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Rehousing families displaced by floods

Date: 2022-11-11 16:12:04

Rehousing families displaced by floods

THE City has steadily been working to rehouse families displaced by the floods earlier this year. The goal is to close all mass care centres by 15 December. The displaced residents have been accommodated at mass care centres since the devastating floods. Of the 120 mass care centers occupied due to the April and May floods, 62 of these have been closed through various interventions. 

This was revealed by eThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda during a media briefing on 10 November. He was providing an update on the relocation of displaced residents currently accommodated at mass care centres. He said: “We assure you that the Municipality is working tirelessly to ensure that by 15 December all mass care centres must be closed and people moved to more family-friendly accommodation.” He acknowledged that the relocation process has taken longer than anticipated. “We would like to apologise to those who remain at community halls and reiterate our commitment to finalise this challenge with speed.” The media briefing was held on site at one the recently procured buildings where displaced residents will be accommodated. Mayor Kaunda said this was done intentionally to demonstrate that teams are on the ground working. “It is our mission to create a safe and healthy environment for all
residents The remaining 58 mass care centres, which accommodate 3 448 people will be cleared,” he said. 

The 62 mass care centres were closed through supplying material, the leasing of private buildings, utilising existing
government buildings, and building Temporary Residential Units. He said the City assisted 3 011 people with materials to rebuild, with R34 million allocated for this purpose. To date, 467 people from five mass care centres have been supplied with building material (from the Bester, Amawoti, Dassenhoek, Cutshwayo, and Clermont Hall mass care centres). “In September, we set the target of closing one mass care centre per week. We are pleased that through this intervention we have been able to close mass care centres in Bester, Amaoti, Kloof, Ngoqokazi, oThongathi, Tehuis, Palmiet, Dassenhoek, La Mercy, Cutshwayo, Savannah Park, and Clermont Hall. Of the remaining 3 448 flood victims, 2 000 will be relocated by the end of this month and by 15 December, we will relocate the remaining 1 448 people,” said Mayor Kaunda.

He said eight land parcels have also been identified to build permanent structures for flood victims. Earthworks have begun at these sites and construction is expected to be completed in 2024. In the interim, flood victims will be accommodated in buildings the City has leased for 24 months, Mayor Kaunda added. A total of 13 buildings have been identified and linked to mass care centres and the process of moving people to these buildings is currently underway.
“At Conway Farm where we are today, we will accommodate 163 families, and this has resulted in the closure of oThongathi and La Mercy halls.

Today we are moving the remaining families to the Caneland Training Centre.” Families who have been relocated are thankful for the assistance from the City. Residents from the Reservoir Hills Informal Settlement were delighted to be moved to Crystal Valley in Clare Estate. Samkelisiwe Mtshali said: “The City helped us after we lost our home. We are thankful.” Another resident Sindisiwe Nene was also full of praise for the City. “Our current accommodation is lovely. We were moved here on 8 October and we have no complaints.”