Police cannot enter the township – as soon as they try to enter one area, that too gets blocked by angry residents. The protest is still ongoing.
Tumelo waga Dibakwane
The Mpumalanga Department of Human Settlements, City of Mbombela and the South African Police Services (SAPS) have appealed for calm following this morning’s violent protests at KaNyamazane outside the City of Mbombela. Residents have taken to the streets decrying the apparent slow progress of fixing their storm ravaged houses at KaNyamazane, Tekwane and Ntokozweni. The community claims that the contractors are slow in rehabilitating their storm ravaged houses and as a result they are left in the lurch.
Following thehaevy May storms, the Department of Human Settlements appointed a consultant to assess the extent of the damage and established that 2130 houses were affected. Subsequently, four contractors were appointed to rehabilitate all the houses that were affected by the disaster in the three areas. Contractors are already on site busy with renovations of the affected houses. One of the contractors is responsible to remove the asbestos roofing whilst the other three are mandated to fix the walls, erect trusses, roof and ceiling.
Soon after the storm wreaked havoc , temporary tents were provided by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) and Ehlanzeni District Municipality to provide cover of the damaged houses and shelter to the affected beneficiaries. An amount of R 19 million has been budgeted by the Department to handle disaster issues incidents in the current financial year. However, this amount will not be sufficient to cater for all the affected houses. The department is in a process of sourcing additional funding from the national department.
The appointed contractors started work on the 1st of July 2018 and all constructions are expected to be completed in three months’ time. It must be added though that the Department will intensify its inspection of the houses following complains of slow progress by the contractors. In the meantime, the police are handling the protests at KaNyamazane. Engagements will also ensue between all stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the matter.