SA’s poor, disenfranchised and marginalised communities are dying to be heard and seen. The public hearings on land expropriation have exposed the frustration, anger and pain endured for decades by these groups of mostly black and unemployed people living in squalor. At the Limpopo hearings two weeks ago, old and young people rose to share their views not only on the proposed legislation change but also on the general lack of empathy by politicians and government officials to their plight. They expressed gratitude to the joint parliamentary constitutional review committee’s efforts to include their submissions. But at the core of the appreciation was the fact that other than during electioneering, not a single official had bothered to engage them on their state of being. Some blasted local government authorities for not consulting them on key issues such as lack of water, lack of proper sanitation facilities and lack of access to empowerment opportunities. Some wondered how their mu...

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