Mamelodi Flood Victims forced live in a public library for 15 months
For the past fifteen months, the Mamelodi flood victims have lived in a library while they wait for a safer place to call home. Lydia Skosana (38), originally from the Youth View informal settlement, expressed her frustration. She stated that the government and the Tshwane metro seem to have forgotten about their plight, focusing only on those living in informal settlements.
The library, initially meant as a temporary refuge, has become their permanent residence, according to Skosana. She highlighted the need for more care and updates regarding the relocation process, with no privacy available in the library. The flood victims are forced to carry out everyday tasks such as bathing, cooking, and laundry in this shared space. Skosana shared their concerns about the cramped conditions and health risks, especially for the children who often suffer from illnesses and the recent infestation of rats.
As winter sets in, the harsh conditions are taking a toll on their well-being. Samuel Simbini (66) spoke up about the long wait and urged the Tshwane human settlements department to take action on the relocation process. He described the deteriorating conditions, worn-out sponges, and body aches experienced by many. Frustration has led some individuals to rebuild their old shacks along the flood line, tired of empty promises and the alleged corruption that has delayed their relocation.
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Olga Chauke, a mother of four from the Mavuso informal settlement, pleaded with the government to move them to a safer place. The prevalence of illness among the residents, including the children, is a constant concern.
In response, Tahir Sema, spokesperson for the Gauteng human settlements department, acknowledged the detailed relocation plans and the challenges faced by the Tshwane metro. He assured the community that the relocation process, which includes acquiring land and additional funding, is underway. However, he also mentioned the obstacles of suitable land availability, financial constraints, urbanization pressures, land invasion along flood lines, and the complexities of community consultations.
The province and the metro are currently finalizing funding and necessary approvals for site clearances, relocations, and the provision of essential services. Sema called for patience from the community as the metro endeavours to assist as many flood-affected individuals as possible.
The Mamelodi flood victims endure the hardships of their current living situation, hoping for swift action and a brighter future in a safer environment.
Source: Living in a public library for 15 months
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Picture: Twitter / MogoruTakashi