The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) says that the City of Cape Town and Cape Winelands municipalities must properly attend to the concerns and challenges of communities in the Helderberg who were seriously affected by the recent flooding with urgency.
ACDP MP Marie Sukers has been assisting some of the affected communities in the Helderberg region over the last week. Sukers says that “Disaster Relief must go beyond food parcels and must be executed or delivered within the context and specific and varied needs of those affected. The heartless and inhumane nature of the response given in the Helderberg, specifically in Sandvlei and Croydon, has been disparate with food being distributed, and nothing else.”
The ACDP together with civil organisations were desperately trying to get alternative accommodation for people from Faure wine farms that have been sold to the Chinese. “The Cape Winelands Municipality seem to have forgotten that the area exists! Part of the problem is that the families are living on private property, but they are generations of farm workers who feel deserted by the previous and current owners of the farm. People are forced to sleep in damp houses, under damp blankets, and without electricity! It was so saddening when we found a blind woman sleeping on a step, on a wet mattress, with the stank of sewerage all around her,” says Sukers.
In Sandvlei, 67 people, who were affected by the floods, were moved into the old Civic Centre in Maccassar, which only has one tap that works, by the City of Cape Town. But City officials have now told them to return to their homes. Sukers stresses that, “The homes of these people are uninhabitable – the bad smell of mold and damp walls pose serious health and safety risks. The City needs to look at alternative temporary accommodation for people in Sandvlei who cannot return to their homes in its current state. There needs to be urgent intervention, and discussions with the private owners to address multiple issues. The priority issues for these families, and their needs, relate mainly to human settlements and environmental affairs, as they were right at the center of the flood waters.”
“The ACDP is engaging with multiple departments to address the issues affecting these communities. I met with multiple stakeholders to look at long-term solutions for these communities, and I would suggest for there to be an integrated approach by the departments of human settlements, health, social development, and environmental affairs to address the short- and long-term issues affecting these communities,” Sukers said.