KwaZulu-Natal tornado victims hoping for rapid help

Some Inanda families lost all their possessions and their homes

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Inanda resident Halalisile Mkhwanazi with her three daughters and grandchildren in the room they share at a neighbour’s house. Their home was among those destroyed by the tornado and heavy rains last week. Photos: Tsoanelo Sefoloko

  • Families whose homes were destroyed by a tornado on 27 June are hoping for rapid help.
  • Fifty houses in Inanda, 26km from Durban, were destroyed.
  • Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube, Minister of Human Settlements Mmamoloko Kubayi and eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda promised to assist.
  • But some families say they have received nothing yet.

Halalisile Mkhwanazi from Inanda, about 26 kilometres from Durban, has been squatting in one room at a neighbour’s house with 14 of her children and grandchildren.

Mkhwanazi’s six-roomed home was among 50 houses in her community that were damaged or destroyed by a tornado and heavy rainfall last week. Most people were given emergency accommodation at community halls, while some chose to move in with neighbours with whatever belongings they could salvage.

A day after the devastation, Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube, Minister of Human Settlements Mmamoloko Kubayi and Mayor of eThekwini Mxolisi Kaunda walked through the community to assess the damage. They said engineers would assess the damage to homes and find out which families needed building materials.

Mkhwanazi said she hoped the process could be fast-tracked.

“I’m left with nothing. I don’t have money to repair my house,” said Mkhwanazi.

Another victim, Sphelele Mbatha, lost everything, including her ID and other important documents. She said she has not been able to go to work since the tornado hit over a week ago.

She said she and others had been hoping to get building materials and food parcels but nothing had been provided yet.

Xolani Lushaba, community leader and community police forum member, said they have been helping some residents guard their houses that are standing open. He said they had hoped that government would have sent trucks with building materials by now.

Head of Communication at eThekwini municipality, Lindiwe Khuzwayo, said local, provincial and national human settlement departments were working together to supply materials to the families.

The community is still littered with debris after the tornado last week.

TOPICS:  Disaster Housing

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