City of Cape Town moves shack residents off flooded plains

2018-07-03 21:20
Councillor Andile Lili (left) and Cape Town Mayoral Committee member for area east, Councillor Anda Ntsodo explain the moving process after the floods (Jenni Evans, News24)

Councillor Andile Lili (left) and Cape Town Mayoral Committee member for area east, Councillor Anda Ntsodo explain the moving process after the floods (Jenni Evans, News24)

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WATCH: Heavy rains flood Cape Town roads

2018-04-26 12:01

Heavy rain resulted in major flooding in several areas in Cape Town, including Somerset West, Edgemead and parts of Blouberg. Watch.WATCH

Shacks belonging to about 135 people in Cape Town are expected to be demolished, moved and rebuilt on higher ground.

This comes as the City of Cape Town's post-flooding disaster assessment teams move residents who had built on dry flood plains during the drought, a councillor said at a site tour on Tuesday.

"We are doing it in all areas where the water table is high," the City of Cape Town's mayoral committee member for Area East, Councillor Anda Ntsodo said.

He was part of a delegation conducting disaster assessments in Makhaza and Macassar, in Khayelitsha, between Cape Town and Strand, after the rain that quickly raised the average dam level for the city to around 48.3% of storage capacity.

"We want to make it safe for people," Ntsodo told a group of residents standing around him after he had traipsed through a narrow passage between shacks to see a dust pan that had turned into a pond.

Shacks had been built around the pan and, as the rain fell, the dry pan filled up with water, towards the shacks, while the water gushed down the narrow pathways, taking chunks of the shacks' foundations along.

Ntsodo said about 25 people living on the flood plains would be moved en masse to higher ground, with their belongings, as soon as the new sites were identified.

Ntsodo said the residents were not supposed to have built there in the first place because the land had not been surveyed and had no services. Once they had been moved, nobody would be allowed to build on the sites again.

"We are going to put things in a lorry and then move [affected residents] to a safer place," he said.

Homes built on flood zones in Makhaza,  Khayelitsha (Jenni Evans, News24) 


Further afield in Macassar, which is close to Strand, around 109 people would also have their shacks dismantled and be moved to a temporary relocation site.

Ntsodo explained that the settlement known as Nyakathisa, had expanded over the past 12 years, with people erecting shacks further and further into the flood plain without going through official channels.

READ: Western Cape mountain passes open after heavy snowfall, as cold sets in across SA

They would also be moved within at least two weeks to a temporary relocation area.

"There is no disaster declared, but this is a disaster," said Ntsodo of the muddy through roads and front doors still blocked by sand.

He said some of those moved would eventually qualify for upgraded shacks with services at an informal settlement called Deep Freeze in the area.

Macassar, Cape Town (Jenni Evans, News24) 


Others would benefit from a 421-unit housing project to be built over the next three years.

ANC councillor Andile Lili said he was "okay" with the temporary plan but called for a more lasting plan for residents.

"The ultimate plan is to relocate these people to formal plots," Lili said in Makhaza.

In Macassar, councillor Victor Isaacs said: "I'm quite happy with the arrangement. It's not good for people to live in these conditions."

On Monday the City's media office said about 4 000 people have been affected by the floods but had opted to stay with friends and relatives while waiting for the storms to subside.

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