Andreas Reibe, weekend 9/10/11 of october 2009
This weekend we have learned much about the disparities in the level of development between the communities Woodhill and Mamelodi.
Friday the 9th
We start our measuring in the community Woodhill. The Families in Woodhill are encircled from a big wall with a hight of 2.5metre. On top of this wall there is an electric fence with a hight of approx 1 metre. To go into the micro cosmos of Woodhill we must had an invitation from the owner. The owner was ring from the gatekeeper that we are on the gate. After the house owner confirms that we are invited we get access to the village in the city.
The house owners were very nice to us and show us all the electric devices they have. We had free access to all the rooms. The biggest house has a living space with over 400 square metres and 14 rooms.
Saturday the 10th
The team is participating in a community meeting (low, middle and rich income) in which the election of electric auditors should happen. The electric auditors should be able to archive our job after we are back in Europe. Robert and Erwin had prepared a presentation what our team goals are and how far we are with the work. Unfortunately no member from the rich community (Woodhill) is attending this meeting.
After the presentation we have a long discussion with the members of the Garsfontein community, which represent the middle class. The people are very good informed and have a lot of questions how to save electrical energy. We recognized that this group is the best informed group in our project.
The election of the electrical auditors is successful with regard to the communities of Garsfontein and Mamelodi; we found for each community one person who will do this voluntarily.
Sunday the 11th
We are attending a church service from 9:00 to 11:00 in the black community of Mamelodi. For us it was a great experience to feel and much more to hear the difference with church services in Europe. Even though for two hours but it was a good feeling to be part of the community on this forenoon.
During the lunch time we visit two shacks (sheet metal houses)a nd walk through the slum to visit a primary school. We walked direct in the area were the people have no electricity no drainage system and water on a public tap on the way. The whole community (shacks, streets, anything) is build on sand, so it is very dusty and dry. Our guide through this area (where 1.1 million people live) was Margret. She is working for the church over 25 years and takes care of some of the poorest people in Pretoria. One of her projects is the primary school we had visited.
On this weekend we have seen houses (shacks) in which 8 people life in one room with 20 square metres, and we have seen houses in which 6 people life in 14 rooms with 420 square metres, and learned more about the differences of South Africa