Irate Hangberg residents, who have been trapped indoors due to flooding, have accused the city of failing to provide proper service delivery.
Roscoe Jacobs of the Hout Bay Civic Association said the flooding affected more than 100 people. He said on Wednesday that the water was knee-deep and had seeped into some of the flats and shacks in Block V, D and W.
“We have learnt that this area has been flooded for the past month and residents’ attempts to get the City to assist were unsuccessful despite numerous calls to have stormwater drains unblocked as this was what they believed to be the problem.”
The City’s Disaster Risk Management team had been informed of the blockage, but failed to act immediately, Jacobs said.
“This exposes the City’s failure for winter readiness. They know stormwater drainage is a problem around this time, they were supposed to have had the rubbish cleaned out already.
“Service delivery is not done properly here. They will only act once they hear of a death due to this hazardous problem.”
When the Cape Argus visited the area on Thursday, residents were clearing the roadway.
City spokeswoman Priya Reddy said Disaster Risk Management made an assessment on Thursday morning along with Roads and Stormwater. “Our field officers are also in the informal settlements and dealing with the concerns of the community. The City of Cape Town is widely known as being the most responsive municipality in the country.
“Stormwater drains are often blocked as residents throw rubbish into them. The city spends vast resources on the problem of unblocking drains.”
Hangberg resident Daphne Olivier said she could not attend a job interview because the water had flooded her doorstep. She said the previous night’s heavy rainfall had mixed with the water coming from the drain.
“I was forced to stay indoors because there was no way I could leave. When I opened the door some of the water seeped in. We have contacted the municipality numerous times, but there has been no response to this drain problem that we have been facing for the past month.
“We are sick of living in this filth, it is inhumane and our children are getting sick from the water coming out of this drain,” Olivier said.
Lee-Anne Williams, who was sweeping what was left of the water into the road, said her bathroom had been flooded. “There was water all over near the toilet.
“My brother in-law had to come out and walk across the knee-deep water to open the drain so that water could somehow go in.”
Williams said to get the children to school they had to carry them while wading through the water barefoot. “This is a constant struggle that we face.”