Over 1,000 shack dwellers displaced by Tongaat tornado

People are being housed in three large tents

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The aftermath in Magwaveni informal settlement in Tongaat, where a tornado on Monday destroyed hundreds of homes. Photo: Joseph Bracken

Over 1,000 people in Magwaveni informal settlement are in need of shelter after a tornado hit Tongaat, north of Durban, on Monday.

Over 150 of those displaced have spent the past few nights in three classrooms at Fairbreeze Secondary School. Many have lost not only their homes but their possessions, IDs and other important documents.

The school however cannot accommodate them any longer as grade 12 learners are writing exams.

Three large tents have been set up at Magwaveni.

People told GroundUp they they do not want to be housed in the town hall as their children are struggling to access schools that were previously within walking distance of their homes. They said they want their homes rebuilt.

Smangele Ngcobo, who has three children at Fairbreeze Secondary, fears she will lose her site in the informal settlement if she does not return. “I will have to sleep on my site until I have enough money to rebuild the shack,” she said.

People we spoke to say the tents are cold and unpleasant.

Ward 61 Councillor Dolly Munien (DA) said people are also being housed at a mosque. “We have over 1,000 people in need of the shelters, that is why we have set up tents as well,” said Munien.

Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said the eThekwini Municipality was working with the Department of Human Settlements to speed up “the process of rebuilding houses of the bereaved families so that they can commence with funeral arrangements in proper structures”.

Tents have been set up at Magwaveni informal settlement in Tongaat to house people displaced by a tornado. Photo supplied.

TOPICS:  Disaster Housing

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