2 June 2011 – Gugulethu AEC Press Statement
While disaster relief is nowhere to be seen in communities like Thambo Square which has been flooded for days now, the real culprit is that service delivery is non-existent in our communities. Interviews with residents show that this is a chronic problem caused by the City’s top-down approach to development.
There are hundreds of thousands of shackdwellers and backyarders in Cape Town and nearly all of them suffer from the extreme weather on the Cape Flats. Many people, especially children and the elderly, become sick from the cold, the wind and the rain. Their homes are flooded every single winter destroying all their furniture and displacing families for weeks on end.
In the Western Cape, most informal dwellers do not get any assistance from NGOs or the government. This past week, the rains, which barely have an impact in wealthy areas like Camps Bay and Bishops Court, have wrecked havoc on shackdwellers and backyarders alike. And despite requests from victims, the City of Cape Town and the provincial government has refused to provide emergency and medical assistance. In Tambo Square, no alternative accomodation has been provided and so residents remain in their flooded homes. No blankets or hot soup or electricity generators where provided as the elections are well over and politicians think that the poor will forget that government did nothing for them once the next elections come around. Read the rest of this entry »