DA calls out ANC on elaborate PR stunt as KZN flood victims move into 4-star Durban hotel

Issued by Marlaine Nair, MPL – DA KZN Spokesperson on Human Settlements
04 Oct 2022 in Press Statements

The DA has been made aware that a group of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) flood victims from Truro Hall are being temporarily accommodated at Durban’s 4-star Royal Hotel by the province’s Department of Human Settlements.

The DA is stunned by this move which is nothing more than an elaborate PR stunt by the ANC-run provincial government in an attempt to show that it cares in the lead up to the 2024 elections.

This is the same Department that has been dragging its heels for six months, since the floods. This despite ongoing appeals by the DA to look into suitable accommodation for flood victims including vacant government-owned buildings.

While the ANC has finally acted, the move is nothing more than a desperate attempt to look good. The worst part is that it has raised the hopes of flood victims who have already endured great hardship.

According to our sources, the group was initially taken to Reservoirhills where they were due to occupy student accommodation while permanent housing was built for them.

It is alleged that on arrival it was discovered that the landlord had not signed the lease, leaving flood victims unable to take occupation. This led to some of the group going to stay with relatives and others being taken to the Royal Hotel.

It is unclear how long the flood victims will remain at the hotel and whether they will have to move back to Truro Hall while they continue to wait for TRU’s or permanent housing.

This latest move by the Department is deemed to backfire. Not only is it unrealistic and unfair, it has created a further issue with other now disgruntled flood victims wanting similar ‘royal treatment’.

A similar situation recently played out in eThekwini when frustrated flood victims from Yellowwood Park Civic Centre and Tehuis Hostel in Umlazi invaded the Montclair Lodge, a state-owned rail freight logistics entity.

After two weeks, a court order was obtained to forcefully remove them from the Montclair Lodge.KZN Human Settlements MEC, Ntuthuko Mahlaba, subsequently inspected the Montclair Lodge and formalized an agreement with Transnet to accommodate flood victims.

These recent incidents have highlighted the shocking inefficiency and indecisiveness within this Department. It has also shown the failure to prioritize these vulnerable members of society.

The DA has long called for transparency around the allocation of TRU’s and the prioritization of flood victims in order to reduce the vast numbers being accommodated at various halls and centres. Yet our calls have fallen on deaf ears.

KZN’s food victims have already been through so much. They cannot be subjected to further adversity and humiliation by this ANC-run government.