A heavy storm hit parts of Gauteng on Saturday 30 December 2017, damaging several homes. Picture: Supplied
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Municipal response to severe thunderstorm damage

I held a meeting with the Dr. Ellias Sithole, Head of the Provincial Disaster Centre, the MMC for Development Planning, Cllr Funzela Ngobeni, the Speaker of Council, Cllr Vasco da Gama, civil society organisations, the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD), our Emergency Management Services (EMS), Social Development and Environmental Health, Citizen Relationship and Urban Management departments, city entities, SASSA and officials from other Gauteng Provincial Departments.

Executive Mayor – Clr Herman Mashaba points at corrugated iron sheets that flew off of roofs in Westbury.

This comes after yesterday afternoon’s severe rainfall which left parts of the south and west of Johannesburg, including Lawley, Protea Glen in Soweto, Lefureng, Snake Park, Slovoville, Jerusalema and Braamfischerville, badly affected; sadly two lives were also lost as a result of the storm.

Following my inspection of the damage caused by the storm, it is clear that due to the extent of the damage caused, the City cannot hope to address the needs of all those affected alone.

That is why a multi-organisational approach was necessary to address this latest challenge.The following interventions have been put in place to provide relief to residents:

·The City’s Group Risk Advisory Services will continue to conduct a full risk assessment of the damage caused by the storm and a preliminary report is expected to be released by Friday. The report will table the full extent of the damage caused by the storm and whether the event needs to be declared a provincial or national disaster.

Further to this, the City’s Group Risk Advisory Services will also conduct an investigation into the quality of some of the buildings which collapsed as a result of the storm, particularly:

1.The identities of contractors involved in the construction of some of these buildings;

2.The City’s role in issuing certificates of occupation which affirm the safety of these buildings; and

3.The role of financial institutions, such as lenders and banks, who fund construction of some of these poor buildings.

This investigation is expected to be completed within the next 60 days;

City Power – 5 substations in the western part of the City were affected by the storm, effecting Roodepoort and Lenasia. Power has been restored to some of the affected communities. Eskom has also reported that infrastructure in Braamfischeville has experienced damaged. City Power expects that all affected areas will have power restored before the end of the week;
Joburg Water – 2 substations experienced pipe bursts as a result of the storm. Due to this, parts of the south of Johannesburg experienced water shortages. Residents can expect water to be fully restored before the end of today. In addition, Joburg Water is also providing emergency water provisions through tanks in the affected areas;
City Parks – Will clear all debris, stones and other material blown onto road infrastructure due to the storm;
Johannesburg Road Agency – Will run an assessment of our traffic lights and roads and began repairs to restore the city to full functionality; and
Gauteng Provincial Department

A heavy storm hit parts of Gauteng on Saturday 30 December 2017, damaging several homes. Picture: Supplied

– the province has committed to providing available temporary accommodation, emergency tents, and mattresses for those displaced by the storm through their Housing Department. Adding to this, the City has also committed to making community centres available for the purpose of providing temporary relief to those in need of emergency shelter. Further, SASSA and the Provincial Department of Social Development have also agreed to assist with the provision of food parcels to those displaced.

I would like to thank all the role players involved in assisting our residents, especially provincial government and our emergency services personnel for their continued support and vigilance.

I would appeal to all members of the public to please assist where they can by donating to civil society organisations such as:

·         The Gift of the Givers;
·         Rhema Church;
·         Alimdaad Foundation;
·         Pzuchi Foundation;
·         Zakm International Rescue; and
·         The Red Cross Society.

For more information on how to pledge your support, please contact:  011 674 0038.

Cllr Herman Mashaba
Executive Mayor
City of Joburg

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