Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 29-09-2019
A researcher at the University of South Africa’s (UNISA) Institute for Social and Health Sciences says more needs to be done to coalesce the communities of Lenasia and Thembelihle to dissipate the fear residents have for the informal settlement.
Sarah Day was speaking during the 6.5km Friendship and Hope Campaign Walk in conjunction with the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and Unisa.
Day says there are several aims for the walk including bringing about social cohesion between Thembelihle and surrounding communities like Extension 10, Lenasia proper, Lenasia South, Lahae and Vlakfontein.
“It’s also because Thembelihle gets a lot of bad press in the media. It’s about showing the communities around Thembelihle that there’s more there and there’s more generative possibilities and there’s a lot of good things as well in Thembelihle. So it’s about like building friendships and starting communication between communities.”
Day says there is currently a lot of tension between the two communities.
“I think there’s also a lot of fear. When we advertised last year for this walk, some community members or some members in Lenasia said they were too afraid to go into Thembelihle. So I think there is a lot of kind of division and it’s obviously like spatial as well.”
Day says while there is a misconception that Thembelihle residents only protest inconveniencing Lenasia residents, they do engage with government to address their basic needs and services.
Listen to the interview with Sarah Day