Pretoria – The heavy rains of Monday night and yesterday made matters worse for the numerous families whose homes were damaged by thunderstorms and hail in Hammanskraal last week.
At least 31 families from Refentse and New Eersterust were still trying to repair their walls, shacks and toilets when their homes were flooded again.
The nightmare started last week when the downpours destroyed their houses, leaving many injured and a 5-year-old fighting for his life in ICU at Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital.
Community leader, Magret Sepogwane, said the recent rains were like a kick in the faces of the residents who had begun rebuilding their homes.
“The people whose shacks were destroyed salvaged building material from the river and started rebuilding over the weekend, but before they could even settle in, the rains just ruined that for them.
“Another problem here is that we are a poor community and a lot of people here are not employed. Some people couldn’t even afford nails to rebuild their shacks.
“If you look at the brick houses that collapsed, some of them had been built with cheap material.
“Hopefully our people will get help and those whose homes are on land that’s not supposed to be occupied will be moved as that’s been a promise to residents by the City of Tshwane for many years now.”
Rosinah Manganye, the mother of the boy in hospital with injuries to his ribs and lungs, said: “This house was inherited from our parents many years ago. You can see it’s not the strongest of brick houses. Three rooms collapsed during the storms.”
The residents said despite losing their homes and furniture, they were not interested in being placed or accommodated in halls or churches, and would rather be given building material to rebuild their homes.
Onica Mangwa said: “We are not interesting in living in community halls. The people of Mamelodi who lost their homes to floods spent a whole year living in halls; we are not prepared for anything like that. We want building material.”
Tshwane Emergency Services spokesperson, Charles Mabaso, said the fact that most of the affected community members were rebuilding their houses and had their clothes drying on washing lines was an indication that they were not ready to move.
“Residents were advised about the relocation arrangements, but none of them wanted to be temporarily relocated to the identified shelter,” he said.