Residents of Peace Valley in Pietermaritzburg in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands are calling on government to find them an alternative piece of land where they can build their homes.
Hundreds of houses were flooded after the Msunduzi River burst its banks due to the inclement weather. Although no deaths have been reported, the affected are counting their losses.
Just seven months after the deadly April and May floods left a trail of destruction in the province, Peace Valley residents have lost all their belongs from this week’s disruptive rains.
The affected residents are trying to pick-up the pieces of what’s left of their belongings destroyed by the floods.
One of survivors, Yonela Mabhayi recalls the ordeal, “The river burst around two in the afternoon. Luckily, I was outside returning home. By Grace I was able to evacuate my aunts and children. We tried to go through the window so we can stand on top of the roof for safety. We lost everything, IDs, clothes, birth certificates, school uniform and my work uniform, food. We don’t know what to do.”
Zanele Mkhize and Nonhlanhla Dladla are calling on government to find them suitable land to rebuild their homes.
“We have lost all our belongings. The children’s uniform. Our furniture is completely destroyed. But as the community all we are asking for is for a suitable piece of land. It doesn’t even have to be houses, if we can just get land at least. We want a safer place than this. Every time when it rains like this, we face a similar situation and we are not working.”
“Due to land disputes in other areas, we are unable to settle in. We are requesting government to provide us with alternative accommodation or find us a plot of land where we can build on our own.”
See tweet below:
— Fanele Mhlongo (@FaneleMhlongo1) November 11, 2022
Material for business lost
Siziwe Ngubane, who is from the Maqinase area in Pietermaritzburg, says the floods destroyed all the material she had recently bought for her dress making business.
“I lost quite a lot of uniforms because I was sewing for creches and another school that I was about to sew for their uniforms, it is ruined. I had already bought material and now it’s all ruined even my industrial sewing machines were damaged by the water. Maybe everything I lost could be more than R5000, I don’t know I haven’t calculated yet because I also hire out traditional wear and it’s all ruined. I even lost my chickens I had 30, now I’m left with only seven and my chicken feed is ruined as well.”
The provincial department of CoGTA visited the area and promised flood disaster relief. KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube says government has made interventions.
“What we need to do as government, at all times we need to study our patterns, we need to be looking at areas that are prone to this flooding and ensure that we build either walls or infrastructure that will prevent any destruction that we see sometimes.”
Disaster management teams are still on the ground assessing the extent of the damage.
KZN flood victims forced to leave their homes after river burst its banks: