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Mamelodi flood victims dig heels in, say they will not go back to area

Mamelodi flood victims staying at the Mamelodi west community hall. Picture: Jacques Naude African News Agency (ANA)

Mamelodi flood victims staying at the Mamelodi west community hall. Picture: Jacques Naude African News Agency (ANA)

Published Feb 14, 2022

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Betty Moleya

Pretoria - Residents who were relocated to the Mamelodi West Community Centre due to the recent flooding in some parts of Pretoria are unhappy and want all informal settlements in Eerste Fabriek, Mamelodi, to be closed forever.

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Solly Mogano said they were tired of being relocated to the hall every time there was flooding in their area.

“In 2017 we were here, 2019 we came back to this hall and this last December here we were again.

“It is now 2022 and we are still facing the same problem. All residents from the informal settlements need to be moved from that place, then it should be barricaded and/or there should be tight security around it to prevent future settlers... that place is dangerous,” said Mogano.

Mamelodi flood victims staying at the Mamelodi west community hall. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

He said if given new land, it should be enough for 700 shacks as there were 700 shacks at the informal settlement.

“Everyone should be relocated at once; they should not relocate some of the residents at a time. It should be everyone at once so that the place can be closed permanently. This should be something that will prevent people from settling at the site.”

Mogano said they are not leaving the hall until the government had a solution to the problem.

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Mogano is among residents from the informal settlement on the banks of a river who lost their homes during a flash flood in December 2019. Homes were flooded and washed away. Hundreds of families were displaced and left destitute, and even though the City of Tshwane said they would relocate them soon thereafter, many families remained there to rebuild their shacks and face further flooding.

They were again hit by massive flooding two weekends ago, and left with nothing, with the City relocating them to temporary accommodation, saying they would finish the process of moving them all in October, much to the unhappiness of the residents.

Solly Mogano, whose house was destroyed in the recent floods, at the Mamelodi west community hall. Picture: Jacques Naude African News Agency (ANA)

A desperate Mogano emphasised that they only wanted land; the rest they would do for themselves without any assistance. He said they were tired of being told lies and were not happy. They had been promised to be relocated many times over the past few years, he said, but to date nothing has been done.

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Lovely Sehlapelo, from the Moretele River Forum which is assisting the residents, said the problem was obviously the river next to the informal settlement. When it rains the river overflows and it affects the informal settlement. “That is not a place where people can stay; it is not safe. The only solution is relocation.”

Pretoria News

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