Flood victims beg for land

November 30,2016. Matthew Tebane and Elton Chibenga rebuild their home, which was destroyed by floods along the Jukskei River in Alexandra about three weeks ago. Pic: Thulani Mbele. © Sowetan.
November 30,2016. Matthew Tebane and Elton Chibenga rebuild their home, which was destroyed by floods along the Jukskei River in Alexandra about three weeks ago. Pic: Thulani Mbele. © Sowetan.

Alexandra flood victims displaced by the natural disaster that claimed the lives of at least six people three week ago, want land.

"If we could be given land by the government, all our problems would be solved. We do not need anything else , just land so that we could build our shacks there," said Phumlani Shange yesterday.

He is one of those whose shacks were swept away along the Jukskei River. Shange, 33, and 42 other men have since been given shelter at a church in Stjwetla, the informal settlement in Alex. Shange lost all his belongings during the flooding. "Home Affairs said they can't issue me with a new ID because I do not know my ID number. They said they will help us get our IDs but it has been two weeks now and we have heard nothing from them."

Twelve women are also sheltered at a nearby crèche, which can only accommodate them from 6pm to 5am. A community leader who did not want to be named said: "Men sleep at the church, while their wives and girlfriends sleep at the crèche. Families will be destroyed."

More people were accommodated at Gift of the Givers' disaster centre, also in Alex. Some were yesterday erecting their structures again along the Jukskei. Elton Chibenga said: "I have nowhere to go . I have been living along the river since 1995. For the past 20 years we have been asking for land but the government does not care."

Meanwhile, the Chauke family who lost their baby girl Everlate in the flooding, said: "We . still do not know the results of the DNA test."

The remains of a baby girl found along the Jukskei in Buccleuch last week could not be identified because of their advanced decomposition.

"Alexandra has been declared a disaster area and the people there are eligible to be relocated. [Our] disaster management team is working on finding alternative accommodation," said Keith Khoza from the Gauteng human settlements department.

Badr Kazi of Gift of the Givers said: "We are feeding close to 600 people daily. Christmas is a few weeks away, we have to try and make the situation better for them."

 

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