Winds wreak havoc

2016-06-01 06:00
BACHANA DANSTER from Botshabelo in front of his house, which cost R4 700 to repair after a freak storm had hit the area and ripped off the roofs of houses, leaving residents exposed to the elements. Photo: Teboho Setena

BACHANA DANSTER from Botshabelo in front of his house, which cost R4 700 to repair after a freak storm had hit the area and ripped off the roofs of houses, leaving residents exposed to the elements. Photo: Teboho Setena

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THE victims of the freak winds that wreaked havoc in Botshabelo a few weeks ago are still in a desperate situation, as they have to repair damages caused by the storm at their own cost.

The storm ripped off the roofs of houses in Botshabelo Section B and C. A similar incident unfolded in the township of Philippolis on 11 May. This was followed by heavy rain in several parts of the province.

In Botshabelo, the gusty storm reportedly destroyed the roofs of houses of about 37 residents in Section B and C, leaving home owners exposed to the extreme weather conditions. Some residents’ furniture was damaged beyond repair.

Some of the houses are self-built by residents, while others were built through the government’s Reconstruction Development Programme (RDP).

The majority of people affected by the storm told Express that their properties had not been insured. Worsening their situation was the fact that they could not afford the cost of repairing damages to their property, as they were unemployed. Some are adults relying on monthly old-age grants of R1 500 from the state.

Damages range from R4 000 to R10 000, as some roof panels were also damaged beyond repair.

Victims received temporary assistance from the Mangaung Metro Municipality in the form of one-roomed shacks to use for six months. Those affected said they were informed the municipality would take back these structures after six months.

Martha Thisana-Mokejane (81) and Belinda Mchunu (83), both from Section B, said they would be in the same predicament in six months’ time.

“I have eight grandchildren to look after, spending my grant as main income. I cannot afford building material and repair costs. Most of the roofing is gone due to the wind,” said Thisana-Mokejane, whose house’s roof needs a complete overhaul.

“I need material for my roof more than anything now. I can afford to survive on a state grant, but to purchase roofing is impossible. I’ll appreciate any help in fixing the roof of my house,” said Mchunu.

Bachana Danster (76) is one of the fortunate ones, as he was helped by his son John, who paid for repairs and new roofing, spending R4 700, including labour.

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