Mfuleni residents tired of ongoing flooding

Shukushukuma residents lost their valuable items to water from the drain.

Residents of Shukushukuma informal settlement in Mfuleni say they are tired of living in “horrible and poor conditions”.

More than 18 years ago these residents moved into this low-lying area with the hope that they would get formal housing.

Little did they know that it would take years and they would face a number of challenges along the way, among them a drain that regularly floods the area.

They claim that in December last year they lost valuable belongings when a water pipe burst.

According to them the City of Cape and their local councillor Jerome Fitz promised to reimburse them for their losses but this has not happened.

Community members Thando Moki and Bongani Mbuyazwe took Vukani around the area, showing us the poor condition of their homes.

In some shacks the floors and furniture have been damaged by water from the drain.

Some residents use tyres and pieces of wood to create walkways over the water and into their homes.

Referring to Mr Fitz, Mr Moki said: “Last year we agreed that he will replace all the damaged furniture and clothes.

“He was here to see the damage. Some City officials were here and saw the damage. We were happy because they showed care to us.

“But now our councillor is nowhere. He does not even look at our needs.”

He said the best thing the City could do for the people of Shukushukuma was to move them to a better place.

With winter looming, he added, “all hell will break loose.”

“We appeal to the City to move us out of this place. The conditions that we live under are horrible. It is about time that they take us to a better area where there’s no flooding in winter.”

Mr Mbuyazwe and his family have been living in the area since it was established.

He doesn’t recall a year that their properties haven’t been damaged by rain or flooding water.

He said their children risked their health by playing in an area where human faeces often spilled into the roads.

“This drain is haunting us. It is painful to live your life in such appalling conditions,” he said.

Despite numerous attempts, Vukani was unable to reach Mr Fitz on his cellphone.

We also referred our enquiries to the City of Cape Town’s media office who did not respond by the time this edition went to print.