Sunday, March 30, 2008
Many Gautengers want to leave the country, but they can’t — so, they’re opting for second best. Or so they think. Andrew Donaldson leaves a piece of his mind behind ...
I am moving to the Cape. Not, please note, Cape Town, but the Cape. And I think I’ll leave it at that. I know it sounds vague, but I don’t want people to know where I am. They’ll find out soon enough, trust me, but until then, well, just leave me be.
My reasons for leaving Johannesburg are personal, and therefore none of your business. It’s not crime. I need to make that clear, right here and now. That said, I really don’t mind if you think otherwise. Crime is ... well, you all know how bad it is. You don’t need me telling you that.
But I will tell you what has really irked me about my imminent departure: you bastards are following me.
Read the rest of Andrew Donaldson's Sunday Times article.
My Rosebank says: When I was in Cape Town in early March I realised to what extent the Gauteng diaspora to Cape Town actually is. The local daily - The Argus - reported a great deal of property acquisitions not to overseas tenants, but to Gautengers. This is a highly mobile and highly sensitive market - with the resources to up and go and seek a better like elsewhere. The fact that about a third of the world's biggest one day timed cycling event was also comprised of Gautengers - many of which flew to the Cape - also speaks volumes.
But somehow I think it is a lot of misplaced energy. Many people left Johannesburg to reside in Pretoria's southern satellites, and reasoned a geographical move would wriggle them out of the crime problem. The only price to pay would be a longer commute to work. What they didn't take into account was that Johannesburg was quietly fortifying itself, building up defences, weathering the storm. And so right now, crime has spread to these newly erected less defensible suburbs, and these poor people have long commutes across intersections that are amongst the deadliest in the country.
Personally I have had my place cleaned out by a burglary, and it happened in Vredehoek, Cape Town. So the advice is: don't turn your home into a mini prison. Your home's security is as weak as the integrity of the gatekeeper - not as strong as the steel fence. Join hands with your community, make your house into a home connected to a community. Share information. Have a plan of action for emergencies. It's time to get involved and face up to the here and now, here and now.