Our New House – Test Case for Justice in SA

On Monday, we moved into our new home! Words can’t describe how excited, tired, stressed… but I need to tell you about the situation here. It’s… interesting… difficult… complicated.

On our property there is our house, a bachelors’ flat and a back room (off the flat). In the back room is a family from Zimbabwe. They stay in a room the size of most American’s bathrooms. They have a 10 month old son. Three people.

This weekend, there is a student moving into the garden flat. He seemed cool in the 2 minutes I met him in.

All of the utilities of the house are on one meter. And that meter is now in my name.

There is only one gate, one yard, one meter. How do you respond to this?

We’re choosing to work through the complexities of this because it’s important. There has already been misunderstanding and hurt feelings back and forth. It’s navigation in complication. They stay for free because they tend the garden, but do we pay their utilities?

This raises a LOT of issues I’ve been wrestling with… primarily because I’m white. I have, primarily because I’m white. It’s not entirely still the case here. In our ministry context, we’re actually receiving less compensation than our counter-parts, white and some black families include. However, there’s a family who is living in refuge status on our yard. What’s the response?

So this is a journey of discovery. I’m starting to wonder if true/honest/gospel justice is a navigation of complication. The EASY answer is to say “I’ll just pay for it because I’m white and I guess I can sort of afford it”. That’s not justice is it? The hard answer is to navigate it and come to agreements and mutuality in the process.







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