Plettenberg Bay to Wilderness
Day 4 – the hottest day so far
Even getting up it felt hot. And there were some steep hills to climb with no shade on the way.
So, Brigit had to take a few longer rests and she also ended up having to cycle half an hour in the dark.
It was also a day of opposites: The absurd luxury in which mostly white people lived and a poverty beyond comprehension of a large proportion of the black community. 77km and 700 m ascent between Plettenberg Bay and Wilderness.
First there is always the smell. A real stench like Brigit had not encounter in any other high density area in Africa.
Then there are the shacks, falling apart. Poverty and neglect.
In the morning she stopped in one of those towns and went to the supermarket. It mostly just stocked cans and starchy foods. And there’s always a large liquor store right next to it.
She spoke to a bar owner and asked if he had coffee. He said, that nobody would buy that, if for the same price there was beer. At the same time he mentioned that while the white people didn’t mind the blacks coming into their posh areas to spend money, none of them would come into their towns and their bars.
Well, possibly there are different measures of attraction: Those with money don’t just want beer – they want entertainment besides a TV screen with a football match, they want coffees, different types of foods, different types of drinks; things that wouldn’t be stocked because nobody could afford it.
South Africa had not taken the riches from the white people after Apartheid. This helped to keep the knowledge, for example in farming and helped to ensure food security. But it didn’t help develop the townships.
At empowermefirst we believe in education. So, just spinning a thought: What if instead of disowning the wealthy, there was a tax on the high earners which was to be spent on private school quality education specifically in the townships and once the students graduate they get a scholarship for university and after their university graduation of if they have a business idea, they get a grant to start their own businesses?