Langa residents use tyres and zinc sheets to try and prevent flooding

2017-06-07 17:43
City of Cape Town clearing a drain in Langa (Jenni Evans, News24)

City of Cape Town clearing a drain in Langa (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - Sylvia Nyawuza and her family did not get much sleep on Tuesday night as they lay awake listening to the wind threatening to tear the roof off their shack.

With the children at home for the day because schools were closed, and her husband out at work, she was busy the whole of Wednesday morning collecting water running through cracks in a makeshift roof onto her floor.

She apologised for not having done the housework yet, but explained over the loud rain that her morning had been spent taking precautions against the massive storm which wreaked havoc across the Western Cape.

Nyawuza dashed through a muddy alley to a shop to get a bunch of spinach from Martin Chidananana, who was determined to see the bright side of the storm.

''In this weather my vegetables stay nice,'' said Chidananana. ''When it is hot, they go dry and I lose money,'' he said cheerfully, as people ran to buy some greens for their evening meals.

Malibongwe Mbiyozi, another resident, lives with his family in a row of shacks perched precariously on a river bank next to Jakes Gerwel Drive.

His wife leaned down to soak up water that ran into and then through their small kitchen and bedroom overnight.

She wrung the cloth out into a bucket.

Mbiyozi held his hands against a stove that was switched on for warmth, and then pointed to their wet bedding.

''It came through the roof,'' explained Mbiyozi, who was referring to the rain.

He added that he sent his children to spend the evening with a neighbour.

Martin Chidananana says his vegetables will go off and he will lose money so it is business as usual for him in Langa (Jenni Evans, News24)

Residents built retaining walls, into a river bank, out of discarded tyres and were hoping that will be sufficient.

However, they still had to brave the weather to use one of the rows of blue portable toilets at the entrance to the small shack extension to Langa.

As another wave of hard rain and wind approached, Jonas Lusasa and a friend hurriedly finished a few more fortifications to the roof of their puncture repair business.

Lusasa sat on a sheet of zinc to keep it down as more holes were quickly drilled in for bolts that would hold the roof on.

Meanwhile, a group of council workers in bright orange jackets pushed plumbing rods down a blocked drain to try and clear it before a swell of water flooded one of the entrances to the area.

Read more on:    cape town  |  weather

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