Floods ravage Joburg and parts of Tshwane

Emergency services ready to relocate residents

- By Mpho Koka

It was the screams for help from her neighbours that woke Paulina Khoza, 30, and her 18 months old childup in her room at Nancefield Hostel in Soweto that saved her from the flood at the weekend.

She grabbed her child and stood in the middle of her room where the water was already knee-high. She then ran out to a nearby shack for cover.

Khoza is one of the 364 people from Nancefield who were affected by this weekend’s heavy floods in Gauteng. Some used buckets to mop up their drenched floors when Sowetan visited the area yesterday.

Khoza, who is unemployed, has been living in Nancefield with her child and her taxi driver boyfriend since 2019.

Their fridge, food and clothing in their cupboards were ruined by the floods.

“Some of the clothes in my wardrobe are still wet. I still have boxes of cereal that are wet but I don’t think they are edible anymore,” said Khoza.

When Sowetan visited Nancefield yesterday, most of the units were flooded and some residents put bricks on the floor to avoid the water.

Nthombienh­le Mzila, 46, did not have a place to sleep as her bed was still wet yesterday.

“My carpets are still wet. It is pointless for me to hang them up because it is still raining. My fridge got damaged and I lost my cellphone. have been sleeping at a friend I’ s place for the past two days,” she said.

Nhlanhla Langa, 35, and Mqikeli Malondi, 40, were also not spared from the rain as the unit they share was flooded and the water damaged their furniture and appliances.

Langa, a taxi driver, said they slept in his taxi on Friday because their unit was flooded.

The heavy downpour also affected several parts of Tshwane, resulting in road closures in Mamelodi, Centurion and Nelmapius. One vehicle attempting to cross a flooded road near Supersport Stadium got stuck. The occupants escape uninjured, Tshwane Emergency Services Department said yesterday.

The authoritie­s were also monitoring the situation at areas liable to flooding but no injuries were reported yesterday.

Joburg housing MMC Mlungisi Mabasa said his department is assessing the damage from the floods and plans have been put in place to relocate residents to temporary accommodat­ion.

“On Saturday, we assessed the damage and most of the people were able to clean up their units. Some of them were not badly affected. The disaster management team is assessing the units and we have made provisions to relocate them should the need arise.

“Residents said we should not rush to relocate them as they are still cleaning their units. Should the relocate them, we ’need ll do so.’’ arise to

Johannesbu­rg Emergency Management Services spokespers­on Robert Mulaudzi said no major incidents have been reported through their call centre.

“We are aware that the roads are wet and slippery and we urge motorists to exercise caution and avoid crossing flooded roads and bridges.

“We are continuing to monitor all regions in Joburg, especially vulnerable places such as informal settlement­s, and if households are affected we will respond as quickly as possible,” said Mulaudzi.

 ?? /ANTONIO MUCHAVE ?? Residents have started mopping up after floods hit Nancefield Hostel at the weekend.
/ANTONIO MUCHAVE Residents have started mopping up after floods hit Nancefield Hostel at the weekend.

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