200 W­hi­te Lo­ca­ti­on fi­re victims still ho­me­less af­ter 7 Ju­ne 2017

Knysna-Plett Herald - - News | Nuus -

A y­e­ar af­ter the Knys­na fi­res, c­lo­se to 200 W­hi­te Lo­ca­ti­on re­si­dents who lost their ho­mes say the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty has not de­li­ver­ed on its pro­mi­se to build them new ho­mes, de­spi­te nu­me­rous at­tempts to rai­se their grie­van­ces.

Nom­bu­le­lo H­li­ni­ni­ka (42) says the fi­re did not on­ly rob her fa­mi­ly of four of w­hat they ha­ve wor­ked so hard to a­cqui­re but they al­so now ha­ve e­ne­mies. “We can’t voi­ce our con­cerns be­cau­se the­re are pe­op­le who are staunch sup­por­ters of our coun­cil­lor,” she says.

H­li­ni­ni­ka says they feel they are being fai­led by their Ward 4 coun­cil­lor Ve­li­le Waxa and the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty. “We saw that the­re we­re beds do­na­ted to pe­op­le du­ring the fi­res, ref­ri­ge­ra­tors and food vou­chers, but we ha­ve no i­dea w­he­re tho­se went.”

At the age of 55, T­ho­be­ka Ni­se had to mo­ve back in­to her pa­rents’ hou­se af­ter lo­sing her ho­me. With te­ars in her ey­es, she says no­thing bre­aks her mo­re than not ha­ving a pla­ce of her own at her age. “W­hat ma­kes it e­ven mo­re pain­ful is the fact that our loss and our needs are not ta­ken in­to ac­count.”

So­me of them ha­ve had to start li­ving out of back­packs with no e­lec­tri­ci­ty or toi­lets and re­lie­ve them­sel­ves in the fields.

Knys­na Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty’s re­spon­se is that it, in part­ners­hip with pro­vin­ci­al go­vern­ment, has wor­ked to en­s­u­re that af­fected re­si­dents re­cei­ve the ne­ces­sa­ry as­sis­tan­ce and to its kno­w­led­ge, victims ha­ve been re­sett­led in tem­po­ra­ry ho­mes whi­le a­wai­ting the re­buil­ding pro­cess. It says af­ter the fi­res the pro­vin­ci­al de­part­ment of hu­man sett­le­ments pro­vi­ded fun­ding for 50 Wen­dy hou­ses to the va­lue of R1.5-mil­li­on and the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty al­so pro­vi­ded 121 in­for­mal struc­tu­res to the va­lue of R630 000.

It al­so sta­tes that the pro­vin­ci­al de­part­ment has gi­ven ap­pro­val for R5.7-mil­li­on for re­buil­ding da­ma­ged for­mal hou­ses in this a­rea.

The new ho­mes will be con­structed as per the new spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­ons of B­re­a­king New Ground (BNG) hou­ses and the pro­vin­ci­al de­part­ment is cur­rent­ly de­a­ling with this pro­ject.

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