On World Habitat Day‚ dedicated to the basic right to adequate shelter‚ five KwaZulu-Natal families were scrambling for accommodation after a fire destroyed their council flats.
“We have nothing. Our food and clothing are all gone. Our jobs are even at risk because we have no clothes to go to work‚” Fortune Zungu said on Monday.
Call centre agent Zungu and his roommate spent the night in a neighbour’s flat at the Hammonds Farm housing settlement in Verulam.
“A local ANC councillor had put up a tent‚ but it was too cold to stay in the tent last night so we all scrambled to find shelter with our neighbours. But it is tough. We don’t know where we are going to go‚” Zungu said.
The roofs of the five flats were destroyed by the fire and the ground floors were flooded when firefighters put out the blaze.
“Disaster management has told us that they are investigating but we have not been told about alternative accommodation for us‚” Zungu said.
DA councillor Geoff Pullan contacted city officials but was told that the residents could not be put up in a municipal hall.
“They could try to live in the bottom part of the flats but it appears that the city does not have any mop up teams nor a strategy to get the water out of those flats‚” he said.
A response from eThekwini Municipality is pending.
Source: TMG Digital.