Citizen Reporter
Reporter
3 minute read
16 Oct 2017
4:46 pm

How social media unpacked this photo of Alexandra

Citizen Reporter

'I see parents who want to keep their children safe and off the streets using entertainment as the hook,' says one.

Picture: Twitter

Hlomla Dandala recently posted a photo of Alexandra in Gauteng showing a block of flats next to shacks and asked: “What is the first thing you notice? What does that tell you?”

The photo and question opened a debate around inequality, priorities and poverty in South Africa

While some said they looked beyond the satellite dish and saw inequality, some said they saw failure to prioritise on the shack dwellers side.

“I see beyond the dish! I see spatial fragmentation, I see the people of this land still living in informal settlements. A sad story,” said one, while another said: “I see through the dish. A black population that can’t get priorities right. R500 for DSTV maar a person needs a house. Invest the R500.”

Those in support of the shack dwellers said it was them who needed the entertainment the most as they were living in poverty. In fact, it was wrong for a privileged person to dictate to a poor person what they could or could not have, they argued.

Some, however, questioned why everyone else assumed the shack dwellers were living poverty.

“Gauteng is just a workplace, so get that one room and have all that you need in it but do build a big house back home,” argued one.

These were some of the comments on Twitter:

“Are you aware a Black man would rather buy a 5 series BMW whilst staying in a squatter camp.”

“Not every dish cost that much. Some are R40 monthly and some don’t have monthly instalments.”

“I’d invest in a better roof ngalama R 350 per month then DStv.”

“People who wanna suggest that a house can be bought using DSTV money bother me.”

“I agree, as if people who with a certain address don’t need entertainment, when they probably need it more.”

“DStv… that Gauteng is just a work place so get that one room and have all that you need in it but do build a big house back home.”

“And it’s true yazi, people don’t want to invest in housing here in Gauteng cos they know that they are going back home.”

“Satellite dishes all over the place. It says SABC is crap lol.”

“Urbanisation, Landlesness and Inequality.”

“People r in crowded area, poverty-stricken and they can still afford DSTV. Then again our priorities are not the same so we can’t judge.”

“We can’t afford anything so we might as well make the most of what we have. It’s not that we are stupid as black people or fail to think.”

“I see parents who want to keep their children safe and off the streets using entertainment as the hook.”

“Housing is far more expensive than DStv…our very land is sold to us at extremely high prices…and it’s not even available to us.”

“So basically this is making the most of the little that we have. These are people’s homes and they feel safe in them. DStv means nothing.”

“Satellite dishes on apartment blocks and shacks alike. Poor people also want more quality programming instead of just watching SABC reruns.”