Floods, storms, and disasters… How apartheid ensured Gauteng’s poor continue to suffer

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Floods, storms, and disasters… How apartheid ensured Gauteng’s poor continue to suffer

Mamelodi residents can be seen in the rain near an informal settlement in an area where 700 shacks reportedly were destroyed during heavy rains, 9 December 2019, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

With every natural disaster that strikes, it appears to be the poorest among South Africans that bear the brunt. The reason for this is a historical one, as the after-effects of apartheid spatial planning continues to wreak havoc, and the middle class fight against change.

With the recent raging storms and disastrous floods across various parts of the Gauteng province, including Johannesburg, a city planning expert has provided some historical context on why the same areas and groups of people were always the hardest hit. The recent rainfalls within the province led to the loss of three residents, including an eight-year-old girl who had drowned. Among areas most hard-hit were informal settlements like one of Johannesburg’s oldest townships, Kliptown, leaving its residents destitute and picking up the pieces of their lives again. Founder of the SKY non-profit organisation that has assisted children within the Kliptown...



 


 

 

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