Concerns rise over safety of residents living on banks Jukskei River in Alexandra

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The City of Johannesburg says it is concerned over the safety of scores of residents living on the banks of the Jukskei River in Alexandra north of the city.

Disaster management teams assessing the flood damage say structures built near the river are illegal and unsafe for human habitation.

Alexandra is among the areas hit by the recent devastating floods in Gauteng.

The floods in Gauteng caused damage to houses, businesses, roads and power supply infrastructure in Soweto, West Rand and Alexandra. The city’s MMC for Community Safety, David Tembe says they’re planning to relocate residents living next to the Jukskei River in Alexandra to a safer place.

He says they’re worried about the safety of those residing on the river banks, especially when there are floods.

“In fact as the city we are doing our best to ensure that they move away. Because firstly, those structures are illegal. They are not supposed to be there. They have to move away. We are supposed to get them alternative accommodation somewhere or alternative land where they can build. But for now because it’s a disaster and with floods that’s endangering people, really they have to move. I understand it is going to rain again today or tomorrow.”

Impact of heavy rains and flooding across parts of Gauteng: Mbalenhle Mthethwa:

Fifteen people were washed away during a baptism ceremony in a flooded Jukskei River last Saturday.

Residents say their lives are in danger, especially with more floods anticipated in the coming few days.

“Like we had shacks that were inside the water and it just bad and worse. This causes danger to children because they like playing over there. We are scared about this weather as we know that is not starting from now. It’s been since from 2000.”

On the other hand, City Power is still battling to restore power supply in areas impacted by the floods. Its CEO Tshifularo Mashava says efforts to restore power in the affected areas are being hampered by acts of violence including robberies on its field technicians, some considerable work has been done.

“So this morning we woke up to about 4700 calls which then means there are more 4 700 customers with their lights being off. In terms of those numbers about 3000 of them are only in two areas which is the Haftihill and the Roodepoort area. So, we have got a total of 8 areas when this started all these areas were affected. But we are happy to say that by today we have stabilized operations in terms of the six areas. Meaning that Alexandra, Midrand, Lenasia, Ruven, Randburg as well as inner city.”

Meanwhile, Tembe says more than 400 people have been directly affected by the floods both in formal and informal residential areas, across the city’s regions.

“The total number of affected people in region C, E and G are 339. The formal houses affected is 104 and shacks are 56. It includes houses that are not in the wet land. Ordinary houses are also affected because of the rain or floods. So it include all.”

More people are in desperate need of temporary shelter, clothes and food as more downpours remain a threat in the already flood impacted areas in the next few days.

Heavy rains have caused flooding in several parts of Gauteng: