Over 300 Soweto hostel families affected by flooding as result of heavy rains

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More than 300 families at the Nancefield Hostel in Soweto are assessing their losses after their personal belongings and homes were damaged by floods on Friday afternoon.

Johannesburg Human Settlements MMC Mlungisi Mabaso together with the Disaster Management Services visited the affected families.

Mabaso believes attempts to divert water from a nearby dam by contractors working to repair a sinkhole on the Klipspruit Valley road might have exacerbated the flash floods.

He adds, “There has never been any flooding to that hostel, but now because there’s construction here they have diverted the water to flow to that hostel and it is a problem that is sitting with the Department now. But we are going to communicate with them.”

This follows incessant rain that has battered Gauteng in recent days.

Water level 

Nancefield Hostel residents say the water swept through their homes in a violent torrent. They say the water level was at their hips. Watermarks on the walls are a grim testament to this.

Resident Mtozami Dumakude says their belongings were floating.

“The TV, fridge, our groceries, the blankets, and the mattress were all floating on water. Most of our clothes went with the water I am left with the clothes I am wearing. Others have lost their matric certificates others their ID documents, it was bad,“says Dumakude.

Ladies operating spaza shops say they’ve lost all their stock, including fridges.

“We have lost all our stock. The fridges we use in the store are damaged. The stock we brought worth R 17 000 excluding that one I already had is gone. Our refrigerators are damaged. This ice cream-making machine I bought for R 26 000 is damaged. We have lost a lot of things,” laments a spaza shop owner.

MMC Mabaso says he is in contact with his Social Development counterpart to make a local community hall available to house those affected.

Emergency Services across Gauteng’s three metros, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, and Tshwane – are monitoring possible flooding in low-lying areas and informal settlements.

Emergency services personnel in all three metros are on high alert.

Emergency Services in Gauteng monitoring possible flooding in low-lying areas: Robert Mulaudzi

Joburg  Emergency Services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi adds, “We would like to also urge our residents in low-lying areas to try and avoid crossing river streams, monitor children to stay away from the river streams so that we can prevent drowning incidents. We’re hoping our residents will work with us so that we can be able to prevent any incident which might occur throughout this weekend.”

Flooding at Peace Valley in KZN

Meanwhile, 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 banks burst due to inclement weather.

Flooding since 2018

Resident, Zanele Mkhize says they have been experiencing similar floods since 2018.

“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 a suitable piece of land. It doesn’t even have to be houses. If it can just get be land at least. We want a safer place than this. Every time when it rains like this we face a similar situation and we do not have jobs,” Mkhize explains.

The Weather Service has warned of more rain throughout the weekend.