Fierce winds send Khayelitsha shacks flying

Chemical toilets toppled, roofs blown off

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Fierce winds in Cape Town knocked over shacks in Khayelitsha on Saturday night. Photos: Vincent Lali

Violent winds sent shacks flying in Island informal settlement, Khayelitsha, at the weekend.

“The strong wind flattened some shacks and blew roofs off others. Some residents don’t even know where their roofs are,” said community leader Julia Mdinwa. “My neighbour’s shack has no roof now.”

The wind also toppled chemical toilets.

Chemical toilets were blown over by the wind.

Nolubabalo Meke, who lives with her four children, said the wind forced open her locked door and nearly blew her shack away in the early hours of Sunday morning. She and two of her children managed to hold onto a pole, but the shack collapsed on them. They managed to crawl out. She pulled her clothes and other belongings from under the fallen shack. She has moved into her boyfriend’s shack with her children.

Nolubabalo Meke and her children managed to crawl out of their collapsed shack.

Meke’s family survives on the children’s social grants. She said she had no money for building materials to rebuild her shack.

“I will look for jobs and save money to buy materials and build my shack again,” she said.

Mawende Ludaba’s shack was blown into a neighbour’s yard.

Mawande Ludaba, who lives with his girlfriend, said the strong wind blew their shack into the neighbour’s yard. He said the wind tore down the electrical cable he uses to draw electricity from a nearby RDP house, for which he pays R350 a month.

Ludaba, who works as a toilet cleaner, said, “We are unable to rebuild our shack because the wind continues to blow hard. Besides, we have no poles, building nails and other materials to rebuild it.”

Akhona Tshiki on the site where her shack once stood.

Akhona Tshiki, who lives alone, was out with friends when her shack blew down. Tshiki said, “I’m glad that I was not there when the wind blew my shack away, otherwise I would have been injured.”

TOPICS:  Housing

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