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DA Files Complaint After Finding ‘Inhumane’ Living Conditions In Halls Housing KZN Flood Victims

DA Files Complaint After Finding ‘Inhumane’ Living Conditions In Halls Housing KZN Flood Victims..  The DA in KwaZulu-Natal said the “inhumane” living conditions they found in the community halls that house flood victims prompted them to lodge a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission.

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DA Files Complaint After Finding 'Inhumane' Living Conditions In Halls Housing KZN Flood Victims

 

This is after the DA conducted oversight visits to nine community halls to find out about progress of the government aid, the temporary housing units (TRUs) and the overall living conditions three months after the floods that devastated the province early this year.

The DA said  the conditions they found people living under do not reflect the promises made by KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala.

DA provincial leader Francois Rodgers said Zikalala promised in April to build 4,396 TRUs for displaced families in the Ugu, iLembe and eThekwini regions in April. Rodgers said Zikalala informed the public on July 5 that the province had identified eight sites on which to build 1,074 units in eThekwini as part of the first phase.

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“Three months after the April floods and after many promises from the government about these units, the DA is aware of only 65 TRUs in eThekwini to date.

“While Zikalala made these commitments before the media, many of the victims that we engaged with during our oversight informed the DA that no officials from government, provincial departments or the municipality had made them aware of plans to build temporary housing,” Rodgers said on Thursday.

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Rodgers said flood victims had received little to no help and had been left in appalling conditions to “fend for themselves”.

“We have seen people who are sleeping in toilets and on concrete floors. At the Mountview community hall there are more than 400 people squashed in the same hall.

“We were disheartened when we visited the Waterloo community hall, only housing women and children, to find one of the residents had just given birth in the hall — certainly not the way a newborn should enter the world,” Rodgers said.

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He said  the area where the community used to put their bins is now used for men to shower with a fire hose.

“That’s certainly not the way we should be treating our people,” he said.

However, Jomo Sibiya, the province’s human settlements and public works MEC, said the department had been in constant communication with Chapter Nine institutions, including the Human Rights Commission, to ensure that people’s rights are not violated.

“We have appealed to leaders of political parties including the DA to work with us to resolve the issue of access to the land in order build houses for families that reside in community hall.

“We have experienced a situation wherein some ratepayers associations are refusing to allow government to build houses and temporary residential units on the land owned by the state,” Sibiya said.

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Sibiya said they had completed more than 567 TRUs to date with others in different stages of construction.

“We have received a comprehensive report detailing progress on the relocation of victims of recent floods and construction of temporary residential units.  The construction of 1,810 temporary residential units in all affected districts is under way.”

Sibiya said there was only one shelter remaining under Umgungundlovu district municipality, with six families, while only  11 families — around 16 people — remained in the shelter in Ugu.

In eThekwini, 3,821 families — mainly from informal settlements — were still living in 82 shelters.

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