Every ward in Cape Town has a different history and brings together many different kinds of community. Some communities are well-established and geographical but it is common to live together but not be a community. Other communities such as ethnic or religious groups may stretch across ward boundaries. We live next to people who have had different experiences, who have different needs, who hold different beliefs and employ different ways of solving problems.
It can be very powerful to communicate and organise with like-minded people who share our worldview because it is easier to convince people who already agree with you what needs to be done. Often we are led by the people who shout the loudest and take the most extreme views on things. There is no one solution to our complex problems.
But we cannot hope to transform our ward and resolve the problems we face unless we are able to get the majority of people living in the ward to come on board. This does not mean that we have to give up on our principles but rather we should seek to open up our politics and include as many people as possible. As long as we share similar values then we are able to discuss different issues, able to learn from each other, able to understand how people experience things differently, and able to compromise where necessary.
In truth, despite our obvious differences most people want similar things. When we find common ground we are more likely to find radical, creative and pragmatic solutions to systemic problems.