Shacks pose grave danger during floods, says David Makhura
Pretoria - Gauteng premier David Makhura on Wednesday discouraged community members from building haphazard informal settlements as they led to people living in areas prone to flooding.
Makhura was speaking to journalists in Mamelodi, east of Pretoria, where community members are housed at community centres after their shacks were destroyed by floods following days of incessant rain.
"Our cities must enforce by-laws. People mustn't be left there for two days, for two weeks, settling in an area where we know that once there are floods [they will be in trouble]. Climate change is a big problem. We want to enforce the by-laws," said Makhura.
"We also want to ensure proper urban planning, which we are now doing in our province, everywhere. We want to settle people where we want to settle them. In other areas we want to build factories and we want to use other spaces for social amenities for our children to play."
The premier, flanked by several provincial government officials, emphasised that residents could not be allowed to erect homes anywhere. He however added that the authorities should not be harsh on communities seeking places to stay.
"The solution I think is better planning but also proactive planning. Even that planning requires community mobilisation and community participation. We are a democratic and humane government. We cannot use the hammer on our people. We have to persuade them not to settle here," he said.
Makhura said at times community members settled in places that government could not support with basic services like water pipes.
Tshwane Emergency Services say about 1 300 people have been affected by the recent floods, which killed at least two people.
More than 700 shacks at an informal settlement in Eerste Fabrieke, Mamelodi, were swept away.
African News Agency (ANA)