities to understand the extent of damage poverty
causes to the dignity of human beings. While the researcher has
concentrated so much in analysing the situation as it affects
people in the informal settlements, obviously the majority being
blacks, the reality is that not only black communities are victims
of rapid urbanization but that more and more white people are
falling into streets. The situation existing in Krugersdorp west,
the Pretoria west, including the informal settlements of poor
white people in Pretoria West and other cities, the phenomenon
of begging whites at the main intersections of streets are fast
becoming realities in the South African society.
It should be noted that apartheid system had protected poor
whites by the job reservations legislation that ensured that no
white family would be reduced to poverty. Unfortunately this
situation became unfair to some of the white people, who never
believed that the political situation in the country would one day
change, did not take pains in improving their educational level.
When the new dispensation came into effect, all the
discriminatory laws were abolished and the job reservations for
whites was abolished but unfortunately replaced with the new
measures to ensure that the wrongs of the past were corrected.
This left many whites vulnerable and had to face the reality of
unemployment for the first time in their history. To get a white
person to stand on the corner of the street and beg for money
takes courage. To understand this humiliation one needs just to
look at the fellow white people look at the persons. They feel
ashamed of the person. Sometimes the white beggar would
rather face people of other races than his/her own fellow
people.
The other category that is visibly humiliated by the situation of
poverty is the people who used to have rights to stay in the
township and qualified for Section A. Such people used to
qualify for jobs without any problem while their counter-parts
from the rural areas were employed on a yearly contract which
had to be renewed from the homeland. The pride of people of
the township was spoiled by the massive retrenchments as a
result of disinvestment and ultimately by the scrapping of all
restrictive laws which then allowed people to compete for jobs
as equals irrespective of origin or identity. This in a way
became humiliation to the township boys who used to have the
right to employment.
Edward Wimberly, in his two books, Claiming God Reclaiming
Dignity 2003 and, Moving from Shame to Self-worth1999, deals
with the issue of losing dignity and self-worth because of
unexpected change in one’s life. This is the challenge the
Pastoral Care givers are facing today in South Africa. Dealing
with the insights from the Book of Job, Wimberly discusses how
Job, a once prosperous and highly esteemed member of his
community suddenly finds himself poor and “a nobody.” The
respect he commanded from his family and community
evaporated over a short space of time and found himself in a
very compromising position. His wife, children and even
servants lost respect to him. This situation is very rife in the
sudden loss of employment and dignity by many people. The
major problem here is that people internalise the values of
social class to which they belong and once that status is lost, it
becomes difficult to face the community. Some people either
commit suicide or degenerate into self-pity.
Wimberly also touches another aspect of restoring dignity to
people who have been excluded from attending a very
important function. Although this has been accidental, those who
never thought that they would be made important found
themselves sitting around the table that was meant for the
special ones. As discussed earlier, the Church should be guided
by the commandment to love their neighbour as themselves.
(Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27) After
learning about the situation of the man as mentioned in Case
Study No 1 in Chapter 1, the Congregation was challenged to
adopt the man and help him to, at least, have a decent place to
stay, have a relationship with his family back home. One of the
members of the congregation offered his parents’ house for the
man to stay. (Both parents had passed away and there was
nobody staying in the house. This made the man to feel
accepted again in the community of believers as a person with
full dignity and respect. As this research is being done, the man
has been fully restored and he even managed to get a job
because he had a dignified address the prospective employers
could trust. His dignity as a human being has been restored. The
Church should do the same with many despaired people.
Sacred identity formation
Wimberly says:
“We become persons by internalising conversation in which we take part.
We become Holy persons by giving conversations with God, a privilege
status over all other conversation. God is present in my struggle with life and
death concerns I can depend on God to be present in both the suffering and
pain of the recovery process and in the transactions from life to death.
Wimberly (2003:8)
The reason why there are so many suicides is because when
people get depressed they no longer feel God’s presence in
their lives. They become empty and the reason for living is no
longer there. They feel worthless.
Edward continues:
“I can trust God because God sees me as a person endowed with value and
worth. God loves me enough to help me see myself as a person worthy of
God’s valuation. Sacred identity formation; something that God does
partnering with. The way we are led by God to sort through a variety of
cultural conversations about human worth and value until we can prioritize
God’s conversation the way Job did. Our faith community assists in the
process of sacred identification formation.”
C)
CHURCH SHOULD PROVIDE A SHOULDER FOR THOSE
HURT TO CRY ON, “LISTENING WITH LOVE”:
In Matthew 11:28 – 30, after being strengthened, Jesus make a
call to all those who are weary and heavy laden to bring their
burdens to him. This is a passionate call for pastoral counselling.
Jesus indicates that he is available to listen to those who need to
unload their burdens and assures people that he is capable of
carrying the burden for them
Pastoral Counselling should provide safe opportunity for people
to express and explore the thoughts and feelings of their
suffering.
Father Robert Igo, wrote a book on counselling of the HIV and
AIDS sufferers. He says the pandemic challenges the faith based
communities to be bearers of LOVE and HOPE to those affected.
In this book, Father Igo states the following about Pastoral
Counselling:
 It should create a safe place to talk and listen
 Help people to explore important issues that concern them
 It should not judge others
 It should look at problems through the eyes of faith
 It should respect other people’s beliefs, yet offer a challenge
 It should listen with LOVE and to be a healing presence.
In 2004, the researcher visited the Mt Ayliff in the Eastern Cape
after it was hit by a tornado that left 50% of home flattened. The
researcher was in the company of the then President of the
South African Council of Churches, Bishop Mvume Dandala. This
was an assessment mission to find what role the SACC could to
play in that situation. But, when the team arrived, people
immediately recognised Bishop Dandala and one woman said,
“The mere fact that you had come to see us in this situation, we feel so
relieved. Seeing our church leaders at the time of despair indicates that the
Church does only need us in the services but at difficult times it is there to be
with us. You do not even need to give us any material support. Your solidarity
visit is giving us strength to face the reality. ” Verbatim Quote (A
member of the Methodist Church in Mt Ayliff)
The team came with the intention of calculating how much it will
need to give material support but the victims made the team
aware that one very important aspect of mission was neglected.
It is at these times when people need to be assured that God is
present.
Therefore pastoral counselling is a conversation that has a
purpose and is aiming at offering support to people as to bring
about healing and personal growth. The healing and growth
begins to take place when a climate of trust and acceptance is
created and the person is assisted to explore and understand
how to cope more effectively with life and its difficulties.
Father Igo calls Pastoral counselling as “Listening with LOVE”
rest on the quality of our relationship, especially the qualities of
honesty, trust and confidentiality.
Invites us to provide a space for those in need to talk about what
is their greatest concern.
It is a helping relationship of care, compassion and concern that
provides an opportunity for issues of faith and spirituality to
surface.
It is a relationship of love and compassion
It is not a question of someone who is superior helping someone
who is weak, rather it is a way of creating a partnership of trust
and equality so that together we begin to make sense of
difficulties and find healing.
In counselling we make ourselves available to others, to be
present to them.
D.
THE CREATION OF CARING COMMUNITIES:
Ed Wimberley, 1999, refers to the issue of the caring
community. Being human means being vitally connected to a
community. Human beings are not islands but exist alongside
other human beings. The communities in which we live can
either be supportive or destructive or caring community has as
its central task the guidance and nurture of persons into their full
development as human beings. The caring community has to be
firmly grounded in a spiritual or faith tradition, although not all
members will ever be at the same level of faith.
 To be rich in caring, the communities must also have an
abundance of active symbols that impact person’s lives.
 The caring community needs the wisdom of different
generations, interacting in full participation so that meaning
may be continually transformed and transmitted to others.
 It has, as its central task the guidance and nurture of persons
into their full development as human beings.
 It has to have an abundance of active symbols that impact
person’s lives.
 The community’s conversations reflect the fundamental value
and universal worth of all the people.
 In caring communities, relationships and relationship building
are primary
 Commodification of persons is discouraged.
E)
RE-VILLAGING:
In his book, “Meet me at the Palaver” TN Mucherera describes
re-villaging as:
“the idea of reclaiming the core values of traditional Africa….In traditional
Africa, the village provided the cultural and religious foundations for African.
It was in the village that one got his or her psychological, mental, physical
and spiritual support, upbringing and identity.” Mucherera (2009:89).
Mucherera has shared a lot with Edward Wimberley and his
concept of villaging, marries very well that described above in
paragraph (D), the concept of “Building of caring communities.
Yet, again, the two concepts bring to us the concept of “Ubuntu”
In typical African village, the value of African culture can be
found in the story telling in the greetings. Greetings in the
village involve enquiring about the well-being of the neighbour
or the person you meet. In Setswana, the greetings go like this:
“Dumela Rra/Mma, a mme le tsogile?” “Good morning sir/madam, how are
you” (In plural) In this situation, the one who initiates the
greeting, invites the recipient of the greetings to share the
family situation and this may take a long time and then after
exhausting his/her family situation, the other person then ask
the other one the same. Therefore greetings in the Tswana
culture is not done hurriedly, it takes time5. In this sense, the
neighbour is invoked to share the well-being of the family. In
this sense, neighbours are able to know the situation of others
and where there is a need to help he/she will provide the
necessary help. This type of greetings and visiting of
neighbours have been lost in the midst of the foreign cultures
people find themselves in the informal and urban areas.
5
This type of greetings is not only confined to the Tswana culture in South Africa, but all the black
communities greet in the same way, it it sure the same with other African countries.
Mucherera continues by saying: “The advent of colonization and the
continued influence of Westernization and capitalism have shaken the
foundations of the African village today… today communities are made up of
people who simply live next door to one another because they happen to
build or buy the home next door, especially in urban areas” Mucherera
(2009:89)
Those valuable greetings are no longer found. People just greet
in passing, “Hallow and how are you” and that is it. The fencing
around houses, due to acute crime situation in the urban areas,
with high walls, prevents contact and communication with
neighbours. What the neighbour does next door has nothing to
do with the neighbour on the other side of the wall. In some
cases, neighbours can even ignore a crime happening in the
next door neighbour’s house and refuse to be witnesses when
police try to resolve the crime. Children of the neighbours can
misbehave publicly and it is not the neighbours’ business.
Whereas in the village, co-parenting by the village or
community ensures that children, irrespective of who they
belong to, are taught the norms and behaviours of the
community. Any parent has the right to correct a child that is
doing something wrong whereas in the urban areas, this can
create serious conflict between parents and the one who applies
discipline.
F)
EMPOWERMENT OF THE COMMUNITIES TO REALISE
THE POTENTIAL IN THEM: (The Church should work with people
and not do the work for the people)
At the end of apartheid a calculation of NGO’s, CBO’s, FBO’s
registered in the country as service providers were said to be
55 000. All these organizations received extensive funding from
donors abroad and they were able to do a lot of work in the
country. Most of them had to close shop after 1994 as there were
no more reasons to continue funding them. The same thing
happened to their services; they all collapsed or officially
closed down. The problem here is that at that time organizations
were doing things for people and people were not empowered
to handle their own situation. The danger here is that people
become over-sympathetic and believe that the victims are so
helpless that they cannot handle their own situation.
People in the rapid urbanization should be regarded as human
beings with brains. They should be helped to do positive
deconstruction of their own situation so that they can understand
it, identify mistakes they made and find a way forward rather
than to remain in the state of apathy.
Nick Pollard (1997) strengthens this idea in his theory of
‘Positive Deconstruction’. Nick Pollard says: “the process of positive
deconstruction involves four elements: identifying the underlying worldview,
analysing it, affirming the elements of truth which it contains, and, finally,
discovering its errors.” Pollard (1997:48)
In this case, the government has the obligation to provide
almost everything for its citizens. The only way to come out of
the misery of the rapid urbanization is that the government
should provide services, create employment and provide
houses.
According to him, positive deconstruction occurs when
someone dismantles issues, to examine them more closely,
identify parts that need to be replaced and re-use those that are
still in good shape. Nick Pollard uses an example of a motor
mechanic who dismantles an engine of a car to rebuild it again.
He examines every part to see it if can still be useful before
throwing it away. The parts that are damaged or bad are
discarded while those that can still be used are cleaned and
used again. Those that are not good for the process of life are
discarded. Most of the people found idling in the informal
settlements waiting for the government are people who come
from the rural areas where housing has never been an
obligation of the government.
Looking at the situation in rural areas, take for instance GaSekhukhune, in the Limpopo Province, houses that are found in
the villages have been built by women whose husbands spend
most of the time away in the mines and industries. Most of the
men returned only in December to find comfortable houses.
What happened to those initiatives? Even poor families used to
build their houses using natural materials such as mud and
grass. That is why the concept of “RDP Housing” did not work
well in the rural areas. People knew they had potential to do
things for themselves and getting houses for free was a foreign
concept. In the Malamulele district of Limpopo, RDP houses
were built for the poor local communities but adults refused to
move into the houses. These houses ended up being taken over
by young people, mostly girls who use them as brothels.
Therefore the church should work with the communities in the
situation to dismantle the situation, find where there are
mistakes and find a way forward.
While the services such as “Soup Kitchens” are some of the
important services provided by the caring faith communities,
their use should be limited and empowerment of the people be
prioritized. Indeed we cannot discard them completely.
The famous development slogan that says: “Do not give a man fish
but teach him how to fish” is being countered by relief slogan the
researcher learnt from the East, Manila in the Philippines. “In
order for a man to be able to throw the fishing line into the water and handle
a struggling fish, he needs strength. Fish does not surrender without a
struggle and a weak fisherman will be dragged into the water and drown”.
People there agree that teaching of skills should be done but in
many cases, teaching should be backed up with support;
support that will not lead to dependency syndrome.
The Church, that is the incarnate body of Christ, should be
capable of creating such. Being human means being virtually
connected to a caring community. The concept of “Ubuntu” “You
are because I am” comes into picture again at this point. In the
African context, no human being is an island. We belong to one
another and in times of trouble we need other human beings.
We need to accept that the process of urbanization and the
western civilization destroyed our cultural values and norms
and people live individual lives. There are no more family
structures that embrace the wounded members. Therefore the
Christian community still remains a place where the lonely,
dejected, and destitute should find refuge in.
Hundreds of thousands of people, disappointed by the failure of
the new government to deliver the promises and now, trapped
in the rapid urbanization situation, have no decent and
comfortable homes where they can sit together and discuss
their problems. The Church should create a safe haven where
such people can have conversations about their lives; the
church should lend a shoulder to cry on. In fact the Church
should be the family for most of the people. South Africa is a
country with a high percentage of Christianity and other faithbased communities.
G)
ADVOCACY:
Having studied materials and had focus groups discussions as
well as analysing the survey, it is sad to conclude that millions of
South Africans, who had very high hopes in 1994, have lost trust
in the government led by the African National Congress. People
are trapped in abject poverty and it does not seem the
government is in any way capable of rescuing the people
despite promises to do so. The role of the Church has always
been the conscience of the society and it still has the
responsibility to speak on behalf of the destitute people.
Advocacy cannot be done by one church and it is where the
whole ecumenical movement is expected to lead the way.
African governments are known to isolate the prophetic voices
and if the advocacy is done collectively, they are unable to pin
point an individual. The new South African government has
already shown that it does not appreciated constructive
criticism and therefore it will do all in its power to isolate
whoever speaks out. The following issues need to be addressed
with the government:
a)
Corruption:
Corruption, which is the main problem within the elites in
the government, is one problem the ruling party will have
to convince the nation that it is addressing it.
There is no week passing without a discovery of huge
corruption within the government structures involving
millions of rands. Corruption manifests itself in different
ways; job allocation, service or tender allocations, housing
allocations and outright theft of government resources and
funds etc.
b) Dispossession:
Though apartheid is no more, the majority of people are
still dispossessed. Access to economy, land and resources
still remain in the hands of few individuals. The white
minority, accompanied by the GEAR and BEE big shots are
still in control of the economy.
c)
Lack of capacity to put in place appropriate
frameworks, service standards and monitoring
arrangements.
It is important to underscore that capacity building
necessary at the levels of central government, cannot be
accomplished overnight. The problem of South Africa is
that politicians made it seem too easy to address the
wrongs of the past yet; they did not have economic powers
or know how.
d)
Lack of adequate management of financial resources.
The problem here is not that finances are not available; the
problem is that unskilled people are appointed in senior
positions due to the deployment system applied by the
ruling party. People are not appointed according to their
skills but according to their allegiance to the ruling party.
Every year at the end of the financial year end huge sums
of money stand unused due to lack of capacity while
people are
e)
Urge cooperation and reconciliation between the
government and the civil society.
These two are not easily reconciled; there is suspicion and
lack of trust between the two. Many officials are hesitant to
involve civil society in service delivery because of lack of
trust. Service provisions are outsourced through the
“Tender System” and only those close to the government
officials get the tenders. In some cases even the senior
government officials are said to use fronts for their own
tenders and business deals.
f)
Urge the government to improve coordination and
integration both at planning and operational levels.
Many officials and councillors have limited knowledge of
the local government’s reform agenda and alternative
service delivery methods and strategies. In some cases,
officials and councillors are not interested in local
government reforms and adopt a business as usual
approach to service delivery.
g)
Urge the government to intensify rural development in
order to curb the exodus from the rural areas leaving
the old people with children:
This situation brings about separation of families and
though the migrant labour system has been abolished,
some families would rather leave their children with their
grandparents rather than to take them along and stay with
them in the informal settlements. This situation leads to the
abnormal development of families and unfortunately some
families never manage to reunite as parents get absorbed
by the life in the informal settlements and literarily forget
about the children in the rural areas.
6.6.3. THE PROPOSED ACTION PROGRAMME FOR THE
CHURCH:
WHAT IS THE REAL PROBLEM TO BE ADDRESSED?
The problem has been clearly stated in the Problem statement
in chapter 1, paragraph 1.3 as follows: “While at the time of
transition, i.e. the 1994 elections, people thought that there
would be unprecedented development, their dreams were
shattered when the promises made to them by politicians
were not fulfilled. The dream of better life or prosperity
turned into misery. While in some cases services such as water
and electricity were provided, even in squatter camps, they
turned out be extremely expensive. The prepaid system makes
life difficult for poor people. You have to pay upfront for
services while people with normal services can continue with
life even if they owed millions to the municipalities.
SERVICE DELIVERY PROTESTS FOR ESSENTIAL SERVICES
WORSE THAN THE RURAL AREAS
THE AFTERMATH OF SERVICE DELIVERY PROTESTS (PHOTO
BY ANTONIO MUCHAVE SUNDAY WORLD)
COLLECTION OF WATER IS DONE JUST LIKE IN THE RURAL
AREAS
Therefore the Church is challenged by the gospel mandate to
accompany the affected communities as Jesus put it at the
beginning of his ministry when he clearly defined his mission
statement as found in Luke 4:18 – 19)
Having developed the theological model above to implement
the above suggested theological model the researcher suggests
the following actions to be taken by the Church:
a) The institutional capacity building:
The churches should create infrastructures to be used in
responding to the needs of the affected communities. These
should include operation areas such as building to facilitate
programmes, communications and travel.
b) Personnel capacity building:
The Church to train and deploy both clergy and laity
volunteers in the informal settlements to be able to carry out
counselling and relief activities.
c) Visible presence of the Church among the victims:
Churches to create permanent presence within the informal
settlements so as to ensure accompaniment of the victims.
Avoid creating preaching places or stations where Church
personnel are stationed away from the communities.
d) Capacity building of the victims:
Help communities in affected areas to realise their potential
in helping themselves by providing leadership and skills
training.
e) Accompaniment of the communities:
Church to conduct regular home visits to the communities in
order to familiarize itself with the problems of the people.
f) Create safe places for the communities:
To open churches and facilities for the communities to have
that space to be able to pray, get counselling and tell their
stories.
g) Advocacy skills training:
Conduct training for Church leadership in order to capacitate
them to speak and intervene on behalf of the affected
communities. Organize regular exposure visits by church
leaders to the informal settlements in order to familiarize
them with the situation.
h) Empower preachers, both laity and clergy to deliver sermons
and messages that will restore the dignity and self-worth of
the poor.
7.
CONCLUSION:
In conclusion, it would be very helpful for this research to revisit
the Aims and Objectives of the research through the chapters in
order to tie the entire dissertation together. In this regard, the
researcher will revisit chapters 3, 4, 5 and 6.
Chapter 3:
The chapter dealt with the economic situation post-apartheid
which lead to the following issues. The research has indicated
that the decline of the economic situation did not start with the
new government but that it was already down by the time the new
government took over due to the economic sanctions that lead to
massive emigration of investors. The attempts of the new
government to correct wrongs of the past were challenged by
this situation. Several economic programmes designed to correct
this situation were attempted such as the RDP, GEAR, BEE and
NEPAD with little results except to develop few individuals into
millionaires at the expense of the rest of the population. Efforts of
the new government were further frustrated by the unexpected
or unplanned issues such as:
 Influx of people from the rural areas into the cities
 Influx of refugees and economic migrants
 Unemployment
 Problems of Housing
 Mushrooming of unplanned informal settlements
 Abject poverty in the urban areas
The existence or the reality of these issues were tested through a
structured questionnaire which was distributed randomly among
the people in the research areas, personal interviews, focus
group discussions, analysis of quantitative and qualitative data.
Chapter 4:
The chapter dealt with issues that are products of the rapid
urbanization that affect lives of the people directly. These are
Social problems, culture shock and the effects of the migration
from the rural areas that leave the vacuum and other problems for
those who remain. In this chapter, the data analysis of the
quantitative and qualitative methods played an important role.
The researcher had to rely on existing information about the
extent of the issues and how they have been affecting people.
Chapter 5:
This chapter dealt with the rapid urbanization by economic
migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. The researcher tried to
show how this category affected the new South Africa and the
economy in particular. The exact number of migrants in South
Africa remains to be an estimate as measures to control the influx
did not exist. A high number of undocumented migrants make the
work of both the Home Affairs and the Police very difficult. The
meeting of the two rapid processes, i.e. from internally and
externally and how they created difficulties between the two
communities; xenophobia, which can be attributed to competition
for scarce resources such as employment, housing, informal and
formal trading. The researcher also compared the situation of
immigrants before and post 1994 and how South Africans reacted
to the two these. The research analysis of existing documentation,
the structured questionnaire, personal interviews of both the
locals and immigrants proved that there serious problems
between the two communities. The challenge to the South African
government is that it cannot deal with the situation of the locals
without having to deal with that of the foreigners.
Chapter 6
The chapter dealt with the analysis of the results of the survey.
Dealt with the methodology used in the research as well as the
limitations of the study, the sensitivity of certain research
methods used such as approaching the immigrants, prostitutes
etc. The chapter also dealt with the Theological reflections on
pastoral care as well as literature review of selected authors. He
then suggested a pastoral theological methodology which
included the following:
 Accompaniment of the victims
 Restoration of the dignity and self-worth of the affected
communities
 Church to provide a shoulder for the victims to cry on
 Creation of caring communities
 Empowerment of the affected communities
 Advocacy on behalf of the marginalised
The research has helped the researcher understand in depth the
traumatic experience of the people who had hoped that the new
South Africa would bring peace and prosperity to their lives. But,
very importantly, the research has revealed that the Church in
South Africa seem to have relaxed a bit after the 1994
dispensation. Having acted so vigorously during the apartheid
time, to speak on behalf of the oppressed masses in the absence
of the political formations due to banning, the church has the
obligation to continue to engage the government and all
stakeholders not to forget the promises made to the masses of the
country. Many things have happened and continue to happen
without being challenged. The gap between the rich and the poor
still continue to grow and corruption has become the order of the
day. The famous Tender Scam, popularly known as
“Tenderpreneur” has become cash cows to some of the
politicians and those connected. An independent voice of the
Church is still important and therefore recommendations and
findings in this research need to be shared with the Church in
order to realise its responsibility in the country.
The research has also highlighted a number of issues that can be
taken up by other Practical Theologians to do further researchers.
In other words, this research gives opportunity to pick some
issues for dissertations that will help to highlight the problems of
the new South Africa.
8. APPENDICES
8.1. INFORMED CONSENT LETTER:
Universiteit van Pretoria
Fakulteit Teologie
Doktorsgraad Dissertasie /
Meesters Tesis Navorsings Voorstel
Sertifikaat van goedkeuring deur
die Nagraadse Komitee
University of Pretoria
Faculty of Theology
Doctoral Dissertation /
Master Thesis Research Proposal
Certificate of approval by the
Postgraduate Committee
INFORMED CONSENT LETTER
01.
FAKULTEIT TEOLOGIE: NAGRAADSE KOMITEE
FACULTY OF THEOLOGY: POSTGRADUATE COMMITTEE
KRITERIA VIR EVALUASIE VAN MEESTERS- EN
DOKTORALE NAVORSINGSVOORSTEL / CRITERIA FOR
THE EVALUATION OF MASTERS AND DOCTORAL
RESEARCH PROPOSAL
Student: Rev White Makabe Rakuba
Studente nommer/ Student number: 26497124
Departement / Department: Practical Theology
Graad / Degree: Phylosophae Doctor (PHD)
Studieleier / Study leader: Professor MJS Masango
Contact details:
Tel: 011 973 1873
Fax: 011 395 1615
Mobile: 079 314 0483
E-mail: [email protected]
02.
Purpose of the study
The purpose of this study is to analyze the situation that affects
people of South Africa during this time of our life, post-apartheid
period. At the time of change, millions of South Africans had
very high hopes about the new South Africa. When the
restrictive laws were removed from the statuette books, people
started to abandon the rural areas to move to cities with the aim
of getting some jobs and better housing. People had expected
that the new country will improve their economic and living
standards but 15 years after, the situation seems to have
worsened; millions of people continue to live in abject poverty
while few people seem to enjoy prosperity.
It is generally accepted that the Church played an important
part during the struggle and became the voice of the voiceless
when all the political formations were banned in the 80’s.
The purpose of this research is to high-light the reality of the
rapid urbanization with the aim of making the Church aware of
the situation and develops and assist the Church to develop a
response mechanism to address the plight of people trapped in
the poverty of the urban areas.
03.
Procedures to be followed
The researcher is planning to use both the quantitative and
qualitative instruments to gather information before making
conclusions. Therefore the researcher will review literature
available on rapid urbanization and conduct interviews as well
as a questionnaire aimed at the affected people. The researcher
will make visits to both the urban and rural areas to observe the
effects of the urbanization process in these areas and conduct
interviews with all the stakeholders.
04.
Risk and discomforts
The research will not involve participants in any risk as there
will be no exposure to anything risky. The participants will be
expected to supply the researcher with the necessary
information, i.e. answering to the questionnaires and active
interviews from the researcher. The information will be treated
with utmost confidentiality and therefore there will be no risk
involved.
05.
Benefits:
As this is a voluntary exercise, there will be no gain, either in
cash or in kind except that participants will gain knowledge
about the subject under discussion.
06.
Participants’ rights
The rights of participants will be respected throughout their
involvement, this will be voluntary and participants may
withdraw at any time if they feel so without any negative
consequences. The researcher will ensure, at the beginning of
every interview, explain in details the whole process and also
make participants aware of their rights before agreeing to share
information with the researcher.
07.
Confidentiality:
The researcher will ensure that the whole exercise will be done
confidentially. The identities of all participants will be protected
and where possible pseudonyms will be used. The information
or data collected during this research will only be accessed by
the researcher and the University of Pretoria.
08.
The subject’s right of access to the researcher in case there
is doubt.
While all efforts will be made to protect the participants, the
researcher will be ready to cooperate in case there is a need for
the participants to contact the researcher in connection with the
materials shared in the exercise, the researcher will ensure that
this is possible and that confidentiality regarding discussions on
this matter is ensured.
09:
Declaration of the subjects:
In order to ensure that all the participants of the interviews as
well as of the questionnaire, the researcher will prepare a form
of declaration which will look like this:
Having received detailed explanations by the researcher on the
aims and objectives of this research, I am willing to be
interviewed under the conditions as tabulated in this document.
ITEM
NAME
INDIVIDUAL INTERVIEWS
01
02
03
04
05
06
07
Mr Collins Sebogo
Mr Thomas Monotoe
Mr M Taele
Ms M Motshegare
Mr Gerald Tlhale
Rev T Mobbie
Ms Sibongile Maubane
DATE
SIGNATURE
08
Ms Boitumelo Ncube
09
Rev J Mogale
10
Ms Sedie Mogale
11
Ms Johanna Tlhapi
12
Mr P Mafoko
13
Mr S Rantao
14
Ms Mafoko
15
Mr Makwatse
16
Ms C Matlhage
17
Rev Mahlangu
18
Ms Lucky Mauthufi
19
Mr Kabelo Maithufi
20
Ms Mabalane
21
Mr G Mogorosi
22
Ms N Menyatswe
23
Mr T Kgosiemang
24
Ms Lerato Ntlailane
25
Ms Grace Sepato
KEY INFORMANT INTERVIEWS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Mr Japhta Lekgetho (Mayor)
Mr A Mompei Councillor)
Rev SS Mugivhi (Pastor)
Rev M Mankga (Pastor)
Mr Piet Oosthuizen
(Policeman)
Mrs C Mogorosi (Nurse)
The list will continue during the interviews.
7.2. The Questionnaire
INTRODUCTION:
(The questionnaire will be translated into the languages of the
people)
When South Africa went to the all-inclusive elections in 1994, the
expectations the country were that poverty, oppression and
miserable life which the majority of the citizens of the country had to
endure for forty six years (46) was finally over. The restrictive laws
that condemned people to lifeless homelands were repelled and
restrictions on movement and choice of abode were removed,
bringing about hope and high expectations from those who had never
experienced freedom before. Fifteen years has since passed, the
country has changed leadership three times, but, life has not changed
for many except few individuals who had become millionaires. This
questionnaire will try to find what the different people of South Africa
see the situation after 15 years into democracy under the following
themes:
 Economic situation
 Unemployment
 Housing and homelessness
 Informal settlements and “Shack farming”
 Poverty in the urban areas
 Family life and Social problems
 Culture Shock
 Rural depopulation
 Refugees and economic migrants
 Xenophobia
1.
HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD
Under 18
18-25
26-45
46-60
Over 60
Sex: Male:
Female:
Marital status:
Single:
Married:
Widower
Divorced
Widow:
Orphaned:
2. EDUCATION:
Has attended modern school?
Yes:
If yes, what is the highest cycle completed?
1. None
2. Primary
3. Secondary general
4. Secondary technical
3.
OCCUPATION STATUS
1. Formal
2. Informal
3. Farm
4. Livestock
5. Other (Specify)
___________________________________
4. HOUSEHOLD PROPERTIES AND HOUSING
CHARACTERISTICS
Does the household possess?
Radio/radio cassette:
Yes:
No:
No:
T. V.:
Fridge:
Yes:
Yes:
Stove (electric/coal:
Yes:
No:
Car:
Yes:
No:
Telephone:
Yes:
No:
Cellular Phone:
5.
No:
No:
Yes: No:
MAIN TYPE OF HOUSING:
a) Shack
b) Stone house
c) Cement house
d) Apartment
e) Back Room
6. UTILITIES FOR HOUSEHOLD?
a) Water: Available:
Not available:
(specify)__
Source
b) Source of lighting:
I. Electricity
II. Gas
III. Kerosene
IV. Candle/torch
V. Solar
VI. Others (specify)
_________________________
7. TYPE OF FUEL USED FOR COOKING:
I. Wood
II. Charcoal
III. Wood and charcoal
IV. Electricity
V. Gas
VI. Kerosene
VII. Others (specify)
8.
_____________________________
SANITATION:
a) Flushing toilet
b) Latrines
d) Bucket
e) Other (specify)
______________________________
9. ECONOMICS INDICATORS
a) Access to housing?
b) Ownership
(1)
Lease
(2)
Freehold
(3)
Communal
(4)
Title deed
Yes
No
c) Use (specify – story)
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________
d) Livestock? Yes
No
e) Type
_____________________
Number
__________
_____________________
__________
_____________________
__________
_____________________
__________
10.
PERCEPTIONS
10.1. What is your opinion on your family living standard
during the past 15 years: (In these questions,
“adequate” means that the survey considers that
household minimum needs are satisfied, no more, no
less)
a) Concerning the household food consumption, which
of the following affirmation is true?
i) It is less adequate compared to the family’s
needs
ii) It is adequate
iii) It is more than adequate
iv) Not Applicable
b)
Concerning the household housing, which of the
following affirmation is true?
i) It is less adequate compared to the family’s
needs
c)
ii)
It is adequate
iii)
iv)
It is more than adequate
Not Applicable
Concerning members’ clothing, which of the
following affirmation is true?
i) It is less adequate compared to the family’s
needs
ii) It is adequate
iii) It is more than adequate
iv) Not Applicable
d)
Concerning healthcare received by the
household, which of the following affirmation is
true?
i) It is less adequate compared to the family’s
needs
ii) It is adequate
iii) It is more than adequate
iv) Not Applicable
e)
Concerning your children schooling, which of the
following affirmation is true?
i) It is less adequate compared to the family’s
needs
ii) It is adequate
iii) It is more than adequate
iv) Not Applicable
10.2. What is your opinion on your family living standard 15 years
ago:
a) Concerning the household food consumption, which of the
following affirmation is true?
i)
ii)
iii)
It was less adequate compared to the family’s needs
It was adequate
It was more than adequate
iv)
Not Applicable
b) Concerning the household housing, which of the following
affirmation is true?
i) It was less adequate compared to the family’s needs
ii)
I t was adequate
iii)
It was more than adequate
iv)
Not Applicable
c) Concerning members’ clothing, which of the following
affirmation is true?
i) It was less adequate compared to the family’s needs
ii) It was adequate
iii)
iv)
It was more than adequate
Not Applicable
d) Concerning healthcare received by the household, which of
the following affirmation was true?
i)
It was less adequate compared to the family’s needs
ii)
It was adequate
iii) It was more than adequate
iv) Not Applicable
e) Concerning your children schooling, which of the following
affirmation is true?
i) It was less adequate compared to the family’s needs
ii) It was adequate
iii) It was more than adequate
iv) Not Applicable
10.3. From your point of view, generally in this community (quarter),
people belong to
the category:
i) Rich
ii) Middle
ii) Poor
iii) Very poor
10.4. Which category do you think you belong to?




Rich
Medium
Poor
Very poor
10.5. From your point of view, generally, what are (in importance
order), the four main
signs of poverty manifestation? (Please only 4)
 When one finds it difficult to feed one’s
family………………..
 When one does not have a house or decent
housing…………..
 When one cannot help his/her parents and
neighbours……
 When one does not have a job…………………………………
 When one is sick or handicapped……………………………
 When one does not possess any
cattle…………………………
 When one does not possess a plot of land for
farming………
 When one does not have esteem within its
community……..
 When one does not have means to provide health care to
one
self and family
members…………………………………………
 When one cannot insure its children’s education.................
 When one cannot read nor write………………………………
 When one is lazy………………………………………………….
 When one is isolated, far from
everything……………………..

10.6.
years?
When one does not have family or social relations…………
Do you think that in the new South Africa during the past 15
Poverty has?
 Decreased
 Remained stable
 Has aggravated
 Why (give four justifications your answers)
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_______
10.7. From your point of view, do you think, poverty is growing more
severe today than 15 years ago?
 Less severe
 Unchanged
 More severe
 Why?
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________
10.8.
Do you have any hope that, in the next five years of the
current government led by President Jacob Zuma economic
situation of ordinary South Africans?




Decrease
Remained stable
Aggravate
Why?
______________________________________________________
______________________________________________________
______________________________________________________
______________________________________________________
____________________________________
10.9.
From your point of view, how can the economic situation be
alleviated in your community?





Families’ personal initiatives
Creation of more jobs
Creation of Self Help Schemes
Increase of Government Social Benefit schemes
Development partners’ interventions (NGO…)

Others
(specify)……………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………
…………………………..…………………………………………
………………………..……………………………………………
………………………………….…………
10.10.In your opinion the presence of immigrants and refugees in the
country has contributed towards the increased loss of jobs by
the citizens:




10.11.


Decreased
Remained stable
Has aggravated
Why (give four justifications to your answers)
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
____________________________________
The presence of refugees and immigrants has
increased/decreased crime in the country
Decreased
Increased



Remained stable
Has aggravated
Why (give four justifications to your answers)
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
________________________________________
10.12. The xenophobic attacks that occurred in the country in 2008
were justified because:
a) The government ignored the citizens and supported
foreigners
True
False
Give examples to support your answer
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________
10.13. The rate of the HIV and AIDS and other infectious diseases in
South Africa is increasing due to the influx of foreigners:
True:
False:
Give four justifications to your answer
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
________________________
10.14.
In your opinion, what are the 3 best means to fight against
poverty in this community (in importance order)?








10.15.
To develop income generating activities
To develop basic social services
To create job opportunities in the rural areas
To provide support in materials and finance to the
community
To train the population and educate them
To promote social justice
To open up remote areas and develop road infrastructures
Others (specify)
………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………
…………………………..…………………………………………
………………………..……………………………………………
…………………………………
From your point of view, what are the 4 main priorities of
your community (in importance order)?








Potable water provision
Schools construction
Access to health facilities
Productive activities
Literacy
Remoteness
Housing
Provision of basic necessity products
 Others (Specify):
………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………
……………………..………………………………………………
…………………………………..…………………………………
……………………………………..……………
9.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:
The researcher will be using the books in the library, from other
sources, the internet and the search engines to get information
in addition to the questionnaires that will be distributed. So far
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- 279 -
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