Heavy rains have Alexandra resident living in fear

Penwell Dlamini

Penwell Dlamini

Summer is a time of fear for Andries Mathebula, who lives in a shack on the banks of the Jukskei River in Alexandra.

Mathebula, 29, has lived in the shack since 2002. He shares it with his customary wife Sonia Chawuke and their two toddlers.

The one-roomed shack rests just three metres from the river, which has come down threateningly in the past week.

"When it rains for a long time the water comes up to the steps of my house," Mathebula says. "I can't go to work when that happens because the current can sweep me away," .

He works for a construction company in Kyalami as a bricklayer.

Mathebula came to Johannesburg from Bushbuckridge in Limpopo to look for a job.

The only affordable accommodation he could find was in the squatter camp in Alexandra.

"Every time it pours I get scared because I could be swept away with my family, he laments."

He thanks his lucky stars that the three days of heavy rains in Gauteng ended yesterday.

The Jukskei River subsided before it could damage anything.