Development is a fact of life.
The open veld where I used to pick little purple flowers has become a car salesroom.
And the stream that ran through it is now clogged with garbage and ecoli.
It is with a malicious pleasure I see it can’t seem to turn a profit.
Still, I know that development is not necessarily a bad thing.
I know that perhaps I can’t stand in the way of it.
Except that I can.
And with enough people standing next to me I can, just maybe, make a difference.
The road that leads to my son’s school is truly beautiful.
It is a trip back in time, with some of the city’s oldest trees arching over in a guard of honour and some of the most historic homes standing majestically silent.
I look forward to taking that turn every day and marvel that a stone’s throw away from the crush of morning traffic is a tiny slice of serenity.
All that is about to change. Urban sprawl is extending its insidious tentacles into St Patrick and Rose Roads in Houghton. Urban sprawl is one of those lovely terms that sums up its nature so perfectly.
No-one will benefit from this development but the developer. Everyone else will lose.
And the loss may be so slow, that it won’t be until you drive down the road and realise only stumps remain where the trees once were, that you’ll realise it was too late.
If business rezoning for this development goes through you can say goodbye to more than trees.
Soon these schools will be surrounded by office park upon office park. That is perhaps not a siege they can withstand.
They would be classified as inner city schools.
That is, if they survive.against the inner city sprawl from nearby Hillbrow and Yeoville.
These schools have stood the test of time.
They’ve weathered all manner of things and it’s up to us to make sure they weather this storm as well.
To have them taught to appreciate the beauty by which they are surrounded, the history that seeps into Sir Herbert Baker‘s buildings and to stand up for their right to want their children to experience the same.
With so many buildings in central Johannesburg standing empty, surely the developer’s money would be better spent upgrading and redeveloping those? Instead of destroying another residential area, they could help rejuvenate the city? But perhaps that would be too altruistic of them?
Please stand with me and help me stop this development. You can leave me a message here or even better pop over to the St Patrick Road Action Group Facebook page and just like it, or leave or name and a comment. Or just share this post.
I may not be able to save every single starfish, but I’ll do whatever I can to save this one.