Disaster victim ‘shown the door’

2018-06-21 06:01
The bad weather last Thursday, 14 June destroyed Nkosinathi Nelisani’s shack.                             PHOTO: velani ludidi

The bad weather last Thursday, 14 June destroyed Nkosinathi Nelisani’s shack. PHOTO: velani ludidi

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“Get insurance if you want your houses fixed.”

These were the words of a City of Cape Town official allegedly to Asanda Village residents in Strand after they had asked for assistance from the municipality.

More than 25 houses were affected by the strong winds last Thursday, many of them left with leaking roofs.

An educare centre with 70 children was also affected. Its owner, Phillip Mlamla (59), was furious over the official’s alleged insurance remark.

“If I had been here when it was expressed to my wife, I would have dealt with the man physically,” he said, fuming.

“This did not sit well with me, because to have insurance you must be working, and we are not working.”

His wife, Nokwanele Mlamla (54), said they were helping the community, something she says the municipality doesn’t care about.

“The rain damaged our ceiling, and if we close the educare centre where will the children go?” she asked.

“We are not a registered educare centre because it is very difficult to register one, although we still in the process of doing so.”

Nkosinathi Nelisani’s shack was destroyed by the wind.

“I almost got injured and my five-year-old child is still in shock,” the 51-year-old father said. “The councillor tried to assist me by calling disaster management, but they didn’t come at all.”

Local councillor Simthembile Mfecane said an official of the City had told him people should get insurance.

“They didn’t even provide people with plastic covers for their roofs, and people were swimming in water,” he said.

Mfecane also accused the City of politicising service delivery.

“What they did the last time was bring people wearing DA clothes when bringing material here, to make it seem as if the DA was delivering the service,” he said.

Charlotte Powell, the City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management spokesperson, wouldn’t comment on the allegations of insurance-related comments.

But she commented on the issue of politicising service delivery, saying it is not a practice that is tolerated or condoned by Disaster Risk Management.

“The narrative is to assist and coordinate efforts to help and benefit residents especially vulnerable communities,” Powell said. She said the City is committed to rooting out all instances of corruption by City officials and calls on residents who have experienced corruption and abuse of office to report it to the toll-free anti-corruption hotline on 080 032 3130.

Mfecane said he had arranged with building company ASLA to have the damage to houses fixed by this week.


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