Devastated Residents of Setswetla informal settlement in Alexandra are indifferent about the news that President Jacob Zuma was on his way to pay them a visit.
The residents were left homeless after a flash flood had their homes destroyed, killed about six people with flushed away a little girl.
Zuma is today expected to visit the displaced families, especially those living Jukskei River. He would be accompanied by Gauteng Premier David Makhura.
But, while a handful Alex residents expressed joy as they prepare for the president’s visit, a larger number are indifferent about his coming, saying his visit will not proffer solution to their present predicament.
Nomusa Khumalo, one of the Alex residents said she was expecting Zuma to help victims of last week’s flash floods.
“It’s raining and these people don’t know where to hide their heads at night. We just hope his visit will change their lives.
“When it rains my mother doesn’t sit inside the house. She stands outside and says she’d rather be taken by floods outside her home.”
News 24 reported yet another resident, Egnes Manganyi, saying Zuma’s visit was not going to make a difference.
“A lot of people have lost their homes, furniture and some lost their lives, we don’t think he will do anything to help us
“It’s okay that he is coming to see what has happened in the community, but we doubt he is going to change anything,” she said.
Meanwhile, Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza who visited the area on Monday, called on those affected by the heavy rain not to rebuild their homes in the same place.
The department noted that its long-term plan is to relocate the residents. But, Mayathula-Khoza said they are working with the Department of Human Settlements to help them out.
“Looking at an alternative space where the people who are still there can actually be relocated. But that’s the decision of the MEC for Human Development.”
As heavy rain continued on Monday in parts of Gauteng, Johannesburg emergency services said search and rescue operations of some of the Alex residents have been called off.
The department carrying out rescue operations in the affected area, including the search for a three-year-old girl who went missing on Wednesday, have been called off indefinitely.
“The rain has just come and we’ve taken a decision to stop for now to see if it doesn’t subside and we can continue. It’s been a very difficult search,” Johannesburg Emergency Service spokesperson Nana Radebe said.