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Displaced Alexandra residents threaten to occupy open land

Some displaced residents from ward 105 met at the weekend to discuss their living arrangements.

Community members in Alexandra gather their belongings after floods in the area on 10 November 2016. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Some displaced Alexandra residents say they have no choice but to occupy open land because they have nowhere else to live after their shacks were swept away by flash floods.

Seven people died during the heavy rains earlier this month including a three-year-old girl whose body was recovered last week.

Some displaced residents from ward 105 met at the weekend to discuss their living arrangements.

Some of the displaced residents say while many are grateful for the church that’s offered its tent as a temporary shelter, the men staying there have complained about the living conditions.

Many men are staying in the tent after losing their homes, separated from their families as women and children are accommodated in local nursery schools.

“What’s going on with us now? We don’t know where we’re going to end up because we’ll do the same, it’s either we’re going to take another space and build.”

The displaced residents have been split as per their wards and say some receive assistance from their ward councilors while others don’t.

The residents lashed out at ward councilors who they say have not provided support and assistance to the displaced flood victims.

A resident from ward 105 says they have resorted to seeking help from ward councilors from other wards.

“We were getting food from ward 9, we got food from those councilors. They tried their level best.”

They say while government officials, including President Jacob Zuma, visited the area following the floods, there is still no concrete solution to tackle the housing crisis.

[WATCH] Alexandra picks up pieces after flood damage

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)