As the Independent Electoral Commission concludes the logistical arrangements of the upcoming Local Municipal Elections, parties throughout South Africa have been hard at work promoting their manifestos. One such party is SHAPE, which is a Cape Town based political party. SHAPE leaders are saying that the party, whose motto is South African People for Equality, endeavors to reshape the socio-economic climate that plagues Cape Town communities.
Speaking to VOC, party leader Armien Albertyn explains that the party grew out a community based initiative and that the name and logo of the party speaks to the need for equality within South Africa.
In light of growing socio-economic concerns within Cape Flats communities, he says that party leaders established the party in hopes to create a political party that is “for the people, by the people.”
Albertyn explained that the Sharp has branches within communities and works in coordination with community based organizations.
Member of SHAPE and candidate ward councillor in Ward 43, moulana Riyaad Titus, explains that given the constitution of the country, continued race classification should not exist, since it has created economic inequalities.
“What do we see happening in the coloured areas, nothing. That is why we are saying we want to make a change within our communities.”
Titus further notes that despite the dismantlement of apartheid, non-white citizens continue to control the economy of the country.
“1994 came and a lot of things were promised. But, currently if we look at the economy of South Africa, the Reserve Bank is white owned.”
He says that given the large non-white work force, the country’s wealth should not be isolated to the ‘privileged white’.
The unequal dispersion of wealth and the socio-economic crisis on the Cape Flats, Titus notes is echoed in the county’s many overcrowded prisons that is predominantly housed by non-white inmates.
“What is the government doing to change the situation of our people and our areas? Today, because of the white monopoly in power, R770 million is to be spent on Llandudno. This while our people are crying for job creation, security, drug-den removals, and all the ills that plague our people. The city is never going to do anything for us,” Titus continued.
Albertyn says that while Government speaks of integration, affluent white areas remain exclusively white.
He further noted that SHARP will work toward changing the mind-set of citizens in order to facilitate the improvement of their overall living conditions.
“It’s no use that we keep on making promises, but we keep doing the same thing, over and over. So, the system needs to change,” Albertyn said.
SHAPE, Albertyn says will focus on developing communities at grassroots level and will “educate the people”, both academically and politically.
“Our people are not well equipped politically, that’s why they keep voting for the same party. It is more a mind-set thing; to consciously vote and to know where we need to be,” he added.
With regards to continued socio-economic disparities, Titus says that while government has emphasized the need to grow the business sector, the economic growth of the buyers – the citizens – needs to be improved.
“Why not tell the families, who want to buy houses and pay university fees, to develop a family business plan that outlines what the family wishes to do and fund the viable plans?”
Causes supported by SHAPE
Titus explains that the current occupation of Palestine, in its reflection of South Africa’s Apartheid past, has established a link of solidarity between the two countries.
Given the current provincial government’s stance on the Palestinian/ Israel conflict, he says that Capetonians remain unaware of the continued economic relations between the provincial government and the “funders of suffering” within occupied Palestine.
“Some of the ulama are standing as candidates for the Democratic Alliance, we understand that the Democratic Alliance (DA) is supposed to be different to what’s happening in Palestine, but there is a link between them. They are trying to do what is happening in Palestine to Cape Town.”
Given SHAPEs stance that the DA borrows from Palestinian socio-economic divisions, Albertyn says that business hubs and the vibrancy of the Cape Town city centre needs to be spread so as to include the rest of the Cape in improvement plans.
Albertyn further notes that in light of previous unlawful evictions, land claimants need to be accommodated.
He says that the prolonged reclaim process acts as an indication that government does not have a viable alternative for claimants.
“People should start making an impact by forcing government to be held accountable for its inaction. How many people haven’t passed away waiting for their land? That is why we are asking voters to give us the opportunity to help them – help us, to help you.”
“Should we be given the chance, we will look at the families of Bonteheuwel and Manenberg and uplift these kinds of communities. Why can’t government assist communities to develop their own industries?” Albertyn urged.
For more information about SHARP, contact Albertyn on 0743719767 or Titus on 0742247418.