SOME of the displaced people affected by the floods in Mamelodi say there is little to be merry about in the community hall where they have been temporarily placed.     Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)
SOME of the displaced people affected by the floods in Mamelodi say there is little to be merry about in the community hall where they have been temporarily placed. Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

Misery for families displaced by Mamelodi flood

By LIAM NGOBENI Time of article published Dec 23, 2019

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Pretoria - Mamelodi residents forced from their homes by torrential rains two weeks ago say it will be hard to be merry this festive season.

They lost all their belongings to the floods, which swept through the Eerste Fabrieke informal settlement.

While donations have been brought in, the families said yesterday they had had enough of living in a community hall in Mamelodi.

“We do not know where we are going to be moved to or when we will be moved.

"Since we have been moved from the church no one really knows what is happening,” said one resident, who did not want to be named.

Premier David Makhura has told the affected residents he was expecting a report from Tshwane on land they could be moved to, but patience is wearing thin in the hall.

One worried resident said she was not going back home to Giyani for Christmas because she was working through the festive season.

“I was injured trying to save some stuff from my shack, but my employers want me at work.

"I have no idea how long I will be here... I lost everything so I have to rebuild here.

“We just sit and hope something will happen soon. At least there is a roof and we have something to eat.”

Another resident in the hall with her two children said she was not looking forward to the festive season.

“For this disaster to come at such a time is bad. We are also in the dark and we cannot rebuild. It is frustrating.”

She said she was making means for her children to go to Venda as she feared for their health.

“Yes it's safe, but some are sick with TB. Christmas is here but we do not have anything left. It is hard to be excited or happy.

“We need them to tell us when we will be moved or what the plan is so our spirits can be lifted. Schools will be opening soon as well.”

MMC for Human Settlements Sello Maimane told the Pretoria News that the department presented a report to the province on Thursday, but the metro did not have land to relocate the people.

“Every piece of land that belongs to the City is occupied.”

However, Maimane revealed that there was a piece of land that had been identified and negotiations to purchase it were under way, but could not say when this would be finalised.

Makhura’s spokesperson, Vuyo Mhaga, said a lasting solution to the residents' predicament was still being sought.

He said the premier received the metro's report and the options would be shared with the community early this week.

Makhura encouraged people not to rebuild on the river banks, and asked the metro to enforce by-laws.

Meanwhile, the displaced people in the Mamelodi Community Hall said they feared the worst, and the worst was spending Christmas Day cooped up with many other families.

Pretoria News

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