The floods have affected the poorest of the poor the most

12 April 2022
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

The floods have affected the poorest of the poor the most

Every disaster in Durban – from the hard lockdown to the riots, fires and floods – hits the poor the hardest. Natural disasters become entwined with political disasters, often resulting in devastation for the poor.

Since 2005 we have been saying that the conditions under which we are forced to live in a repressive society are dangerous as well as undignified.

The floods in KwaZulu-Natal have devastated many shack settlements, and some rural areas too. Some people were rescued as the rivers burst their banks but many lives have been lost.

The number of people who have lost their lives has yet to be confirmed but our members witnessed people, including at least two babies, being taken by the water and many people are missing.

Huge numbers of people have lost their homes and all their possessions and are now entirely destitute. People living near rivers were worst affected. The communal garden at the eKhenana Occupation has been hit hard. Many people have been unable to go to work.

As we speak emergency services are rescuing people who have been affected
by these heavy rains. We salute all the men and women who undertake this dangerous work in the interests of society.

However across our branches people are bitterly disappointed by the lack of support from the eThekwini Municipality. The ANC in Durban are happy to elect gangster politicians, to rob the state and murder activists but they seem to have no interest in supporting the most vulnerable people in this time of disaster.

The focus is on support for business rather than on the poor and working class. The ANC does not care about the poor. All they do is to steal from the poor and then murder our leaders when we stand up for truth, justice and dignity.

We have no one but ourselves as we rebuild our lives. All our settlements are affected but the most affected at the moment are eNkanini, Cato Crest, eKhenana, Ekukhanyeni, Zamokuhle, Foreman Road, Kennedy Road, Briardene, eKuphumeleleni, KwaMamsuthu, Lindelani, Barcelona2 and eKhenana. In all these settlements people’s homes were washed away.

We are calling for progressive organisations to assist those who are affected at this time when politicians are only interested in tenders and t factional battles. We urgently need food, clothing, school uniforms and building materials and blankets.

This is moment in which we all need to stand together in solidarity. We need to build structures of solidarity and support across the city. We need what S’bu Zikode calls true leadership, leadership with real integrity, leadership committed to the safety, dignity and flourishing of all people everywhere.

In this crisis no one can be left behind.

When the waters have subsided we need to pick up the conversation about land and housing with much more urgency. We cannot continue to move from one disaster to the next while remaining in such undignified and dangerous conditions.


Thapelo Mohapi 074 774 4219
Mqapheli Bonono 073 067 3274
Busisiwe Diko 065 913 6881
Snenhlanhla Mncanyana 073 832 3331