By Tzvi Brivik, Chairperson, Cape SAJBD
One of the most critical tasks that we have at the Cape SAJBD is to maintain relations with all political parties.
We are fortunate to have access to the highest echelons of the various political parties to discuss issues which are of concern to our community, and which relate to our safety and security. Some of the issues that come up include security cooperation between the various organisations and sharing of skills.
The Board has been working with both the Premier of the Western Cape and the Mayor of the City of Cape Town’s offices on a programme to encourage semigration from various parts of South Africa to Cape Town. The programme is aimed specifically at those who have already considered this and are serious about relocating to Cape Town.
The level of cooperation between us and the Western Cape structures at these high levels is extremely encouraging. We plan to have a joint roadshow in Johannesburg soon. Although we will be leading this excursion, our two partners have formulated plans of their own, which include various means of enticing both individuals and businesses into the city and province.
Independently, we’ve canvassed our various affiliates to include as many as possible in this project, the aim of which is to ensure the continued growth of our community in this magnificent city.
This project is aimed at various target markets, including those who can work remotely, young families looking for a change of lifestyle, and those seeking to retire to Cape Town. To bolster this campaign, we will be expanding the project by including paid marketing and employing a project manager in due course. However, collaboration with our external partners extends further than that.
Most recently we’ve noticed the South African government’s troubling statements including what we have considered to be ‘virulent denunciations’ of the State of Israel. We urge all to view the statements which have been released on our social media platforms denouncing these comments and calling on our government to act in an impartial and fair manner. It has always been our contention that to be a critical role player in the Middle East, our government must be fair and consider all aspects of the dispute.
Whenever tensions flare up in the Middle East or our government releases inflammatory statements, we need to be wary of an increase in antisemitic behaviour, mostly on social media. We are fortunate that we live in a society regulated by a constitution and one in which there is equal respect and good faith within the broader community. This is due to the work which we conduct through the Interfaith and Associate Relations subcommittees and our professional team. This continuous engagement makes it far easier for us as an organisation to defend our community’s rights, and also to educate others and warn of the dangers of antisemitic rhetoric.
Finally, we have lodged a complaint on behalf of our community with the Mayor and formal structures of the City of Cape Town as against one of its municipal members, Councillor Shameemah Dollie Salie of the Al Jama’ah Party. This is because of her behaviour at the Yom Ha’atzmahut celebration in May this year.
The complaint includes reference to the harassment of the children of our community who attended the celebration, as well as the unethical behaviour which is inconsistent with the City’s ethics code.
We will continue to represent and protect our vibrant Jewish community.
• Published in the September 2022 Rosh Hashanah Digital Edition – Click here to read it.
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