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Mayor Mashaba leads further stakeholder engagements on storm damage

Today, I held a further multi stakeholder meeting to deliberate on developments relating to the damages caused by the hailstorm over the weekend.
The meeting was attended by the City Manager, Dr Ndivhoniswani Lukhwereni, Civil Society Organisations, the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD), including the newly appointed Chief of Police Mr David Tembe, our Emergency Management Services (EMS), Disaster Management, Social Development, Legal, Environmental Health, Citizen Relationship and Urban Management departments, City entities such as Joburg Water and City Power, SASSA and officials from other Gauteng Provincial Departments.

This comes after an engagement meeting held on Sunday, 31 December 2017, where JOC stakeholders from the City and from the Gauteng Provincial Government agreed on a number of interventions to provide relief assistance to residents affected by damage caused by the hailstorm.

It has now come to our attention that additional areas; Tshepisong, Thembelihle, Alexandra, Maria Lewis, Protea Glen Extensions and Braamfishcerville are also highly impacted.

Part of the discussions on interventions amongst others included a comprehensive damage and losses analysis, response and relief efforts caused by this catastrophic hailstorm and actions as such a preliminary report which is expected to be released on Friday, 05 January 2018. It is expected that the report will table the full extent of the damage caused by the hailstorm and whether the event needs to be declared a provincial or local disaster.

Based on the Damage and Losses report to be tabled on Friday, 05 January 2018, and additional areas identified, notwithstanding the capacity of the City’s coping capacity to respond, the meeting today took a decision to explore the possibility of declaring the City a disaster area, pending the quantification of the damage.

Further to this, the City’s Group Risk Advisory Services will also conduct an investigation into the quality of buildings which collapsed as a result of the storm, particularly:

1. The identities of contractors involved in the construction of some of these buildings
2. The City’s role in issuing certificates of occupation which affirm the safety of these buildings; and
3. The role of financial institutions such as lenders and banks, who fund construction of some of these poor buildings

This investigation is expected to be completed within the next 60 days.

- City Power – The 05 substations in the western part of the City reported to be damaged by the storm, have been repaired, and power in those areas has been restored. Residents in some parts Braamfischerville are still without power. This area is administered by Eskom. I have instructed officials from City Power to ensure that Eskom restores power to residents who are still without power in the area. I would like to also appeal to residents to report power outages by contacting City Power on:

- Joburg Water – The 2 substations which experienced pipe bursts as result of the storm have been repaired, and residents in the Lawely and North East of the City have water restored. Joburg Water will remain alert for residents who are without the supply of water.

- City Parks – All debris, stones, and other material blown onto the road due to the storm has been cleared. The team from City Parks is currently working on clearing the Main Reef Road in the Langlaagte area. All roads by end of day would have been cleared.

- Johannesburg Roads Agency – Has embarked on restoring and repairing traffic lights throughout the City so as to ensure that traffic lights are restored to full functionality.

- Gauteng Provincial Government – The commitment made by the Provincial Government to provide temporary accommodation is currently underway; Emergency tents and mattresses have been provided for those displaced by the storm through their Housing Department. Added to this, the City has made available community centers in Regions C, D and G available for the purpose of providing temporary relief to those in need of emergency shelter. Further, SASSA and the Provincial Department of Social Development have reported to have provided food parcels through the assistance of Civil Society Organisations.

The social development appeals to all civil organisations to be in contact with them should they wish to offer assistance and relief to residents.

Special mention must be given to role players in assisting our residents, especially the Provincial Government, and our emergency services personnel for their continued support and vigilance.

I would like to appeal to all members of the public to please assist where they can by donating to civil society organisations such as:

- The Gift of the Givers;
- The Red Cross Society;
- Zakm International Rescue;
- Alimdaad Foundation;
- Rhema Church
- Pzuchi Foundation

I would also like to thank residents and NGOs for pledging their support to relief residents affected by the storm. For more information on how to pledge your support, please contact 011 674 0038.

Cllr Herman Mashaba
Executive Mayor
City of Joburg
For further information, please contact
Luyanda Mfeka
Director of Communications
Office of the Executive Mayor
Cell: 076 171 5978