My dear friend, Rike Sitas: passionate-creative-urban-genius has just sent me some of the raw footage from the documentary that her Durban-based NGO, “dala” (verb to make / create in isiZulu) is producing. The documentary is about the recent decision by the Durban municipality to hand over land on which a fresh produce market has been serving working class people for 99 years to a private developer to build yet another mall. Durbanites, and people throughout the country, are in an uproar about the move. The traders – many of whom have been working in the area for many decades – are livid. They haven’t been consulted about the move and are now unsure of their future.
The worst thing about this is that there are so many options for designing urban spaces in a way that recognises the needs of all stakeholders but that these design solutions have been ignored by the municipality. Instead of being innovative and extroadinary, we’ve once again, decided to be just another cog in the wheel of so-called “progress”.
The date for the removal has been set at 6 April – a week from now. Rike wants dala to make people aware of the different sides to this story so that we can try and do things differently (exceptionally) in the future. Please pass these videos on to others. I’ll add the edited documentary when it’s available.