Vusumuzi community neglected by the City of Ekurhuleni

City of Ekurhuleni (CoE) fails to deliver on an empty promise it made to families who had been affected by flooding.

DA spokesperson for human settlements in Ekurhuleni Clr Mabenkenyane Thamahane said for too long the families have been subjected to live in horrid conditions.

“The municipality claims to work for the people and that its budgets are pro-poor, but a walk around Vusimuzi Informal Settlement paints a very different picture.

“I visited the dump area after the community complained that their shacks are flooding. I contacted the Department of Disaster Management to assess the damage caused by the continuous flooding.

“The department found that 46 shacks had been affected and that the matter would be escalated to the human settlements department,” said Thamahane.

He said he has been overwhelmed with calls from the affected community and he subsequently escalated the matter to the Department of Human Settlements once again.

“The department confirmed that the occupants of the area were found to be in an area that is at a high risk of flooding.

“I strongly reject the department’s claim that occupants purposefully placed themselves at risk by building their shacks in this area.

“I condemn this statement in the highest terms as it is misleading.”

DA Clr Mabenkenyane Thamahane (Brown jacket) with resident Sam Chauke pointing to a stream which is the cause of the horrible conditions the Vusumuzi residents live in.

He further explained that he was there when the former ward councillor assisted in removing families, and he said he can confirm that those 46 affected families were left behind.

He said the department also stated that currently there was no specific area where these occupants could be relocated to.

“This is a problem I have had since 2015 when the residents of Vusimuzi were informed that they would be beneficiaries of the Esselen Park Housing Project and would subsequently be relocated there.

“The delays in this project are denying the people of Vusimuzi their right to dignity.

“They are forced to live in squalor conditions while the CoE drags its feet in delivering houses.

“We will not sit idle while the residents of Vusimuzi continue to be forgotten by the metro.

“I will continue to fight for their right to dignity as stipulated in our Constitution.

“Our people cannot continue to live in these horrid conditions,” Thamahane said.

Residents Junior Skumbukwane and Rebecca Madalana said they have a serious problem of flooding in the area.

“Government must get us a better place. We have children who will get sick from these conditions.

“When water comes into our houses we are forced to put bricks on the floor so that we can be able to move around the house.

“Children cannot sleep on the floor anymore,” said the mother of two.

She said the land is also wet and water is seeping from the floor which is another problem.

“We always experience flooding during heavy rains and we struggle to keep water from our houses. It is very bad and we cannot sleep,” said Madalana.

  AUTHOR
Jantji Ngwenyama
Journalist

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