Pretoria - Mamelodi flood victims are planning to take to the streets in protest against government’s promises to relocate them.
The residents were forced to leave their homes and move into a local community hall after their dwellings were washed away by a raging rain storm in February last year.
About 150 despondent shack dwellers were moved to the Nellmapius Community Hall in Mamelodi, after the flooding at Mountain View, Mavuso and Willow Farm informal settlements.
In February last year, the river overflowed and washed away their homes.
According to the residents, they were promised relocation two years ago, and the City of Tshwane has since failed to communicate with them.
They said they felt stuck and hopeless at the hall.
At the weekend, one of their leaders, Simon Sekhale, said that they had agreed to take to the streets and march to the City offices and the Department of Human Settlements to demand to relocation immediately.
“It’s almost winter and we are still stuck in this hall. When will this end? They have been lying to us all these years and we have been patient. It’s time we take matters into our own hands. This government does not care for us.”
He added that the residents were to hold a meeting to discuss the date of the protest today.
“There are a lot of matters that need to be resolved. First we need to know when and where we will be relocated to because we are still in the dark. We are also in talks with those who rebuilt their shacks and stayed behind to join us.
“The more numbers we have the better, because then the government will take us seriously and act on this matter,” he said.
The Pretoria News previously reported that the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements had promised to fast-track the relocation process.
Department spokesperson Tahir Sema had initially said that it was aware of the plight of the Mamelodi flood victims.
“The department, together with the City of Tshwane, has a plan and remains committed to relocating people in various informal settlements in the province. Relocation plans are in progress. We will update the public by February again.”
Another community leader, Moses Mboweni, said that all they wanted was land to be made available so they could start rebuilding their lives.
“We’re only looking for land. All they have to do is to make available safe land that we can move to. We are living with girl children and pregnant women who need their privacy when they bath or sleep.”
Mabunda further said the municipality had previously told them it had secured land at Mooiplaas to where they would be relocated.
“It looks like the Mooiplaas idea failed because they have since told us that we were going to be moved somewhere else, but they are now quiet,” he said.
Previously, City of Tshwane spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said the metro was still engaging with the provincial Department of Human Settlement and National Treasury regarding the relocation.
There was no indication from the metro on why the plans were at a standstill.