A new party has entered the local political landscape. African Reconciliation Cohesion (ARC), in collaboration with Community Support Group; are a group of philanthropists who have identified the huge gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ in the South African political arena,and their objectives are to address this inequality.
Their core ideology is to lift people of all races out of poverty, while addressing basic needs. In today’s world, millions of people, particularly in townships continue to lack services to meet basic needs such as education, health care, as well as water supply, housing and sanitation. They believe that; building a capacity to meet these needs will create jobs, economic opportunities and well-being, while helping to ensure no one is left behind. Although there have been significant gains in terms of eradicating poverty and hunger along with access to basic services such as water, sanitation and education, the rate of improvement for the poorest in South Africa most often lags behind that of those who are better off. It is critical that the least advantaged should be targeted first. This objective could be advanced by systematically identifying the communities most in need of basic social services such as;reporting on targets for the groups that are least addressed.
The recent protests over housing shortages in Wentworth has put the spotlight on the problem and the role of the government in providing it. Community Support Group were instrumental in supporting the people in this regard.
Problems have persisted, leading to protests across the community. The housing backlog is huge and tensions have been running high.
Andre’DeBruin of Community Support Group stated that; recent events seem to imply that the government may be resorting to short-term measures to pacify anger and protest. But a major overhaul of the housing policy is what’s actually needed in Wentworth. Housing is a contentious political issue in this township and together with ARC, this problem will certainly be addressed.
The case for provision of basic social services rests, first and foremost, on the premises that all humans should be empowered to live lives that they value, and that access to certain basic elements of a dignified life should not be linked to people’s ability to pay.
Meeting basic needs for the poor is an area of immense gravity. Empowering local communities to benefit from the provision of basic services unlocks real potential for social, economic and environmental progress. Evidence shows that many societies who have made investments in education, housing health and water see massive benefits which outweigh the initial investment.
Empowering communities to benefit from the provision of these services will help meet all of the sustainable developmental goals.
The following people are the main role players of African Reconciliation Cohesion;
Iris Duval- Chairperson
Andre’ De Bruin – Deputy chairperson
Executive members -Allan Martnitz, Dennis King, Zane Scullard.
Andre DeBruin implied that, keeping the short-term goals of re-election aside, an over-promise, and the under-delivery strategy doesn’t bode well in building trust for the edifice of democracy.
By: Lorraine Richards