GOOD Leader: Patricia de Lille Heads to Northern Cape
More than 40% of Northern Cape citizens between 15 and 64 are unemployed, with women heading nearly 40% of households. More than half of all households depend on social grants. The province has the lowest percentage of children in early childcare in the country, the highest percentage of children who leave school before completing matric, and the lowest rate of literate adults.
Over the next four days Ms De Lille’s programme will take her to Calvinia, Garies and Springbok; Okiep, Nababeeb, Kakamas and Keimoes; Upington, Griekwastad, Schmidtsdrift; Kimberley, Danielskuil and Kuruman
“Political parties tend to focus on the big cities during elections because that is where the media is. Issues affecting residents of smaller towns and rural areas are often lost or ignored. Over the next few days GOOD will be travelling across the Northern Cape to listen to the people,” Ms De Lille said.
“Nearly one in eight citizens in the Northern Cape live in shacks, crammed together on tiny parcels of land. It is not as if there’s a shortage of space! Many have suffered the pain of being evicted from farms and now suffer the indignity of destitution and hopelessness. Many are descendants of South Africa’s First Nation, who have endured unspeakable trauma for centuries. The area is said to have the highest rate of foetal alcohol syndrome in the world. Now, in addition to alcohol, the youth are turning to drugs”.
“These people may be battered and poor but they are not stupid. They know what the old political parties have given them over the past 25 years, because they live it every day. We must change the game for GOOD,” said Ms De Lille.
The GOOD approach to homelessness and landlessness is to use public land for public good, to use the existing laws and Constitution to expropriate land and to give people title deeds to the land they occupy so it’s worth their while to invest in improvements.
GOOD will also share with Northern Cape residents its community-based policies on curbing gangsterism and crime, which have been modelled on the hugely successful Colombian approach. South Africa needs more police, and more skilled police officers, but it also needs to demilitarise the approach to healing communities and rebuilding self-esteem, dignity and respect.
Ms De Lille will be accompanied through the Northern Cape by GOOD Premier candidate Lenny McKay and a delegation of GOOD organisers and supporters, including the iconic Kaapse Joller, Alistair Izobell.