Cape Town. 140706. Sithole informal settlement opposite Mitchells Plain floods periodically. Kids walk through the rubble. Pic COURTNEY AFRICA
Cape Town. 140706. Sithole informal settlement opposite Mitchells Plain floods periodically. Kids walk through the rubble. Pic COURTNEY AFRICA

Thousands destitute after heavy rains

Time of article published Jul 7, 2014

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Siyavuya Mzantsi

MORE than 20 000 people were left destitute after 6 904 homes and businesses were flooded in the city over the past three days.

Twenty-two road accidents were reported from Friday to Saturday.

City of Cape Town Traffic spokeswoman Maxine Jordaan said a truck transporting 15 people overturned on Hospital Bend, N2 highway.

“All were injured, but three of them were critically injured,” she said.

City of Cape Town Disaster Risk Management spokesman Wilfred Johannes-Solomons said more than 10 000 blankets and hot meals were provided to 25 689 flood victims in more than 72 informal settlements.

He said they also provided 945 baby packs and about 25 326 hot meals.

Tsunami informal settlement near Delft was among hard-hit areas by floods over the weekend. Nine hundred people had to evacuate their homes as water entered 230 shacks.

Other informal settlements affected included Phola Park in Gugulethu, Enkanini in Khayelitsha, Siyazenzela in Browns Farm and Isiqalo informal settlement, Mitchells Plain.

City mayor Patricia de Lille’s office was also affected by the heavy rainfall on Friday.

“The flooding into the mayor’s office was the result of the construction that is currently taking place on the roof of the building. There were leaks and the contractors were working on fixing them, but Friday’s rain played a big part,” Mayco member for Corporate Services Xanthea Limberg said.

She said the mayor was not at her office at the time and that the problem was being fixed.

Isiqalo informal settlement resident Siyanda Tshata said: “My house is full of water. Sometimes you wake up at night because of water entering the side where your bed is located, then you have to move things to another side. Children are heavily affected by this, some of them have a fever. The situation is getting worse by the day. There is nowhere to walk. At least if we can get a truck to drain this water, it would make a difference,” said Tshata.

About 390 shacks were swamped in TR section, Khayelitsha, leaving 1 400 people homeless on Saturday and 1 200 people including children were affected by flooding at S-section in Khayelitsha .

The Mustadafin Foundation assisted flood victims with meals. They had to increase the number of staff members because of the growing number of affected residents.

“We have served more than 7 000 meals to the flood victims. Our concern is mainly children because they get sick easily. The situation is very tense, but we are coping very well. Yesterday I visited Phola Park informal settlement and I was there for the entire day.

“People were scrambling to save their belongings,” said the foundation’s spokesman Ebrahim Smith.

He said some residents refused to leave their homes despite being flooded.

“Some of them chose to stay in their flooded homes because they fear their belongings might get stolen when they are not there. They tried to get the water out of their homes,” he said.

EMS spokesman Robert Daniels said: “We confirm that additional emergency personnel were called to duty, specifically for this weekend. Sixty-five ambulance crews, three rescue crews and an additional contingency plan is in place should the situation become difficult.

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