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Cape of thorns in my side

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Cape of thorns in my side

by Esther Lewis
12 Sep 2007
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

The new slogan for Cape Town should be: 'Rates: The one con everyone falls prey to'.

Until this past weekend, that is. Since then, it's become that irritating, sometimes painful thorn in my side.

It seems, for some strange reason and through no fault of my own, our rates have more than doubled since last month.

I would have thought I would be exempt of paying rates because of the area I live in.

Part of its "charm" lay in the tik addicted crazy kids who steal the indicator lights from my visitors cars.

Other less than attractive features include neighbours smoking their herb gardens first thing in the morning. All you have to do is open the back door to get high as a kite.

Then there's the free entertainment. I've spent many a Saturday afternoon glued to the couch in the lounge, nose pressed tightly against the window as I watch drunk fools chase each other with garden tools, threatening to hack each other to bits.

Usually the reason for this is because the one cheated the other out of a half a beer. I guess there's no honour among thieves any more.

So put yourself in my shoes: Would you expect your rates to more than double under these circumstances? I think not. When it comes to money, I have to admit I'm a bit of a miser. You'd be too if you were broker than broke by the second of every month.

So when the rates issue came up, and with it, a possible hike in my rent, I tried to pretend I didn't hear anything.

But then the issue came up again, and I had to agree with a heavy heart.

For the money I'm paying, I feel I should be living in a plush area with property so vast, I have to drive over to my neighbour. Unlike now where I can actually stand outside and smell what they're having for supper. I fail to understand where the city that be get off raising our rates, and more importantly, how they calculate it.

The only way out of this for me, I think, is perhaps to apply for one of those N2 Gateway type projects.

But then again, in this city, I would probably get to the front of the queue just after I've picked a coffin.

I am quite disillusioned by the fact that, like many other Capetonians, I actually cannot afford to live in the place I've called home my entire life. And the city endorses this as their coffers keep filling at the expense of people like us.

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