The Two Oceans Marathon is known around South Africa and the world as one of the sporting events to watch in the marathon calendar and while it’s not quite up there with the big marathons in the world it holds a certain place in the hearts of South Africans.
The event is always a special one but this year’s race was threatened to be called off by the organizers when threats by residents of Imizamo Yethu also known as IY and Hangberg who threatened to disturb the event. Obviously the event organizers would not let that affect their marathon, too much money to be lost, so they merely changed the route to exclude the Hout Bay area altogether, a diction which did not go down well with the residents of Hout Bay or should I say with the more privileged members of Hout Bay. You see these members of that community are business owner who use the Two Oceans as a boost to their business every year and they were now upset that they would lose money and that these people in the townships were only thinking of themselves.
Let’s take a closer look as to why those people in the townships are upset though and I pose the question to the privileged people of Hout Bay, in the same situation, what would you do? What would you do? If you were promised proper housing years ago, if you had out houses instead of toilets, if every time it rained you were scared of either getting horribly ill or your home being swept away by excessive rain! The truth is these white privileged people will never understand the plight of their poc brothers and sisters and the fact that they complained about them disturbing a race actually disturbs me the most because these people have suffered so much and they have gone about things in the right way and it’s got them nowhere so what do we expect them to do? I know I’d probably do the same thing if I was in their shoes because everything else is falling on deaf ears and what do the powers that be do?
They just go past them as if they don’t exist!
The ultimate we don’t care about you or what you asking for move. In other words we couldn’t care less about your housing or any of your problems enough to say that we will help you, no, we can’t or actually won’t help because a famous church, Notre Dame Cathedral in France, burned down the other day and a billion Euros was raised in two days. TWO DAYS!
Now you telling me the City of Cape Town can’t help these people for years now? I’m sorry but I call bull on that one.
This issue is one that could have been avoided but is one that now has become a race issue because you can’t help the poc informal settlements, but you can accommodate the rich white privileged people by changing the route of the race. This issue speaks to the very core values of people in South Africa and if you are in support of the people who were outraged about the race being rerouted then you need to check your priorities because surely the situation of the people in those townships is more important than one race.
Silence is an action and the white privileged people of South Africa are passive to the daily struggle faced by the underprivileged people of this country.