Flood victims from informal settlement in Durban say church can’t afford to shelter them

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Flood victims from the Quarry Road informal settlement at Reservoir Hills in Durban have told the eThekwini municipality that they will be homeless by the end of the month. They have been staying in a church hall since the floods in April.

The pastor had already indicated in May that he needs the hall and that the church cannot afford to give them shelter any more. The flood victims had previously also staged a sit-in at the City Hall.

Hlengiwe Ried and Nhlakanipho Mlamuleli say they have not received food or basic services from the municipality during their stay in the church hall.

“We got electricity bill from the church and it’s huge. The priest has told us that he needs to use a church this month and the deposit has been paid. So, we are asking the municipality to give us an alternative accommodation. We have no place to stay,” says Ried.

“We need the municipality to give us an alternative place to stay. We know it’s impossible to get vacant land. They say all land is occupied and some sites belong to individuals,” says Mlamuleli.

Responding to these concerns, eThekwini municipality’s head of disaster management, Wilfred Mkhwanazi says they have committed to arrange alternative accommodation for these flood victims this week.

“We will speed up the process almost to find an alternative venue that will be closer. Once we have secured that venue, we will move them into that community hall. We will try to identify a plot that will be used for temporal residential units. We will get them building material to build and we will give them. These are the processes as the municipality. We are committing ourselves,” says Mkhwanazi.

King’s Foundation visits flood victims

In July, AmaZulu King Misuzulu kaZwelithini’s Foundation visited the survivors of the floods. The foundation  assessed rebuilding efforts and checked how it can assist.

The visit came two months after floods devastated parts of the province: