Durban – Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka has revealed that R90 million had been made available for storm-stricken residents to rebuild their lives.
More than 70 people died during torrential downpours in April. Hlomuka said the damage caused by the rains stood at R1.1 billion, with eThekwini alone accounting for more than R650m of the damages.
He said through collaborative effort, R90.8m had been made available by the Department of Human Settlements.
He said R42.3m will be used on 772 transitional housing units, R30.1m to assist with providing building materials to residents to rebuild their homes and a further R14.3m for relocation costs where deemed necessary.
Hlomuka said there was also a substantial amount of items such as blankets, food, clothing and mattresses that were donated by NGOs and private companies.
Hlomuka and eThekwini municipality municipal manager Sipho Nzuza visited the Burlington Hall in Shallcross, Chatsworth, where they addressed the community that had been moved to the hall after the rains. Residents were given an opportunity to address Hlomuka and Nzuza on the challenges they were facing.
Residents said they were unable to eat during weekends as the soup kitchen where they were getting food was closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
Noncedo Sivuthu said she had been living in the hall with her husband and their 1-year-old son.
She said there were at least 150 people housed in the hall and nearby crèche.
Sivuthu said her home in uMhlatuzana had been destroyed by the rains.
“The hall is very cold and men and women sleep in the same area. People sleeping at the crèche have to wake up at 5am because the crèche needs to be opened in the morning.
“We get bread and tea in the morning and then lunch and supper at the soup kitchen but we are not allowed to buy our own stuff to cook there,” she said.
She said she was tired of living at the hall and was thinking of going back to her original home in uMzimkhulu in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
Nzuza noted that there was an issue in acquiring land to build homes.
He said there was a long process that needed to be followed.
“There are still people living in transit camps since 2010 who needed to be given housing,” he said.