The Mamelodi Baptist Church in the east of Pretoria says some unscrupulous local politicians are trying to use the situation of flood victims for their own selfish gains.
The church’s Pastor Thembelani Jentile claims some local politicians are attempting to hijack the church’s goodwill gesture.
Jentile says, “There are rumours in the township, that they (local councillors) want to take the people to the community hall and give the national government a report and cost the entire thing, so as to receive money for themselves. We won’t allow that because we spoke to the councillor, I said councillor we won’t allow corruption to happen under our watch.”
Hundreds of people in the Eerste Fabriek informal settlement were displaced as a result of floods earlier this week.
The church has been accommodating mostly women and children displaced by recent floods.
Some residents rejected assistance and temporary shelter and opted to guard their properties.. This while their neighbours were being accommodated at the local church.
One of the residents, George Malepe says government must build houses for the displaced instead of telling them the area is not suitable for living.
“When they are canvassing for votes, they tell us that our stand numbers are valid and recognised at voting stations. And it is true, they are valid, they do work. We vote using those numbers, but after voting and they win, they tell us we are squatters. And our stand numbers don’t work, which means our stand numbers only work during elections.”
Kagiso Mashiloane, who has gone back to his shack because he says the church where flood victims are being sheltered is full, says he is willing to relocate.
“They must find us a proper place and give us proper and secure housing. I am willing to relocate, but they must give me a proper place because during elections i’m the first one at the voting station.”
It is not yet clear whether government would relocate residents living on the banks of the Moretele river to more safer grounds.