When safety and security in SA looks like segregation

After the argument that the anti-crime ‘green card’ system used in the Boland resembles the apartheid relic of the ‘Dompas’, CapeTalk/702’s Redi Thlabi asked her listeners how they negotiate their presence, rights and different racial and socio-economic identities within public spaces.

The most recent 'green card' documents used by workers in Worcester, Western Cape. Image Courtesy of Independent Media.

Whether in parks, streets or shopping centres, the responses seem to reflect that there are diverse experiences of fear, discomfort and prejudice in the country. Read and listen to some of the views and feelings expressed during the open line.

We are impoverished, I think, if our lives are about an internal culture - ‘Us’ and the people we know, and the people who sound like us, and the people who live the lifestyle that we are living. Consider what it takes to open up the universe a little bit. Because if we confine ourselves within narrowly defined cultural frontiers, I think we make ourselves victims.

CapeTalk/702's Redi Tlhabi

Siphiwe in Sandton, Gauteng shared:

I don’t think this ID card is a solution. I don’t think we can perpetuate certain things that we have seen in our country. We cannot afford to do that. We need to find better solutions - having to carry a card that gives you access in a particular area is totally out of order in my view. As much as our fears are justified because the crime levels, I think we just cannot go there.

Here are the views of Richard in Kirstenhof, Cape Town:

Poverty comes in all shapes and sizes; you get social poverty and you get real poverty. It all comes from one source – and that is a lack of social interaction. We have structural and cultural barriers that have been put up from our past. I’ve never had the opportunity to get to know people of a different colour and social strata. If we don’t cross the line, if there’s no social interaction we won’t benefit from the distribution of goods, services and mental abilities that come from social interaction. A lot of our security needs and fears are on the basis that we don’t understand the other person that we think is there to harm us.

James in Parkhurst, Gauteng feels that public spaces are used for different proposes by different race groups.

Listen to the full open line conversation on the Redi Tlhabi Show below:

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