Govt will help floods victims - Zuma promises

2016-11-15 18:56
President Jacob Zuma walks through Alexandra. (Lerato Sejake, News24)

President Jacob Zuma walks through Alexandra. (Lerato Sejake, News24)

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Johannesburg - Government will do everything possible to help the victims of the flash floods in Alexandra, Johannesburg, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.

"What happened to the families is very painful," Zuma said while visiting the victims, including the family of 3-year-old Everite Chauke who was swept away by the Jukskei River last Wednesday.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Co-operative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen accompanied Zuma. As Zuma walked around the area, residents jostled to get a glimpse of him. They lined a bridge and cheered.

Everite’s father, Shadrick Chauke recounted the moment his girl fell into the river. All they wanted was to find her, he said.

Makhura assured Chauke that they would do whatever it took to help them.

Dangerous areas

READ: Flash flood: Search for missing girl intensifies

Near the river, some residents were still picking up the pieces of what was left of their homes. A heavy stench filled the air. A family sat in their small shack near the river bank, while a child played nearby.

"Government is saying whenever it's rainy season, from time to time it causes a lot of harm," Zuma said.

He urged those living near the river banks to move. Erecting shacks there was dangerous.

About 4 900 people in Gauteng were affected by the flooding, he said.

Everite, her father, Chauke, and her mother were in their shack on Wednesday afternoon when it started raining heavily. When water began filling their home, they climbed a tree.

Chauke held on to his daughter. The mother was on another branch.

"The branch broke and the child fell into the water. He tried for dear life to try and rescue his child, but she disappeared into the water," Richard Makondo who spoke on behalf of the family previously told News24.

He jumped into the water, but was forced to swim back without her.

Gift of the Givers had been providing food and clothes to residents.

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Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  floods  |  weather

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