Flooded Limpopo families waiting since December for help

Some families are living in tents after their RDP houses were ruined by heavy rain

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Eias Mapangula was injured when part of her RDP house in Limpopo collapsed during heavy rains in December. Photo: Bernard Chiguvare

Families in Madobi village in Limpopo are still waiting for help from the Collins Chabane municipality after 25 RDP houses were damaged by heavy rain on 28 December last year.

Eias Mapangula was injured when bricks fell onto her leg. She now walks with the aid of a frame.

About six families, including Mapangula’s, were given tents last week, but the municipality has not yet supplied any material for rebuilding the houses.

Hitekani Magwedze, spokesperson for the MEC for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs, said the local municipality had compiled a list and the department was busy assessing the damage. The department promised to build permanent structures but did not give a time frame.

“It was around 7pm. My two children and I were inside my RDP house. The roof was blown of; walls collapsed. My children escaped with minor injuries but I was trapped inside under falling bricks,” said Mapangula.

A member of the community immediately volunteered to rush Mapangula to Elim hospital, about 25km from the village.

Mapangula’s beds, blankets, wardrobe and refrigerator were all damaged. Her children built a small shack out of the blown-off roof sheets. The shack is their temporary kitchen while they are staying in a rondavel, waiting for repairs to their house.

“I cannot afford to rebuild the RDP house since I live off an old age pension,” said Mapangula.

Community leader Thomas Mkhacwa said most families could not afford to rebuild. The roof of his own house was broken, and when it rains he and his family sleep in a shack he erected.

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TOPICS:  Government Housing

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