A Hangberg family had to endure the cold and rain for two nights after the roof of their City-owned rental unit in Makriel Court was ripped off by the wind in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Tenant Gaynor Carolus said she and her family had to spend both nights in the dining room as it was the only place in the house that was dry and sheltered from the wind.
“Everything was wet, even our clothes and we have suffered big damages,” she said.
Ms Carolus said City of Cape Town officials visited the premises on Tuesday morning and promised they would be back later but never returned.
The City’s Disaster Risk Management (DRM) brought some plastic sheets and nails but it was of no use to the family as it did not keep the rain and cold out.
“What was I supposed to do with the plastic and nails? Put it up myself?” she asked.
She said the howling wind and pelting rain woke her up in the early hours of the morning.
“The next thing I knew the roof was gone and rain was pouring in,” she said.
As she ran through the house to check on the rest of her family, she realised the roof in the second bedroom was also gone.
“Everything was wet and I gathered everyone, including my sister and her two children who were staying with us, because the roof of their shack was leaking, and we made our way to the dining room,” she said.
According to Ms Carolus, City officials only started with repairs to the roof this morning, Thursday July 28.
Ziyanda Phandile, branch secretary for the ANC’s Johnson Mayeki branch situated in Hout Bay, said City officials attended to the complaint but told residents they can’t fix the roof due to the weather conditions and left residents to deal with the cold and wet weather while they returned to their warm and dry homes.
“Although we acknowledge the concern regarding the safety of workers in extreme weather conditions, we are disgusted at the City’s failure to assist the families immediately.
“These tenants are paying rent and as the owner of the flat, the City has a responsibility to ensure that the rental stock is maintained and fixed,” she said.
DA ward candidate, Rob Quintas, said the purpose of DRM is to provide interim relief in the case of disasters such as fires and floods.
He said the damage was assessed by City officials yesterday and they were currently on site busy with repairs.
Mayoral committee member for human settlements, Benedicta van Minnen, said a contractor has been appointed and the repairs should be completed today.
She said in terms of future upgrades to the units, the CRU upgrading programme is complete and no further upgrades are planned in the near future.
“Repairs and maintenance work at the approximately 47 000 rental stock units, which includes Hangberg, is undertaken by the depots through term tenders,” she added.
Ms Carolus said the family was grateful for a visit from ANC ward candidate, Loyiso Skoti, who brought them and other families who were also affected by the weather, some blankets.
Secretary and social development co-ordinator of the Peace and Mediation Forum (PMF), Warren Abrahams, said he reported the matter to the City again on Tuesday afternoon at around 2.45pm after the residents received no feedback from the City.
He said he did an inspection this morning and the problem had not yet been solved.
“The plastic sheets were on the units and I reported it again and the contractor was sent to assess the matter and provide a temporary fix.
“The contractor said they will be onsite again tomorrow morning to repair the roofs properly, because they had to check what was needed when they come to complete it,” he said.