Category Archives: floods

Protest at Government Failure to Assist Shack Dwellers After the Storm

1 December 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Protest at Government Failure to Assist Shack Dwellers After the Storm

The huge storm that hit Durban last night has left several communities reeling. People's homes have been flooded and some have been washed away.

As always shack dwellers we are more vulnerable to these disasters than most other people. For years we have been trying to engage the eThekwini Municipality around both their failure to take adequate measures to protect shack dwellers from disasters like fire and floods and to offer proper support to shack dwellers after disasters. But the municipality only gives its time for the people for political issues and not ever for issues of development.

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Daily News: Downpour kills eight

Downpour kills eight

At least eight people were reported dead, about 700 houses had been destroyed and thousands had been left displaced in KwaZulu-Natal, following Sunday’s heavy downpour, the eThekwini Disaster Management Unit said today.

According to the SA Weather Bureau, 62.6mm of rain fell last night in Durban, which had already recorded 209.6mm for November, almost double its average.

The acting head of the eThekwini Emergency Control and Disaster Management Unit, Vincent Ngubane, said deaths had been recorded at Umlazi, Newlands East and Chatsworth.

The official death toll is eight, but the numbers could rise as emergency operations begin.

In E-Section, Umlazi, Qodeni Ximba, 17, was crushed to death after a landslide caused a lounge wall to collapse on her at 11pm. She had been sleeping on the floor next to the wall. In H-Section, Lindiwe Zulu, 37, also died after a wall collapsed on her.

Isaac Tau Zobane, 45, died in Quarry Heights Road, Newlands East when a sandbank collapsed on to his shack.

In Lamontville at least six RDP houses collapsed.

Ngubane said they had also received reports of flooding at Umkomaas, Isipingo, eDumbe (Paulpietersburg), Eshowe, Nkandla, Gingindlovu, the metro police satellite station in Albert Park and several informal settlements in the city.

He said the true extent of the damage would only be known later today when the disaster management teams submitted their reports to the municipality.

KZN Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesman, Lennox Mabaso, said MECs Nomusa Dube (Co-operative Governance), Weziwe Thusi (Social Development) and Ravi Pillay (Human Settlements) were expected to visit the affected families today.

He said at least 700 homes had been damaged or destroyed. A final assessment would be conducted by the department to determine what aid would be offered to families and which areas would be declared disaster zones. He said it was believed Umlazi, Clermont and Lamontville had suffered the most damage.

“Affluent areas such as Umhlanga were also affected by flooding. Even the house of the provincial head of disaster management, Mthokozisi Duze, was flooded.”

KZN-based shack dwellers’ movement, Abahlali Basemjondolo, said at least 300 residents at various informal settlements across the province had lost their belongings as a result of the flooding.

Several people were rescued in separate incidents from the flood waters in Randles Road, Durban last night. Netcare 911 spokesman, Chris Botha, said paramedics, police and search and rescue teams were called to four houses that were flooded to waist depth by the heavy rains.

“Rescue personnel assisted an elderly lady and a one-year-old toddler to safety. Both were treated for the cold and the elderly patient had to be treated for an asthma attack. They were later handed over into the care of their families because they refused hospital treatment,” he said.

Also, a man was rescued in the severe floods that occurred in the Amanzimtoti area.

“Reports indicate that the man was driving along Long Acres Drive in Doonheights. He tried to drive through a puddle when his vehicle disappeared under the water,” Botha said.

A local resident grabbed a surfboard and swam to the vehicle.

“The driver was pulled from the window of the driver’s side. Rescue personnel arrived at the scene and performed a search to ensure that no other people were trapped in the water. After the rain stopped, it took about 40 minutes for the water to subside before the road was re-opened,” Botha said.

KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport spokesman, Kwanele Ncalane, said no major road accidents were reported last night.

Areas on the south coast were also said to be severely affected. Nomusa Mqwebu the mayor of Hibiscus coast said councillors had been sent out to do an audit of all the damage that had been caused by the torrential rains.

An eThekwini city official who did not want to be named as he is prohibited from talking to the media, said disaster management teams had been out all night assessing the damage.

He said that some of the damage caused was due to sand subsiding or landslides. These were because “of the steady soaks in the past week which meant that the ground was wet and when it got pounded by the heavy rains, it subsided”.

He said that some of the storm water drains had failed to cope with the deluge leading to localised flooding in some areas.

There was a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms for Durban this afternoon, said Durban weather forecaster, Mduduzi Mthembu.

Tomorrow, Mthembu said, the sky would clear in the morning.

On Wednesday, areas along the south coast would experience a cold front and rains.

Due to the cold front, most of KZN will have wet weather on Thursday, with thunderstorms in the afternoon. There is an 80 percent chance of rain at the weekend.

Floods, destruction and despair in the shacks

Update: The Arnett Drive settlement in Reservoir Hills and the Richmond Farm transit camp were also flooded and in KwaMashu sewer systems and a big pipe burst causing serious damage. People are protesting in a number of places in KwaMashu.

Monday, 28 November 2011
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Release

Floods, destruction and despair in the shacks

Abahlali welcomes the world in our country, our province and in our city. We also welcome progressive delegates to our homes, our settlements and our flooded shacks.


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Reject City of Cape Town Flood intervention strategy

Sunday 7 August 2011

Reject City of Cape Town Flood intervention strategy

The current city of Cape Town flood intervention strategy is an insult to the poor, and Abahlali baseMjondolo Western Cape rejects it.

We are very disapointed by the current flood intervention strategy of city of Cape Town, they capitalised on desperation of poor people within the city. The fact that peoples houses are flooded that does not mean people are hungry or they must be taken advantage by those in power. People don’t need food but need houses.

For the past few days the city of Cape Town has been distributing dirty blankets, loaf of breads and 2L of amasi to floods victims. Last month we have invited Patricia De Lille to come and address us on her current flood intervention strategy and we have stated clearly to her that we reject the current city’s flood intervention strategy as it means nothing but insulting the poor and she decided not to come. Giving people 2L of amasi and loaf of bread does not make the problem go away.

Also it is sad to see confused ward councillors like Monde Nqulwana dancing in a tune of city of Cape town by facilitating the process, rather than defending the interest of the poor.

furthermore we note that Helen Zille, Patricia De Lille including Monde Nqulwana they can’t sleep with these dirty blankets that they are distributing to poo people.

And we call on City of Cape Town to rethink their flood intervention strategy rather than insulting poor people, in so doing we call up on the city to establish a disaster management task team made up by affected people, community based organizations, and relevant officials. The sole purpose of this task team should be looking for short term and long term solutions and to come up with proper and relevant intervention strategies with clear timelines.

For comment please call Mzonke Poni
Chairperson of Abahlali beseMjondolo Western Cape
073 2562 036
twitter: @mzonkep

Sowetan: Union warns that farmworkers could lose their jobs after floods

Union warns that farmworkers could lose their jobs after floods

THE Food and Allied Workers’ Union has said farmworkers were likely to lose their jobs following the recent floods that left a number of farms across the country under water.

The government declared a state of emergency in eight provinces after this month’s floods killed 100 people, and wiped out many crops.

Now Fawu spokesperson Dominique Swartz has said farmworkers who work for small-scale farmers would be the losers.

She called on the government to help emerging and commercial farmers, saying that food security could be affected if the farmers did not manage to plant new crops soon.

She said the union suspected that farmworkers might lose their jobs, and the number of small-scale farms would dwindle if the government did not give the crisis its priority attention.

Yesterday Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini abruptly cancelled a press conference on the floods, which was scheduled for the Union Buildings.

Dlamini had promised to give an update on the government’s and other humanitarian assistance to individuals and households affected by the floods.

Meanwhile, the city of Cape Town said it was prepared for the severe flooding that is expected there from May onwards.

“The city’s disaster risk management centre will implement its winter flooding plan as per usual this year,” said Greg Pillay, manager of disaster risk management.

Pillay said that because of the city’s efforts only 9100 people had been affected by floods last year – an improvement from the 11500 affected in 2009.

But Abahlali baseMjondolo Western Cape president Mzonke Poni accused Pillay of lying.

“They think poor people are stupid because we are living in flood-prone areas,” said Poni.

“It is appalling. The situation remains the same every winter.

“They only supply people with blankets and put them in community halls. They need to build proper houses,” he said.