Klipfontein residents 'drowning' in flood waters
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Cape Town - Almost four months after the initial winter heavy rains that hit the province, Klipfontein Mission Station residents, east of Philippi, say they have been left to “drown” in their houses by the City.
The streets and houses in the area are still drenched in flood water with no stormwater system.
Resident Eleanor Cloete said they had tried to get assistance but to no avail. She said the elderly, sick, disabled and children were stuck at home, with some children unable to attend school.
“Our roads and houses are filled with water. Our school – Klipfontein Methodist Primary School is also flooded and there has been no help for them.The overflow of the water into the tar road has damaged the road and has left it with massive holes,” she said.
King of the Korana in Klipfontein, Kheobaha Korana said the City washed its hands off the community’s struggles, claiming that Klipfontein was private land and cannot get assistance with pumping flood water.
“We are living with a Covid-19 epidemic of apocalyptic proportions, humanitarian urgencies must override subjective local government by-laws. How can you not consider the elderly and young children under these extreme conditions of flooding; it is one of the oldest human settlements in Cape Town and the province,” he said.
King Evan Gonnema said he was bitterly sad about the circumstances that his people must live under.
“I demand that the government treat my people as South Africans and one of the first communities in Cape Town. I cry everyday for how my people suffer in Klipfontein,” he said.
Good Party mayoral candidate Brett Herron, who visited the area on Wednesday, said there was an urgent need for stormwater infrastructure and services to prevent the relentless flooding of the area.
Herron, who had written to the City manager and mayor to take immediate steps to address the emergency, said the City Manager’s Statutory Powers and Functions, and Section 21 of the City of Cape Town’s system of delegations, authorised him, in consultation with the executive mayor (or others), to take immediate action in emergencies or exceptional circumstances that have a detrimental impact on the City’s residents.
“It is unconscionable that, instead of using these powers to arrange for the City’s utilities services to pump out the water and fill in the flood prone areas with milling or gravel, the mayor’s remedy was the delivery of food parcels,” he said.