Around 100 Mamelodi residents, who were displaced by floods in December, have demanded that Gauteng Premier David Makhura consider them during his State of the Province Address (SOPA), as they wait to be relocated.
Protesting outside of the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in Ga-Rankuwa ahead of SOPA on Tuesday, residents from the Eerste Fabriek informal settlement in Mamelodi held up placards calling Makhura a liar.
Community leader Thulani Ndlovu said that, in December, Makhura had visited the flood victims who had taken shelter at the Mamelodi Methodist Church, promising them that they would be resettled elsewhere.
Residents of the Eerste Fabriek informal settlement in Mamelodi are pleading for help after at least 700 shacks were destroyed by the major floods that hit parts of Gauteng on Monday.
This promise had not been fulfilled, Ndlovu said.
“We are here to let the world know that David Makhura made a promise to the people and that he must account,” Ndlovu said.
“In the SOPA address, he must think of us. It’s a shame for government, they made a promise, 79 days later, nothing has happened.”
Promise to resettle
The protesters said that they had not been able to carry on with their lives, as they continue to live in the overcrowded church and a nearby community hall.
Makhura had said a committee had been established to look at relocating those living in the informal settlement, which was destroyed by floods at the beginning of December.
“We will not rest until we have resettled the people in appropriate places, but one of the key things includes urging the people not to go back to where people have built on flood plains,” he said at the time.
Eerste Fabriek is one such settlement that was built along the banks of a river that flows through Mamelodi.
There has always been a danger of flooding in that location as a result of the informal settlement being built along a flood plain.
On December 9, 2019, floods destroyed more than 700 shacks in Eerste Fabriek and displaced about 1 300 people.
News24 reported that a number of people also had to be rescued after they were trapped inside the informal settlement as a result of the rising waters.
Officials from the premier’s office told protesters that they would be able to give feedback to the flood victims by Friday.