Residents: ‘It is an insult to expect humans to live here’

2020-02-05 06:01
Jika Joe residents stand on their doorsteps during a recent heavy downpour that flooded the settlement.

Jika Joe residents stand on their doorsteps during a recent heavy downpour that flooded the settlement.

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RESIDENTS of the new Jika Joe shacks on East Street say that the conditions they have been subjected to in their new location are dangerous and unsanitary.

The residents moved to the new location after a fire last year left more than 100 people homeless.

The residents are concerned about their “flood-prone” location and say that the portable toilets that were at the new location were taken away. Additionally, some say the materials to rebuild their homes have still not been delivered.

Jeffrey Dlomo (65) said the new arrangement was not working and it is an insult to expect human beings to live there.

“Waking up in the middle of the night to find your belongings soaked is not nice.

We are anxious every time we see the weather change and the clouds turn grey,” said Dlomo.

Nobuhle Bhengu said that there were portable toilets placed in the new location for them last year, but they were abruptly taken away.

“We now have to go to the bushes whenever we need to urinate or relieve ourselves.

It is degrading to us, and very dangerous.

We have seen snakes in those very bushes,” she said.

Ward 33 councillor Suraya Reddy said that, from what she knows, there were eight people still waiting for their building resources, which is being handled by the Department of Human Settlements.

She too is concerned about the flooding and was informed that a grader was required to dig trenches that would prevent further flooding.

Reddy said the shacks on East Street are a temporary arrangement in response to the fire disaster that occurred and that the contract for the portable toilets had expired, which is why they were taken away.

Department spokesperson Mbulelo Baloyi said the only people who hadn’t received their building materials were those who couldn’t produce their identity documents.

“We do not know anything about outstanding equipment.

The department supplied everything that was required, all according to the processes of verification of identity before receiving,” said Baloyi.

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