Residents desperate to move

It has been difficult to get around in many informal settlements across the city in the past weeks. Khunqu in Site C was no different.

After years of living in a flood-prone area, residents of Khunqu in Taiwan, Site C, are pleading for help to leave the area.

Khunqu was among the informal settlements that were overwhelmed by heavy rains and gale-force winds in the past few weeks.

The storms wreaked havoc in areas such as Taiwan and BM Section in Khayelitsha, Sweethome Farm, Kosovo, Philippi, Mfuleni, Delft, Nyanga and Gugulethu.

The City’s Informal Settlement Management Department assessed the damage and provided flood kits including sand for sandbags that can act as a barrier.

However, residents of Khunqu are appealing to the government to resettle them somewhere safe from flooding.

When Vukani visited the area last Friday, some residents were trying to dig trenches to divert the water while others seemed stunned and confused about what to do.

Community leader Nozizwe Maneli said the provision of flood kits and sand was no longer enough for them.

Another community leader, Ntomboxolo Mpolweni said over the years they had come to know what to expect in winter, including that their belongings would be damaged by the storms.

“This is the life we have lived and endured for the past 15 years. When winter is coming we know what to face. We appreciate what the city is doing, providing kits and sand but it is not working.”

“We must be relocated somewhere. When Bonginkosi Madikizela was an MEC for Human Settlements, he visited us and promised us to be relocated as part of the Airport Precinct Catalytic Project.”

Ntombizodwa Duba said the floods took her back to when she lost a child in floods. She is currently living with a disabled child who cannot talk. “My 11-year-old boy is sleeping on a wet bed as we speak. It is difficult to move him or take him somewhere. I think the best thing is for us to be moved from this place. There was a bit of hope when the then MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela promised us to be relocated. He said then, there was a project that we will be part of,” she said.

Ms Duba had a busy day trying to keep water out of the shack but fought a losing battle.

She was worried that her appliances would be damaged like in past years.

“The water will destroy everything I have like before. These are challenges we face here. We are losing a lot and that includes our health. You cannot be healthy staying here. It would be good if they moved us,” she said.

The Airport Precinct housing project was to deliver 9 000 housing opportunities, comprising of duplex and multi-storey walk-ups to the greater Gugulethu area and informal settlements along the N2 like, among others, Kanana, Barcelona, Lusaka, Europe and Gxagxa.

The Department of Human Settlement’s Catalytic Project under Mr Madikizela was described by both as a ground-breaking housing development.

Mayoral committee member for human settlements, Malusi Booi said the City of Cape Town will continue to issue flood kits to reduce the impact of flooding.

He said the kits are distributed across the metro but especially in more vulnerable areas such as informal settlements where residents.

He added that since Wednesday June 1, the City’s Informal Settlements Management Department has issued 6 898 flood kits and it is expected to deliver additional kits over the next few days.