Cape Town – Informal settlement residents whose homes were hit by heavy downpours across the province yesterday have described their living conditions in winter as a nightmare.
Flooded roads, power outages, damage to homes and fallen trees were among the incidents reported in several parts of the province yesterday.
Disaster Risk Management spokesperson Charlotte Powell said Gugulethu, Macassar Village and Philippi East, Khayelitsha, Langa and Delft were among areas affected by flooding, and a request was sent to the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) to provide humanitarian assistance.
Powell said weather related power outages were reported in Joe Slovo in Milnerton, Noordhoek Power outages in Crawford, Somerset West Woodstock and Bellville, and roadways were cleared.
Parts of the Greater Oudtshoorn were also experiencing power outages following the wind and rain yesterday.
Joe Slovo resident, Sandisiwe Maphasa said they were battling against the flood waters that had entered their homes.
“Since 2019, we have lived like this. When it rains water comes in and damages our furniture and belongings. It is a painful situation. We ask ourselves how long will we live like this, and when will things change? Why do we vote then, if our situation never changes,” she said.
Another resident, Thulisa Ngcelwane of Langa temporal shelters said she was looking for a place to sleep yesterday.
“The rain started at night. Now my whole house is flooded, all my furniture and electrical appliances have been damaged by the rain,” Ngcelwane said.
Khayelitsha Development Forum (KDF) chairperson Ndithini Tyhido said they were incensed by the “brace yourself for floods” rhetoric that has come to define ”the official response to the winter season“.
“Year in and year out, Cape Town authorities punch the same line without any hope of laying any predictable flooding disaster anticipation plan. The cost of being black and poor in the City of Cape Town is very high,” he said.
Powell said they expected an increase in service requests related to power outages during the bad weather which could lead to high call volumes being experienced by the call centre.
“The City expects increased flooding incidents especially affecting the newly formed informal settlements that have been created on unsuitable, flood-prone land through the many organised unlawful occupations since the start of the national Covid-19 lockdown,” she said.
A secondary cold front will make landfall today, causing rainfall and light snowfall, according to the South African Weather Service (SAWS).
Service requests can be logged once through the City call centre on 0860 103 089, by SMS on 31220, by email on [email protected] or by visiting www.capetown.gov.za/servicerequests.