The 21 people living on this property are a strong example of Knysna’s housing shortage.
Karatara is a rural community within the Knysna Municipality where approximately 1000 people stay. Last week, I blogged that the government said that there was to be no housing built there for the next 10 years. I then blogged about Karatara’s poverty and used the example of Senna Morris’ family who had no water, electricity and sewerage services.
I also complained about the awful gravel roads but am pleased to say that, on my return yesterday, I found that the Knysna Municipality has done a good job in repairing them. It’s essential that they do so quickly after major storms.
My goal was to visit Senna Morris and find what the kids most needed to make their cold winter a happier one. My heart glowed when she told us that people had read my blog and searched for her, dropping off bread, fruit and kids’ bedding 🙂
I visited 6 houses. One was the Morris house, 4 were random and the last was the result of asking a community leader which of her neighbours were the biggest example of the housing shortage.
The first four houses each had 8 occupants. The fifth had 11 with 4 of those living in the single garage. The last, the one with so much washing on the fence that you’d think they were a laundromat, had 21 (that number shifts, last month there were 23).
Can you imagine living like that? Can you imagine your children living like that, crowded by adults and, as an example from that day, eating soup made from the feet and necks of chickens?
The best way out of poverty is through education. For them to have a chance, home life needs to be the best it can be.
The plots in Karatara are generally large. Surely the quickest, most economical way forward, is a local government program adding extensions to existing structures?
NB: Thanks to Bernard ‘Bee-jay’ Jantjies for giving me the ride. He owns Eden Cabs and is also a member of ICOSA. When I asked him if he’d take me there, he was very happy to gain attention for the area and gave up part of his Sunday to help me. I wish that the ANC and DA had been as helpful the past 5 years. Politics needs to evolve into community service.