Heavy rain leaves thousands homeless 

By Buziwe Nocuze

Thousands of residents in various parts of the Western Cape were left homeless after heavy rain and strong winds destroyed their homes, leading some residents to think they had been hit by a tornado.

On Friday, the weather seemed calm, but the City of Cape Town warned of more rain on Saturday. Many residents hadn’t even started repairing the damage from Thursday’s storm.

Ward 99 in Khayelitsha is the city’s priority at this stage, said Anton Bredell, MEC for Local Government. 

“Close to 1,000 structures were destroyed by strong winds on Thursday, leaving close to 4,000 people without shelter in the current cold and wet conditions,” he said. 

“Humanitarian aid, including hot meals, blankets and other support is being offered.”

Likhanyise Makanaza, a resident of Khayelitsha township, is looking for new material to rebuild her home. 

“My shack was damaged on Thursday. I slept at a friend’s house and I was trying to get new building materials because the old ones were blown away. Now, the heavy rain has come, and I’m stuck at my friend’s house,” she said.

Sibongile Bolani, also from Khayelitsha, said they had to sleep outside. 

“We slept outside because of flooding. Water kept coming into our shack no matter how much we tried to get rid of it. We are going to get sick because we don’t have a place to stay. All we can do is make a fire and stay outside,” said Bolani.

In the Kanana informal settlement in Gugulethu township, residents couldn’t sleep. 

“I’m cold. We couldn’t sleep because of the rain. We’ve been in this situation for more than five years now. It’s surprising why it hasn’t been fixed yet,” said a resident.

Liziwe Ncwara, who lives in the Europe informal settlement, said the City of Cape Town must prioritise informal settlements. 

“We are putting our hope in the government. Maybe we will finally get out of this stressful situation that we have been facing all these years. That’s why we get angry when people come and take photos because it is something that has been happening for too long,” said Ncwara.

Pictured above: Heavy rain and strong winds have left many Cape Town residents homeless.

Source: Supplied


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