It is now safe to lift my head above the parapet while the war still rages on the Cape Flats, amid the army’s presence, to utter those dastardly uncomfortable words: “We told you so.” Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)
It is now safe to lift my head above the parapet while the war still rages on the Cape Flats, amid the army’s presence, to utter those dastardly uncomfortable words: “We told you so.”
Here’s the lesson we have to learn about community politics: silence does not equate to peace. The fact that we hear fewer shootings allows some to conclude that peace has come. In fact, the history of experience informs us that the gangs will sit the army out far longer than the army has budget to occupy the townships.
The creation of peace is a far deeper exercise than just the absence of gunshots. Doing the deeds of constructive peace building resides in the realm of the tangible: visible social justice, equitable opportunities, robust integration and a celebration of diversity.
Peace does not exist in a vacuum. Peace is the consequence of deliberate brave actions.
And here’s why the current deployment of the army on the Cape Flats will fail: it is void of a strong civil society coalition that has the faith of the people to build this visible, equitable, robust and celebratory future for us all. Like under apartheid, we have sadly extended the belief that the old culture of law and order is the key to our safety. And in doing that we have failed to give our children a culture of celebratory social justice and unlimited opportunities.