All visitors to Greyton can see that it is a special place that has developed into a multi-cultural, multi-racial village and it is very important, at the outset, that it is specifically noted that this initiative is not a ‘political battle’ but a mere attempt to find a solution by appropriating use of land to the local horse owners so that they can manage their animals constructively.
History is often a matter of perspective but one has to look at the result of what transpired and decide whether it fair and constructive in the end. As we all know now, the loser can also be the winner in later times as the pendulum continues to swing, back and forth, endlessly. There are many organisations assisting in various ways but our main concern is for the horses whose owners are forced to let their roam the area freely causing many problems.
There is much history leading to the current state of little village called Greyton and through a long process of bartering and change of hands some may regard the result to be rather malevolent while others see it as simply unfortunate.
Be that as it may, let’s start at a point. During the 1950s the small village called Greyton in the Western Cape of South Africa was torn apart by the implementation of the Group Areas Act. Coloured families who had lived together for centuries with neighbours of all races, were forced to sell their homes and farmland. Some left the town for good. Others relocated to new houses in the town at Heuwelkroon and Genadendal. Many of these families are still living there and remain part of the Greyton community. The Heuwelkroon area does not provide adequate space for these displaced people and their beloved animals. Most of the horse owners relocated to the area now known as Bosmanskloof which falls under the Genadendal district.
At this time the horse owners were promised fencing as well as motorised gates between Heuwelkroon and Bosmanskloof to keep their horses in the area but nothing has ever happened and nobody can definitively say why. As so time has passed and the horses were handed on to from generation to generation and now the current inheritors are stuck. The area allocated at the time is very difficult to navigate and dangerous for the horses and the horse owners. The horses become wild and can’t be caught to be cared for and so they have resorted to keeping the horses around the village area where they came from after all. And so the horses are in and around the village observing our human nature while we think that we are observing them.
The good thing about horses is they observe everything we do. The bad thing about horses is they observe everything we do.Wawrick Shiller
From this stance it can be viewed that horses are a menace, however, if there could be a menace identified it would be the development of the village and the construction on land being sold for individual homes after the mentioned unfortunate event – albeit unfortunate for the coloured community and ‘those moving in’. All visitors to Greyton can see that it is a special place that has developed into a multi-cultural, multi-racial village and it is very important that it is specifically noted that this initiative is not a ‘political battle’ but a mere attempt to find a solution by appropriating the use of land to the horse owners so that they can manage their animals constructively. We want to emphasise that there exists no animosity from the horse owners and that this is a mere attempt to find a solution for themselves and their animals.
The coloured community, especially the horse owners are often met with remarks such as ‘geld all your stallions!’, ‘you shouldn’t have horses if you can’t take care of them’, ‘you are not feeding your horses properly’, etc. etc.. Nobody has ever really offered a long term solution or support while their land has been reduced to the extent that they simply cannot continue with circumstances as they currently are.
You don’t FORGIVE people because you’re weak. You FORGIVE them because you are strong enough to know that people make mistakes.Anonymous
At the risk of being repetitive, we must again mention that most of the horse owners know that there are horses that are not well kept and not treated humanely, but it is not all of them and many don’t want to be associated with such behaviour. Most horse owners just want assistance with a plan to help them take care of their horses and it is very difficult for them because they don’t have the financial means that people in the village have. Many are unemployed and with 2020 now behind us the situation is even worse. They always depended on grazing and it worked for them until they were removed to an area where the grazing is not ideal at all.
Many of the horse farmers have requested local welfare workers to geld their horses since they don’t see their way out of their dire situation. They do however feel ‘done wrong’ because their horses were their prize possessions before. It is disturbing that petitions with dogmatic controls are requested and possibly set up without consulting with local horse owners beforehand to find an amicable solution instead.
Nevertheless, there is great desire to move forward with positivity and hope.
Identify your problem but give power and energy to your solutions.Tony Robbins