A rushing mighty wind
This morning we went to Mamelodi East, as we do on alternate Sundays, for the Hours and Readers Service at Christina Mothapo’s house. But this time we just said a few prayers, and left, because they were busy trying to clean up the house after storm damage last Thursday.
A heavy hailstorm wept through Mamelodi East, and all the old township houses with corrugated asbestos roofs had holes in the roofs, including the Mothapo house.
We took the Malahlela family back home, and they had had several windows smashed by the hail, and nearly every building we passed had all the windows on the south side broken by the hailstones.
Mamelodi East is a working class area, and most of the people living there have no insurance. All the people in our congregation had suffered damage to their houses from the storm. The corrugated asbsetos roofs are particularly bad. They were erected in the apartheid time, as council houses for rent, but when apartheid ended people were given the option of freehold ownership. But now asbestos is seen as unsafe as building material, so when the asbestos roof sheets are broken, they are difficult to replace, which makes life even more difficult for people living in such houses.
We ourselves didn’t escape from storm damage.
Last night there was a rushing mighty wind at about 10:00 pm, with the trees doing an energetic dance that looked quite spectacular. Suddenly there were sounds of a dog fight, right outside the window, and there was a strange dog in our garden that our dogs had pounced on. We wondered how it had got in, and assumed it had been frightened by the storm, and run away, though that that point there was little thunder and lightning, and no rain, just the wind howling in the electric wires, and making the trees dance.
This morning we discovered how the dog had got in — the wind had blown down the wall between our garden and that of the neighbours.
We hope that the damage to this wall, unlike the roofs and windows of the people of Mamelodi East, will be covered by insurance.
On the way to Mamelodi we saw several other signs of the storms — mainly uprooted trees.
And when Val was taking Simon to work, there was a rather amusing sign — a Hummer stuck in the mud when it tried to cross the grass verge on to the main road instead of going around the proper way It seems that a Hummer isn’t actually an off-road vehicle, but was just made to look like one.