Mamelodi flood victims to finally relocate to safer area

After seven months of waiting, the Mamelodi flood victims will finally be relocated, the City of Tshwane announced.

The relocation process started with those who were affected mostly by floods on 9 December 2019 and were forced to seek refuge at community halls and local churches.

December Matlala, one of the flood victims, said the “fight” with government officials was finally over.

“We nearly lost hope because the government officials came right after the floods and made all kinds of empty promises,” said Matlala, referring to an announcement flood victims would be moved to Mooiplaats.

Many residents were left homeless after heavy rains swept away everything they owned, leaving them only with the clothes on their backs.

Willow Farm residents removing shacks.. Image: Supplied.

Matlala said the journey waiting to be relocated was “long”.

“We even marched to Tshwane House, demanding answers about the relocation process,” he said.

He said the move was all thanks to intervention by the Human Rights Commission and the public protector and that at some stage residents were losing hope, thinking that the relocation process would never happen.

“But today everyone is happy that they will be moved.”

Matlala added he was also excited to be moved to be a safer place with temporary service delivery.

“We are so happy we don’t mind that [permanent] service delivery with electricity and water could take five to ten years.”

Hundreds of families will now be relocated to a safer area, where they will have temporary basic services such as water tanks and mobile toilets.

Willow Farm residents removing shacks. Image: Supplied.

Tshwane metro spokesperson Selby Bokaba said phase 1 of the relocation process started earlier this week.

“This phase will only involve 23 people that are housed in Stanza Bopape Hall, 23 people who are in the Nellmapius multi-purpose centre and 38 people who are in the Baptist Church,” Bokaba said.

“The criteria to be used is that the people housed at centres must be able to prove they were affected by the 2019 flood.”

This article first appeared on Rekord East and was republished with permission.

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