Byline: Andani Matumba

14 November 2022

The province of Mpumalanga has been experiencing heavy rains in the past weeks with the lowveld being the mostly affected areas and Lekwa Municipality and Govan Mbeki Municipality had some reported incidents of flooding.

!3 November 2022, Sunday was devastating day for the residents of Gate 2 “Marikana” in eMbalenhle due to the flooding of Welas river.

The flooded river left more than 30 homes completely submerged in water, leaving them homeless.

According to the residents, the water level started rising at around 14h00 in the afternoon when some of the residents were at work, church and other social outings and the ones who were there were able to assist their unavailable neighbors to recuse whatever they could save in the shacks.

The Nkambule sisters, Dudu Nkambule and Lindiwe Nkambule were some of the people who were affected.

Lindiwe Nkambule says they were adversely affected by the flood since she could not save anything from her shack but her identity document and birth certificates.

She stated further that they were lucky that they were in the house during the time the incident occurred as they were able to run to the neighbours to seeks for help and also alert others of the flooding .

“When we got back, our shacks were completely submerged in water and we could not get in to save our furniture, clothes and other belongings.

We pray that the municipality will intervene and allocate us with a better piece of land where we can live with a peace of mind and without fear of being affected by floods,” she added.

She further admitted that the area was not conducive for human habitation.

Mr Elias Thobejane who moved to Gate 2 “Marikana” in July 2022 was also affected by the flood but fortunately enough he was able to save his bed as well as important documents.

“From the time I moved here, we have never been approached by a councillor or any municipal councillor to warn us to move out of the area or advise us on some sort of housing we can apply for,” said Mr Thobejane.

The Acting Head of Communications at GMM, Mr Lucky Mhlongo said, “This area was not approved by the Municipality and it is not conducive for human habitation because it falls within the flood line.

The municipality did try to prevent people from illegally invading the area but people went ahead and occupy the area illegally”.

In closing, he said the municipality was overwhelmed with land invasions and it will be premature for the municipality to commit to offer them assistance as the land is not suitable for human beings.