‘Where are the homes the president promised us?’ 

By Anita Dangazele

Flood victims who were evicted from a temporary shelter in Kariega are demanding answers from President Cyril Ramaphosa about the houses they were promised. 

Thirty days after the president’s promise, the victims find themselves back in their flood-damaged homes.

During his visit on 7 June, Ramaphosa said: “Within 30 days, we will have provided temporary housing for those who have lost their houses. In the meantime, we have accommodation for those who have been displaced.” 

However, instead of moving into new homes, the victims were forced back to their flood-ravaged homes. On Sunday, residents blocked Church Street with burning tyres in anger over the eviction.

On Monday, the residents protested outside their temporary shelter as the promised 30-day accommodation period ended. They are demanding to be moved to temporary housing, as promised.

“We want the president, the mayor, and the people from Human Settlements to come and explain why we are back here when they promised us land with new houses,” said community leader Susan Smith. 

She described sleepless nights worrying that their shacks might collapse due to strong winds.

Resident Denicia Adams reported that her roof was stolen on Sunday night. 

“I had to take my kids to sleep at a friend’s shack which was already crowded. When I returned, the bed was still wet,” Adams said.

Oom Tollo, a 65-year-old disabled man, stood at the remains of his home on Monday. He is staying with his grandchildren while waiting for his promised temporary home.

Families said they were worried about the level 6 weather warning issued by the South African Weather Service for storm surges in parts of the Eastern Cape, including Nelson Mandela Bay. 

NMBM spokesperson Sithembiso Soyaya stated that the municipality was on standby to assist should disaster strike.

Pictured above: Residents sitting outside the temporary accommodation from which they were evicted on Sunday.

Source: Supplied

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