Saturday, January 22, 2011

Development Idea

I am not the most emotional person in the world.

When we passed by some of the largest, most dangerous townships in South Africa, I didn't feel "sad" or sympathetic, I was instead wondering "how can we make this better?" and so this is what I came up with:

Townships: millions living in literal shacks, shanti town like situations with scarce electricity and no running water.

With the strengthening rand and growing development here in South Africa (and as it emergence as a one of the developing democracies to watch in addition to Brasil, India, China and Russia) I have to wonder, what is the delay with a national housing fund for these people living in Townships?

Looking to the post-war plan in Great Britain, (which was introduced dramatically in the late 1940's and slowly phased out by the turn of the century), and taking inspiration from post-WWI Germany, in which modern, communal apartment housing was built by the government: A communal housing apartment plan, subsidized by the South African government should be issued. We could relocated the people by giving them a place to live at a very affordable rate and employ them with jobs working towards national development. Abandoned townships would not be destroyed with respect to the atrocities of the apartheid era, but rather gated off and converted into national landmarks, bringing historical significance to them. A source of revenue could be generated through tours of these townships so no South African would forget their heritage of this tumultuous part of their nation's history.

I still have a great deal to learn about this subject, but I have to say the problem at hand is incredible. The most fascinating part of the whole thing is that the solutions are even more incredible. This is a massive nation with so much room for progression and I just hope that I can learn to be a useful part of the problem-solving and development.

EDIT: I've overused the words "incredible" and "amazing" lately. Sorry! Will try to find some more words.


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