Survivors of the floods from Itselimnyany, west of Durban, are urging President Cyril Ramaphos to move them to a habitable land. The call came ahead of Ramaphosa’s visit to flood-hit areas as president of the African National Congress (ANC) this weekend.
The Itselimnyan area, which falls under the eThekwini metro, was severely damaged by floods last month. More than 400 people have died in the province.
A month has passed since the deadly floods devastated KwaZulu-Natal. Now families seeking refuge in public halls and local churches are beginning to lose patience. Some members of the Itselimni community who are in the local church say they feel neglected.
The church, which also receives donations from NGOs, holds more than 120 flood victims. But despite the disappointment, they hope Ramaphosa can make a difference.
The mother of five, Nolufefe Mbhenyana, who was badly affected by the floods, is calling for safe and decent housing.
“As you can see, I am sitting on this mattress, I have just been discharged from the hospital. I received a severe injury to my left leg. The whole wall of my house fell on me and my baby. Fortunately, my husband and my other children were not hurt. We lost everything. I want to ask President Cyril Ramaphos if he can build us houses in safe land. We cannot stay in shelters forever. We need privacy with our families. ”
Muzikaifani Vezi, whose home was destroyed last month, says he lost everything during the 2019 floods. He urges the ANC leadership to ensure that temporary apartment buildings are better than those built after the 2019 floods.
“I was placed in a temporary shelter in 2019 immediately after the flood. I had no choice but to use other means. I got a job and started building my house, which I lost during the 2022 floods. I have no shelter now. I ask the government to build us temporary shelters. I stayed in a temporary shelter and my experience was bad. If Ramaphosa can, please help us with that. ”
Another person who survived the flood, Nontshumayelo Lenge, says they believe the land in their area is unsuitable for construction.
“I am very ashamed that Ramaphosa is coming to visit again. In 2019, we were not allowed to contact him about our problems. Tomorrow, when he arrives, we will not argue with him, but just desperately waiting for answers. If he can, please relocate us to a better and safer land. If they build a temporary shelter, can they be appropriate? ”
ANC Vice President David Mabuza, National Party Chairman Gued Montache and Treasurer General Paul Mashatille will also visit the flood-affected community this weekend in the middle lane of KZN.