In Mamelodi East, Mandela Extention 11 which is a fairly new settlement born out of informal settlements. The local government decided to allocate stands to those who were placed on them and gave them stand numbers, with the intention of building the people RDP houses in those stands, which normally take veeeerry long.
The impact of these decisions was felt by Jemina Mbatha and Mr Hlatshwayo of Mamelodi. In the recent floods she lost most of her possessions and was trying to salvage some items and clothes by washing them all over again after being in the mud for a couple of days. 8 days later, the effects of the water is as clear as the day it happened. There is a mud puddle inside the shack where the kitchen used to be, only made visible by muddy crockery in a ‘used to be’ kitchen unit slanted by the water.
The kitchen door still has the mark that indicated the level of the water when it did as it pleased with all that was on its way. “ the force of the water forced us out in the make shift veranda on top of the pot plants which was the only thing standing strong against the water. We had to come out of bed, as it rains much harder in the evening and seek refuge, even our toilet outside was flat on the ground” said the aged TB patient. I struggle with TB, and raising my children and my nephew’s whose mother passed on, and now I have to struggle with this water, it will be better if I were to be moved instead of being here, as I fear for my life with every drop of rain”.
When asked about the intervention from the local government, she indicated that: “the Counselor Z was in the place and they came and wanted to register people affected but never got to some of us, it has been 8 days now and they still have not come again, no one has come to our assistance, you are the first person” , whispered Mrs Mbatha with a deep drawn emotional sigh.