Buckets of tears in rainy summer season

RESIDENTS of Bramfischerville Phase One in Soweto have not enjoyed a summer season since moving into their RDP houses a decade ago.

Their houses were built on wetlands in Soweto and every time it rains their homes are flooded.

But the government insists it has taken action to address the problem.

Gloria Mkhaliphi, 64, moved into her RDP home in 1999 and has not had any peace since.

"Every time it rains my house gets flooded. The water flows from the cracks in the foundation of the house," she said.

"My furniture has been damaged and the entire yard flooded by water."

Mkhaliphi lives with her 38-year-old daughter Ntombizodwa and her three grandchildren.

Next to Mkhaliphi's house is a stormwater drain which is not effective in channelling the water away.

When Sowetan visited Mkhaliphi's home during the wet Easter weekend, she had dug a drain in the yard to redirect the water but it was fruitless.

"It has been the same story since we moved here and we don't know what to do now," Mkhaliphi said.

About 56 houses were affected by the floods.

Community leader Sammy Lekitlane said efforts to get the government involved did not yield results.

"Since 2000 we have submitted a number of petitions to the premier and the finance minister but nothing has been done to date.

"We are not having violent protests like people in other townships but we want the government to come to the table and discuss this matter with us," he said.

The spokesperson for the Gauteng department of housing, Fred Mokoko, said the problem has been addressed.

"We have established that the houses were built on wetlands so we requested that the people be relocated to another housing project next to Orange Farm," he said.

"But of the 50 people requested to relocate, only three agreed to move," Mokoko said.

But Lekitlane denied knowledge of such a request.

"We don't know anything about relocation," he said.