DAY 9: ‘No hot ash’

I was late this morning so I thought I would have my breakfast during my walk to Yeoville. It was leftover cake from the day before. I thought I would have it on-the-go because it was in a takeaway box and would be easy for me to discard after i was done so that I would not have to trek in Yeoville the excess weight.

It was a great plan until I finished my cake and I could not find a bin to throw  my box into. We walked for about 20 minutes and there was not one bin in sight for me to throw my dirt away. Eventually I found one on Regent street and it was too full. I could have left my box on the already tilting pile but then it would have fallen onto the ground and then I would have become one of the many people who have become ignorant to the environmental catastrophe the world is currently experiencing. I think that it is tragic that areas like Yeoville are so badly managed by their municipalities. I do not have facts and figures but I’ve seen children playing in raw sewage waste which has leaked out onto the streets. I have seen the walkways covered with with heaps of refuse and rot which has fallen from flooded bins and bottles which lay in a million little pieces in the streets that children play in.

I suppose people have become complacent in the face of the neglect that they have experienced from their municipalities which are obliged by virtue of their commitment to serving their communities to provide them a better quality of life. And yes, clean streets contribute to a better quality of life.

Yeoville, a beauty, my lover, has been marred by neglect.

Not all hope is lost though. On my way to the taxi rank. I came across an elderly man walked out of a residential building with a broom and dust-pan made of an old five litre bottle of juice or could it have been oil? Anyway he walks down the stairs and starts to sweep some of the refuse that had been discarded at the entrance of his building. He attended to the dirt.

In South Africa, as I have learned on during this in-depth journey, there is the constant reminder that respect and the right to a better life are more of a privilege than then they are the rights which are revered in the constitution. I suppose this final stretch in my journey to becoming a good journalist will expose me to the many injustices that people are forced to encompass into their lives. It will also remind me that I am not there to change the world. I just have to tell the story and hope for the change.

 

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