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Committee not pleased with response by the City of Tshwane towards flood victims

Informal settlements in Mamelodi East in Pretoria were decimated by floods on December 9 2019. File photo.
Informal settlements in Mamelodi East in Pretoria were decimated by floods on December 9 2019. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images/Daily News/Raymond Morare

The ad hoc joint committee on flood disaster relief and recovery says it is not pleased with the unresponsiveness by the City of Tshwane towards flood victims.

On Monday the committee conducted an oversight visit to the city to assess the extent to which the government has provided assistance towards flood disaster relief and recovery in Gauteng after the damage caused by the floods from December 2022 to February 2023.

Gauteng is one of five provinces where the committee has been mandated by both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces to oversee the relief and recovery action of government after the floods.

“The committee is not pleased with the unresponsiveness shown by the City of Tshwane towards flood victims who have been accommodated in shelters. The committee received briefings from the Gauteng government MEC for co-operative governance and traditional affairs and from the City of Tshwane. The committee expressed disappointment about the absence of the City of Tshwane’s executive mayor, who was supposed to lead the municipality’s delegation,” said committee co-chairpersons Cedric Frolick and Jomo Nyambi.

After the briefings, the committee said it conducted an oversight visit to a flood risk settlement and to the Nellmapius Community Hall in Mamelodi, one of the shelters used to accommodate flood victims. 

Frolick and Nyambi said the committee struggled to obtain definite information about the number of people accommodated in the shelter as the flood victims told the committee figures provided by the municipality were incorrect and very low.

The committee said it has noted that what it saw in Tshwane is synonymous with what it saw in other areas affected by floods. 

According to the committee, there is a general unresponsiveness from the parties responsible for the provision of relief assistance required by flood victims.

“The committee has noted with disappointment the absence of political leadership in the City of Tshwane that is required to lead efforts in ensuring the required resources are channelled in the right direction to reach flood victims. The committee believes the departments that have a role to play should step up the disaster relief recovery efforts. The committee heard some flood victims have lost their identity documents and their children have lost birth certificates and the department of home affairs has a role to issue new documents,” said the co-chairpersons.

The committee said victims are living in inhumane conditions in shelters where ablution facilities are not working, they have no access to water and sanitation and the responsible government departments in local, provincial and national spheres of government should provide assistance.

“The victims who live in shelters told the committee they have not received any assistance from the department of social development, which the committee believes has a role to play in salvaging flood victims from the quagmire in which they have been sinking since the floods took place from December 2022 to February 2023.”

The committee said it heard from the MEC there is a lack of co-operation between local and provincial governments which negatively affects relief and recovery efforts.

It called on both spheres of government to respond to the dictates of the principle of co-operative governance by working together to ensure flood victims receive the assistance they require.

TimesLIVE

 

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