The situation involving the three displaced mothers pleading with the Government for homes to shelter their loved ones is indeed a delicate one. The sight of our nation’s future lying helplessly on the streets pulls at one’s heart strings. However, we must carefully examine this situation and eventually ask the question. Would an HDC house solve the problems of these families?
I ask this fundamental question because I believe that our Government has failed to equip our less-fortunate citizens with essential life skills needed for self-progression. Instead, this is replaced by the popular dependency-syndrome which has weakened a significant percentage of our population. I often question whether this is a strategy to gain “cheap votes” by successive governments, after all giving “gifts” to the less fortunate makes a great public relations advertisement.
If these women, like most other less fortunate citizens are given homes/ apartments by the Government and other “fast-tracked” opportunities that would take the rest of us years of sacrifice to earn, I am not convinced that monthly payments can be made, which can result in a fresh plea for public assistance. Have we taught citizens how to earn their way through life? Have we taught citizens that parenthood is a serious commitment and should be planned as best as possible? How can we guarantee that the plight of these young women would not worsen?
I am suggesting that some type of rehabilitation shelter be established for young women in this situation, whereby they can learn essential life skills which would eventually lead to employment and home ownership. The duration of their stay in the shelter should be predetermined to prevent complacency. These young women need serious rehabilitation, not hand-outs. It is obvious that these women have given up on the fight; the fight the rest of us face every day from as early as 5.30 a.m. – on the nation’s road heading to work, fighting to keep up with the infamous “rat race” , all to materialise or dreams...
Furthermore, I became peeved at this situation because of an apparent focus on handouts to the less-fortunate and a sense of abandonment of the middle class. Should middleclass citizens be deprived of social benefits because they have higher salaries? Aren’t middle-class citizens paying taxes as well? Middle-class citizens follow the system engrained in us all: go to school, get a good education, get a good job, save hard and gradually allow your dreams to materialise. Has this system failed the middle class too?
My discussion returns to my original point that we need to devise mechanisms and strategies to strengthen the perceived “weakest link” in the chain. If we fail these citizens, then we have failed as a nation.