RUINED: The belongings of those evicted from apartments in the Steenvilla complex are damaged. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - The City’s informal settlements have been hardest hit as heavy rains and gale-force winds caused distress and discomfort.
Residents in several areas have asked the City to come their aid as floods threatened their lives and property.

The latest heavy rains in Cape Town have caused devastation for residents of Khayelitsha, Macassar, Philippi, Mfuleni, Gugulethu, Kraaifontein, Atlantis, Steenberg and Maitland, who have been evicted over the past six months. They said the damage done by flooding of their areas was colossal and many residents would have to rebuild their shacks after the heavy rains.

Nomvulo Noncokwana, 59, who stays in the Mfuleni “Super Shack” after being evicted six days ago, said although was needed, the floods frustrated her.

“These conditions we live under frustrate me, mostly as an old woman with poor health. I pray that the City of Cape Town can help us with proper houses. If they only give us our building materials back that they took,” she said.

Busiswa Leguza, another shack dweller, also begged the City to help them.

Dozens of families who have been evicted at Cape Town’s largest social housing project, Steenvilla in Steenberg, do not know where to go with their belongings after they were left outside on the day of eviction.

Steenvilla evictee 55-year-old Beverley Cupido is devastated by how her belongings are getting damaged by the constant wind and rain. “I do not know how am I supposed to feel now this saddened and devastated me,” she said.

“Why can’t we get the land that we want?”

Residents hoped to rely on the City’s Disaster Risk Management centre for assistance, but according to spokesperson Charlotte Powell, this service specifically handles flooding in public areas.

“Various roads across the City have been affected by heavy downpours. No evacuation or emergency shelter has been required.” said Powell. “The informal Settlements Department is making assessments and providing residents in informal settlements with flood kits.

FREEZING: 'Super Shack' women sitting around the fire in heavy rains. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla

Mayco member Brett Herron said Cape Town was experiencing the much awaited and needed rain.

“Flooding has occurred due to the water being prevented from entering the gully (in roads), which is the entry point into the stormwater system, as a result of obstructions at the mouth of the catch pit or gully,” he said.

“This could be caused by loose debris on the road surface that had landed in the opening of the gully, causing a blockage.”

The City warned residents after the SA Weather Service predicted heavy rainfall and high winds in Cape Town this week. For flooding and emergencies, dial 107 on landlines or 0214807700 on cellphones.

[email protected]

Cape Argus