Residents count cost of damages after the storm

MEC for Health Nomafrench Mbombo addresses the residents of Taiwna, in Site C.

Residents of various informal settlements say it will take them months to recover from the damage caused by last week’s storm.

And with more rain on the horizon, things could only get worse.

A number of homes and schools were damaged in last week’s storm, which started on Tuesday night.

Scores of people were left homeless, with many being accommodated in community halls as the storm raged across the province.

Residents of Lotus, Marikana, Mfuleni, RR, QQ and Taiwan in Site C have described having to sleep in wet beds, chairs – and some in halls – and on Friday June 9, various areas were still mopping up.

Health MEC Dr Nomafrench Mbombo was in the townships on Sunday June 11 to asses the damages and to see how provincial government could assist the people affected by the storm.

However, she said, she was not promising anything. “I am here to assess the effects of the storm. I cannot promise people this and that or that they will be relocated or given houses. We are here to respond to the immediate needs,” she said.

Taiwan resident Vuyisa Mbali said he had to sleep in a wet bed because there was nothing else he could do.

“I cannot go anywhere. This is my only house. But I need help like money and blankets. I also need a social grant because I am sick,” he said.

But most community members were hoping that mother nature would be kind to them until they were able to repair their houses.

Nkosentsha Tiwani, from Lotus near Gugulethu, said the storm had caused damages which would be costly to repair.

“Most of us will not have money this year. Our shacks were totally dismantled. I do not see us recovering from this. My only hope is that the weather clears up a bit. We need to repair our shacks,” he said.

Philani Mbuku, of Marikana, was repairing his home when he spoke to Vukani.

“At least I have a chance to repair the house. It looks like the weather will not be kind to us for many days to come,” he said.

Community worker and a Democratic Alliance PR councillor for Ward 18, Sweetness Mzolisa, was part of Dr Mbombo’s delegation which visited Taiwan.

She said her responsibility as a PR councillor and community worker was to make sure that people had a better life.

“These people need help. They have been crying for houses but we all know that the City of Cape Town and the (Department of) Human Settlements is working on that. We called the officials so they have a better view on how people live. They are flooded and helpless. But we are here to bring hope and for them to see we are doing something,” she said.