As bad as living in shacks, say flooded Qunu’s RDP residents

Formal housing as well as informal settlements flooded in low-lying areas of Gqeberha

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Lydia Banda in front of her RDP house in Qunu. “Our situation is the same as living in shacks before 2013,” she said. Photos: Thamsanqa Mbovane

Formal housing as well as informal settlements have been flooded in the low-lying areas of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

Lydia Banda, who left a shack in 2013 to move into an RDP house in Qunu, Gqeberha, said every five years their homes flood.

“Our situation is the same as living in shacks,” she said.

Qunu, on the boundary of Booysens Park and the old Uitenhage road, has more than 1,000 RDP houses and hundreds of shacks.

Banda lives with her three children, aged three, 12 and 17, in the four-roomed RDP house.

She said councillors take pictures when there are floods “but it ends there”.

“This is a disaster that is being ignored. They always tell us about engineers that never come,” she said.

“They must relocate us. I can’t even redirect this water because it comes from all directions. This is a mess.”

Sizakele Ntombeni, who lives with his wife, Nozeli, in an RDP house, said their home also gets flooded with sewage.

“I think my RDP house is the same as a shack,” said Nozeli.

“From councillor to councillor, every five years we have been complaining to deaf ears.”

Asadumodwa and Limise Bekwayo said their house has been flooded since Friday. They moved from a shack in Vastrap informal settlement in 2013, “but the situation is the same”. They want to be relocated.

Mayor Gary van Niekerk said, in a statement on Tuesday, that “mop-up operations are continuing as heavy rains are expected to subside with waterlogged roads and electricity outages still receiving attention”.

“The external contractors have been called in to assist with the restoration of electricity supply as widespread outages occurred due to heavy rains and the strong winds uprooting trees.”

Limise Bekwayo’s home has been flooded since Friday.

TOPICS:  Housing

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