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WATCH | Cape Town residents mop up after a month's rainfall in one day

Residents of several informal settlements say appliances and furniture have been badly damaged by the water.

18 June 2022 - 11:26 By TIMESLIVE VIDEO
Cape Town and other parts of the Western Cape experienced high levels of rain on June 14.
Cape Town and other parts of the Western Cape experienced high levels of rain on June 14.
Image: Supplied: City of Cape Town

When Christopher Ntozini moved to the Covid-19 settlement, he saw it as a solution to his financial problems.

He was struggling to afford rent due to the pandemic and the informal settlement saw several families move there for the same reason. 

“The reason we moved here is because during the pandemic we couldn't afford the rent where we were staying,” Ntozini told TimesLIVE. 

Now he finds himself wondering where he will get money to replace appliances damaged by heavy rain which pelted this and other areas in Cape Town.

Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said a month's rainfall hit the city in one day, leaving several areas waterlogged. 

“Everything is damaged here. This water was even higher on the first day. If you see this line, that is how high the water was. The rain didn't seem to be that much, but it seems like the river was overflowing and rushed in this direction. This fridge no longer works. The microwave survived because I put it on top of the fridge. I don't even want to touch the wardrobe because it is swollen with water. If I touch it, it will just collapse.” 

Hill-Lewis said the municipality is working on unblocking stormwater drains as a matter of urgency to ensure that stagnant water runs off.

The very high rainfall — up to 128mm of rain fell at the Newlands rainfall station within a 24-hour period on June 13 — stretched the city’s stormwater infrastructure beyond capacity. The infrastructure is designed to manage runoff from rain events, but in cases of consistent and heavy rainfall as we have experienced since Sunday evening, the system becomes flooded,” the city said in a statement. 

But residents of Joe Slovo, one of the affected areas, are concerned about what other support they are likely to get.

Standing on the open patch of land that used to hold her shack, Megie Mthi explains how her home was almost washed away. 

“My home used to be here, but then the rain came at night and we got washed away. My neighbours came to rescue me because we were about to be washed away. I really need help to find a safer place to stay,” she said. 

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