Slovo Park gets fire extinguishers
I drive on the N12 going East from Monday to Friday, going to work 95 percent of the time. Along my route there is an informal settlement called Slovo Park across from Eldorado Park on the other side of the freeway. To be honest I have never stopped to even wonder who lives in the informal settlement.
So many of us see informal settlements as a forgotten community, people who devalue our property, people who have no place to call home. What is worse is when there is protest action and roads are barricaded and your journey home is disrupted.
Last week I was completely humbled. As part of Kaya FM’s CSI projects, the station together with Akunamlilo – an NGO that raises funds to buy fire extinguishers to give to informal settlement communities, visited the Slovo Park community. With the fire extinguishers that were distributed, the community can help put out a fire before firefighters get to the scene.
One may ask why we gave out extinguishers this time of the year. Well, fires don’t happen only in winter, in fact, last week a home was gutted by a fire at Slovo Park seeing the family lose everything.
I also realized the need for fire extinguishers after I saw the electricity wires that criss-cross above the houses. Some of them run along the fences separating the houses, putting everyone at risk.
While extinguishers were being installed, I sat down with one of the community members who has lived in Slovo Park for twenty years now. He told me how the City of Johannesburg has gone against a court order to provide the community with basic services including electricity.
I ask myself whether the new administration will give this community an ear, and better their living conditions. The fact is they are not going to leave that place. It is their home.
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