Tue. Sep 22nd, 2020

Flood evacuation: Air force choppers dispatched to Mamelodi

About 150 people are trapped in a church, still waiting to be rescued, while many more are trapped elsewhere in Mamelodi.

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Several netizens, including Yusuf Abramjee and Tshepo Maphothoma – confirmed that Air Force choppers were en-route to Mamelodi to assist flood victims in the area.

In widespread flooding across the country, flood victims at the Centurion Hotel had to be airlifted to safety; and more than 700 informal dwellings in Mamelodi swept away.

In addition, five initiatives were trapped in Botshabelo, Free State. Helicopters and boats had to be dispatched as the roads were inaccessible by vehicle.

Mamelodi flooding

As reported by IOL, Gauteng Acting MEC for Social Development Panyaza Lesufi is in Mamelodi’s Ward 28, where he will be assisting affected residents for the next 48 hours.

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Photo: Twitter screenshot

DA Gauteng North regional chairperson and MMC for Utility Services in Tshwane, Abel Tau, is also on the ground in Mamelodi and confirmed that residents were trapped in a church.

“There are still about +/-150 people trapped inside a church that are still to be rescued, no reported casualty so far and preliminarily all persons are accounted for.”

Abel Tau

Tau expressed gratitude to the city’s emergency services, as well as the SAPS, “for their collaborative efforts. He said in a statement that the City “has made arrangement for a community centre to house affected persons.” He also issued a call-to-action:

“Community members and organisations who would like to contribute relief materials towards flooding victims can do so at Nelmapius Library, 4146 Lesedi c/o Mereri road, Nellmapius and Centurion Fire Station. Materials to be donated should include but be limited to blankets, food, diapers for babies, and clothing for all ages.”

Outrage at the lack of response

After several reports confirmed that many Mamelodi residents were trapped, hundreds of netizens turned to Twitter, outraged, at the lack of emergency services dispatched to Mamelodi.

Kgothatso, a farmer and the co-founder of Farming for Isasa, remarked on Twitter that the “SANDF helicopter was supposed to start there before the hotel, adding: “I mean, the hotel has insurance”.

Another netizen, Collin Malatji, directed the following message to the City of Tshwane, Gauteng Government and the Presidency:

“This is [expletive]. Helicopters and emergency personnel spend the whole morning lifting people who were not in immediate danger in a multiple storey hotel while Mamelodi was being swept away.”

Also read – In Photos: South Africa left reeling by widespread floods

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