Adults behaving badly

1994 gave rise to new beginnings, but where does this leave many people living in the Steurhof Estate community, an integrated multicultural community with great potential, heart and uniqueness? Years of historical subjugation and oppression lead many people to still feel and believe they must accept the state they find themselves in.

Civic associations are meant to be pillars of strength in communities, they allow the community to have a voice, to express their concerns and opinions about a full range of civic issues that affect the community and to cooperate with any organisation, council, legislative representatives that can assist in uplifting the community. But as seen and experienced in many struggling communities all over South Africa, all goodness is removed when adults behave badly, and when family social, moral and general values no longer exist, the cycle of anti-social behaviour continues from one generation to another.

Pillars and structures like the Steurhof Civic Association, registered in April 2015, the children’s holiday programmes, the Veggie Garden, Soup Kitchen and so many other things established to add value and uplift the community, either collapse or are removed because informed and knowledgeable people living in Steurhof or surrounding communities that wish to help serve the community, walk away and often no longer wish to get involved because of all the negativity and squabbling.

Once this happens, organizations established with good intentions end up in the hands of those who lack knowledge, integrity, drive, capacity, resources and information to continue the good, thus marginalizing the community.

This continuous cycle of self-destruct does more harm than good and over time no self-respecting and knowledgeable resident will come forward and place themselves in a position to be abused.

Recently, on Wednesday 16 May , Steurhof Civic Association AGM nominees were submitted at 19:40, Monday 14 May as per AGM notice, at the last minute because nobody wanted to stand to be elected. Faction indifferences probably played a pivotal role and influenced the decision to amalgamate the Steurhof Civic Association with the Plumstead Civic Association to prevent future annual meetings turning into chaos. The idea to amalgamate the two associations so that future meeting disruptions, chaos and faction indifference will no longer occur, is not the issue. It is the process that must be questioned, because only civic additional members were informed that the AGM Wednesday 16 May, was going be to used as a platform to vote in favour of the amalgamation which was a flawed, unfair and dishonest process, because many Steurhof residents were kept in the dark, so that this process could be rushed through unnoticed and without question.

In moving forward, unless all Steurhof Estate residents who know and want better, start collectively standing together, and take responsibility and ownership of their community for the sake of their children and grandchildren, Steurhof will continue to be oppressed by those who use destructive anti-social behaviour as a means to subjugate and marginalize its residents, chasing all the goodness out of the community.

Alexis Serra Plumstead