Short Article on Hostels

18 June 2013    


Let's not play politics here!


Last week's visit by a well known political party to the hostel community of Meadowlands Zone 11, Soweto and the subsequent reaction to it by certain authorities within government, highlights one of the sad features of our political climate and system.


Delivering his reply to the State of the Province address 2013, IFP Caucus leader BW Dhlamini stated, "For those of you yet to visit or stay in a hostel, let me describe the place where (Refilwe) is raising young Mandisa and Sizwe singlehandedly. The place has no running tap water; she still uses candles and paraffin for cooking and lighting."  This description of the Madala hostel where Dhlamini was undertaking his eleven year routine of auditing of Gauteng hostels, can apply to most hostels from Tshwane, Mohlakeng, Pink and Blue (Ekurhuleni).


Dhlamini, in responding to certain hostel residents complaining about parties and government only seeing them on the eve of elections, responded by explaining how he also was weary of this 'sudden care mentality'. He explained that he has long been trying to get the Gauteng Legislature and government to see that their plight as citizens needs addressing. Dhlamini stated that during this year's State of the Province of Gauteng he stated, "I am not saying people are asking to be built houses in Sandton and Houghton, or that they are asking to start eating sushi and expensive caviar. All these people want is not a favour; it's something that has been promised to the supreme law of our country, the Constitution!".


Whilst the IFP welcomes the sudden attention hostel areas are receiving, it certainly hopes that hostel residents aren't being taken for a public relations ride. The IFP in Gauteng therefore requests that government view hostel residents as full citizens and not some unwanted folk. Their pain at being seen as voting fodder is best captured by African-American writer Ralph Ellison, who said of the plight of poor African American, "I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me." In improving Gauteng, let government and some among us politically stop making hostel citizen's part time citizens.




Contact: IFP Caucus Leader in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature;
Bonginkosi Dhlamini; 071 622 7523


IFP Media Liaison Officer, Musa Ngobeni; 079 412 9757 / 011 489 6401