Mfuleni flood victims still stranded more than a month after heavy rains

Desperate to leave the hall on Monday last week, the residents attempted to occupy an open land near the Bosasa temporary units, but their structures were immediately taken down by law-enforcement officers.

One of the residents Mpinga Magwangqana said they had been occupying the hall for more than a month after the heavy rains.

Magwangqana said they were not aware of a case opened by the City over their occupation and the looming eviction.

“Before this, we had over a year tried to elevate the foundations of our shacks however due to the area being always moist, over time the foundation would sink. We have for years tolerated the flooding but this time around it has been different, our places got flooded within two days of heavy rains,” he said.

Another occupant Weliswa Madenyuka said the land where they erected their structures was not suitable for human settlement. Madenyuka said they had tried all avenues but to no avail.

“Our kids are getting sick. Where does the City say we go when they evict us from this hall if we don’t have a place to stay with our kids. There are empty temporary units by Bosasa which we had proposed to be accommodated (in).

“We have also requested that we be allowed to erect shacks on vacant land but we were told that these pieces of land are for certain projects.

“It is cold and miserable in the hall and as a result one of the kids was hospitalised because of the cold. Our plan is not to stay here forever but we need emergency shelter to allow us to get on our feet,” Madenyuka said.

Community Services and Health mayco member Patricia Van der Ross said various efforts to engage the community members by the ward councillor and sub-council chairperson had been unsuccessful. She said the City was considering the next steps.

The City said its Disaster Risk Management Centre activated Sassa to provide humanitarian assistance in the immediate aftermath. It said NGO, Islamic Relief also assisted with pre-packaged meals.

It said any person who had their material impounded during an anti-land invasion operation, can book an appointment to claim and collect their material.

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