By Umamah Bakharia
An independent community activist is accusing the eThekwini government of endangering the human lives of Kwa Zulu Natal flood victims.
Activist Vanessa Burger has written a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala and mayor, Mxoilisi Kaunda, to address the victims’ lives being endangered by the flooding.
Speaking to Radio Islam, Burger says the issue of flooding dates back to 2019, when residents in Mega-City, Umlazi have washed away while their shacks were destroyed.
“There [was] a massive budget allocated to KZN at the time, it was just over R800 million for exactly that purpose, building back infrastructure, assisting destitute communities to get back on their feet and they [the victims[ have obviously seen nothing of this,” says Burger.
She adds after the floods in 2019, victims of the flooding were moved into a transit camp that was hastily organised by the government.
“This is not a matter of choice, this is the failure of the municipality to provide decent social housing for poor people in areas that are not miles away from the city and community,” says Burger.
At the time, Burger had approached legal resources to try to interdict the municipality but they referred her to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in June 2020.
However, there has been no response so far. During this time, victims were evicted from their places of living.
She is calling on the government to act swiftly and utilise the financial aid aimed at restoring the lives of flood victims.