ActionSA and City of Tshwane exchange blows over relocation of 2019 flood victims
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Pretoria – Opposition party, ActionSA on Tuesday accused the Democratic Alliance-led City of Tshwane of reneging on a promise to relocate residents of Mamelodi who were affected by floods in December 2019.
“Yesterday [on Monday], following an invite from the leaders of the flood victims, we were advised that the city had, once again, reneged on its empty promise to residents. In a meeting held earlier this week, the representatives of the flood victims were informed that the City of Tshwane had no means of relocating and housing these residents,” said ActionSA’s Tshwane mayoral candidate Abel Tau.
Tshwane Mayor Randall Williams however refuted ActionSA’s assertions, insisting that South Africa’s capital city is relocating the flood victims and in line with the law. Williams accused his former comrades of “grandstanding”.
“The city has accommodated a number of families that were affected by the Mamelodi floods and remains committed to the relocation process. All relocations must be done in line with the law and the residents must be moved to land that has been earmarked for settlement,” Williams told Independent Media.
Tau said the affected residents have not had a place to call home since 29 December 2019.
“At the time, a relocation plan was mooted and then abandoned by the city. A new plan was then supposedly developed [but] this plan has also turned to dust. It is clear that the city is hoping that these residents will quietly go away and that the problem will not have to be resolved,” said Tau who is a former Tshwane MMC of utility services, a former acting mayor of the City of Tshwane and previously the Democratic Alliance’s regional chairperson before he joined the Herman Mashaba-led outfit.
“As usual, Ghost Mayor, Councillor Randall Williams, is too busy enjoying the perks of final days in the halls of the mayoral office than helping residents in communities. The city is in free-fall and Councillor Williams could not be bothered by its plight.”
Tau said the response of the Gauteng provincial government to the plight of the 2019 flood victims has been no better.
“Premier David Makhura swore to move the affected families to a safe space as a matter of urgency back in 2019. ActionSA found it concerning that only 192 of the 790 families would be accommodated in the city’s relocation plans, while the rest of the families were to be left in a state of unending limbo while the DA-led City of Tshwane supposedly cobbled together yet another relocation plan,” said Tau.
He said the affected residents have been given no indication of “when this plan may come about”.
Williams said: “The city is in the process of identifying appropriate land so this can be addressed. In addition we take this matter seriously as we care for all our residents. However we are not interested in political grand standing designed to get voter support.”