As people prepare to spend the festive season with their loved ones, flood survivors in a community hall in Ntuzuma, north of Durban, say they are losing hope.
Eight months after the floods, more than 2 000 people remain in over 50 community halls in the greater Durban area. This is despite the provincial government’s assurance that by December 15, all flood survivors would be relocated to proper accommodation.
Four women have newborn babies in the temporary accommodation. They include 22-year-old Nomthandazo Mthembu who says the environment is not conducive for a child as they are living in tents.
“This environment is not conducive for a child as we are living in tents. It is very hot. Her skin is too sensitive as a result she is now developing a rash. Due to recent rains, our houses have been moist. We want houses where we will be able to live with our families and have privacy. There is no privacy here.”
Thoko Ngcobo, a volunteer at one of the community halls, says parents are concerned about how they will afford school uniforms and supplies for the New Year.
“They are now forced to collect wood to make fire to cook, the store room is empty. There is no food… They are worried about placement of their children for next year. They will not be able to transport their children in case they are relocated to a place that is far from school. Their question is when will they apply for their children as they do not know where their houses will be built. They don’t know when they will be able to buy new uniforms.”