In addition, five initiatives were trapped in Botshabelo, Free State. Helicopters and boats had to be dispatched as the roads were inaccessible by vehicle.
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.”
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.”
— ABIGAIL PHUKO😍 (@abigail_phuko) December 9, 2019
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.”
I am here in Mamelodi and the army is here in full force pic.twitter.com/fFCMXhF092
— Panyaza Lesufi (@Lesufi) December 9, 2019