KZN flood victims complain about lack of privacy at emergency shelters

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Flood victims in KwaZulu-Natal has complained about the lack of privacy at the emergency shelters and government’s prolonged delays to provide housing. The provincial MEC for Human Settlement, Sipho “KK” Nkosi visited the victims of last year’s floods at the facilities.

To date government has spent nearly R161 million in renting flats to accommodate the flood survivors, since their relocation from community halls in December last year.

Some flood survivors, mainly women and children, who are living in family groups share one room.

While they admit the living conditions are better than in the community halls, privacy remains a concern. Some, who struggle with chronic medical conditions feel uncomfortable to take their medication in the presence of non-family members.

“Some of the people here are taking chronic medication and you find that different families are sharing a room and there is no privacy as someone who sees you taking that medication can tell other people about your medical condition. Also some people also engage in physical fighting over disappearance of their food as we are sharing fridges,” says a flood victim.

Empty promises

The flood survivors say the provincial government’s empty promises are also frustrating. Some children were placed in high fee schools, with parents unable to afford it.

“The Education Department had promised our children school uniforms for the news schools. They placed the children in some of the schools where some of us cannot afford to pay school fees. After placing children in those schools they left it on us as parents to pay school fees,” another flood victim explains.

The MEC for Human Settlement, Sipho Nkosi admits the delays, saying the difficulty was securing the land and they managed to acquire it.

“So we have got 13 land parcels where we are going to build the houses. We have been informed that the environmental assessment issues have been addressed in those 13 land parcels which then indicate that we must move in speed to the second phase of making sure that we are doing the planning. We are going to build quickly immediately after ensuring that all the planning processes are in place,” says Nkosi.

Government says houses will only be given to flood survivors, who have never been allocated a RDP previously.

KZN Floods | Months after the deadly floods, thousands are still without decent housing 9 DEC 2022: