Humane solutions

Herman Lategan, Green Point

The letter by Chris van der Spuy (“Wash them away”, Atlantic Sun, April 7) about switching on the lawn irrigation system on the Sea Point promenade to get rid of homeless people was astounding. Just who does he think he is?

Do you think the poor enjoy being poor? Do you think they wake up one morning and decide, hey, let’s lose everything, let’s develop perhaps a drinking problem, let’s sleep outside in the cold? Oh, and let’s lose our dignity.

Chris van der Spuy, you are heartless and anti-poor, with a bloated sense of self-worth and a sense of entitlement. God (if there is one) help you that one day you do not lose everything and land up on the streets.

Economic apartheid is morally as bankrupt as the inhumane apartheid that ruined the moral fibre of this country.

It was apartheid, inter alia, that dehumanised people and caused many of the socio-political and dire economic problems we suffer from today. What we sit with at present is the “invoice” for those atrocities.

Instead of working with social workers and other role players who are trying to help the poor, you come with an archaic semi-military violent style which is reminiscent of the old National Party regime. You cannot wish the poor away; they are not animals to be chased out of site.

Let them serve as a reminder that we are all broken people, that their poverty that so revolts you is a reflection of your own humanity (or lack thereof), and that despite unequal economic hierarchies we belong to the same tribe or race: the human race.

Come up with humane solutions and stop nagging. Get over your hubris, and if I were you, I would feel deeply ashamed for writing such a letter about poor people.