Lwandle flooded after heavy rains

2018-07-05 06:00
Small businesses are hit hard by the recent heavy downpours.PHOTOS: Velani Ludidi

Small businesses are hit hard by the recent heavy downpours.PHOTOS: Velani Ludidi

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Several informal and formal homes in the greater Lwandle area were flooded following much-needed rainfall at the weekend.

Many residents were forced to evacuate their drenched homes as ongoing rains battered the province from Friday 29 June to Monday 2 July.

Resident Abongile Ningiza, whose house was also flooded as the severe cold front hit the Cape, said while residents are grateful for the rain they are also bearing the brunt. “It is a difficult situation we find ourselves in.” he said. “We need the rain but is also making our lives difficult.

“What do we do? Should we pray for the rain to go away? No, we need proper infrastructure and the government needs to plan ahead.”

When City Vision visited the flooded areas of Greenfields on Monday, large pools of water blocked access to numerous homes.

Nokuzola Mtyenene, a mother of three, claimed the rain had become one of the community’s greatest burdens. “These houses were built more than 10 years ago and no upgrades were made to the structures since then,” she said. “When it rains we are faced with many troubles as the installed drains cannot handle heavy downpours.”

In times of disaster, those living in RDP houses are not provided any relief by council, as they only help those living in informal structures, Mtyene added.

Last month, City Vision reported on claims by Asanda Village residents whose homes had been destroyed by strong winds (“Disaster victim ‘shown the door’”, 21 June). They claimed City officials informed them they needed to have their properties insured instead of asking the City for relief assistance.

Charlotte Powell, spokesperson for council’s Disaster Risk Management, declined the opportunity to comment on these allegations, instead commenting on the issue of politicising service delivery.

Meanwhile, small business owners were also affected by the heavy rains. Sibusiso Hadebe said they appreciate the little support they received from residents. “Small business owners are significantly affected by these floods; we have to buy new materials to build new stands from scratch,” he said.

Anda Ntsodo, Mayoral Committee member for Area East, acknowledged the City is facing a challenge with overflowing drains and provided a temporary solution. “The City experienced quite severe storms over the past week, which has resulted in the drain issues,” Ntsodo said. “City officials are in the process of clearing stormwater infrastructure within the area concerned.”

Brett Herron, Mayoral Committee member for Transport and Urban Development, said the heavy downpour has caused the flooding of many roads across the city. “Flooding has occurred due to the water being prevented from entering the gully, which is the entry point into the stormwater system as a result of obstructions at the mouth of the catch-pit or gully,” he explained.

“Our teams are on high alert and are attending to the incidents as we become aware of them. We are also working in close collaboration with other City departments. The roads and stormwater depots are clearing roadways and unblocking drains.”

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