Family out in the cold after 'roof flew off into the night'

2016-07-28 21:16
Gaynor Carolus' Hout Bay home. (Supplied)

Gaynor Carolus' Hout Bay home. (Supplied)

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Cape Town - When mother of three Gaynor Carolus woke up at 03:00 on Tuesday morning, the first thing she saw was that part of her roof had blown away.

Two days later, a canvas is all that protects her from the elements after council officials said they were unable to immediately repair it.

Carolus said the cold front which gripped most of the country during the past week had been a nightmare for her and her family.

She lives in a council flat in Makriel Court, Hout Bay, with her daughters, her mother and two nieces. They have all been sleeping in the lounge since the downpour flooded the bedrooms.

She said after the roof “flew off into the night”, her household kept warm until morning when she reported the incident to the local municipal rent office.

“Early that afternoon, council workers came to our house to view the damage. They told us they can’t fix it immediately because of the weather and handed over a few plastic sheets and nails for us to repair it ourselves,” Carolus explained.

“I asked them how they expected us to put it up. We are a house full of women and we live on the fourth floor of the building.”

Three families were affected by the partially missing roof.

“It’s cold and the weather is miserable. We are using pots and containers to catch the rainwater. All of our clothes, our beds, and even the TV are soaked. I don’t know how much longer the council expects us to live like this.”

Roscoe Jacobs of the Hout Bay Civic Association and local ANC branch said they were disturbed by what had happened.

Party officials visited the affected families on Tuesday to hand over blankets.

“These people were left in a difficult position. If a tree falls in a white person’s yard, the city will deal with that quicker. If this is a caring and well-run city, it should act equally to all its citizens,” he said.

Mayoral committee member for human settlements, Benedicta van Minnen, said a contractor had been appointed and the repairs should be completed on Thursday, July 28.

Carolus said city officials arrived and used a canvas to cover the roof.

“They said they would come back later to repair it,” she said.


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