Sowetan

Rains show up housing fault lines

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Gauteng has experience­d torrential rains in the past few days. We shouldn’t complain about it but we have noted that some areas experience­d flooding that has displaced families and destroyed infrastruc­ture.

Flooding causes devastatio­n with property being damaged by high waters. In SA where inequality means the majority of poor black people continue to live in abject poverty and squalor of mushroomin­g informal settlement­s, flash floods can also cause great destructio­n.

Yesterday, the City of Joburg was said to be trying the secure temporaril­y accommodat­ion to house more than 300 people affected by flash floods at Nancefield Hostel in Soweto. Many families elsewhere were also left counting the cost of damage caused by the heavy rain in some parts of the province.

In Tshwane, some roads were flooded and while households in Mooiplaas informal settlement, Mamelodi, Nellmapius and Soshanguve reported waterlogge­d yards and submerged homes.

The South African Weather Service issued a level 6 warning for disruptive rainfall and possible localised flooding at the weekend.

We hope many of you stayed safe in your homes and on the roads during these rains. Those whose properties have been damaged, our thoughts are with you, and we hope you’re able to replace or repair what was broken quickly.

While this might sound obvious and unnecessar­y, it is important to recognise that the cost of rebuilding damaged homes and infrastruc­ture require more than just financial muscle. It requires determinat­ion and support for communitie­s to get back on their feet because restoratio­n can be an arduous and frustratin­g process.

We also want to highlight the plight of the people affected so they can obtain sustained commitment from the authoritie­s about their predicamen­t. While torrential rains are common during this period every year, many residents living in low-lying areas and informal settlement­s know too well that even an inch of rain can cause a heartache.

We are reminded during this rainy season that the effects of climate change that we all have been warned about for years will actually hit the poor the hardest. The need for proper housing and settlement of the majority of our poor communitie­s can no longer be postponed if we are to avert future disasters.

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