Pre­mier de­clares KZN a dis­as­ter area after heavy rains on Tues­day

Daily Dispatch - - News - By JEFF WICKS

KWAZULU-NATAL has been de­clared a dis­as­ter area by pre­mier Wil­lies Mchunu after a “megast caused dev­as­ta­tion in parts of the prov­ince on Tues­day.

As many as 11 peo­ple are con­firmed to have died and many more are miss­ing with search and res­cue op­er­a­tions con­tin­u­ing yes­ter­day. More than 133 schools were also af­fected by the storm.

The storm caused mil­lions of rands worth of dam­age to public in­sti­tu­tions‚ com­mer­cial prope roads‚ bridges and hous­ing in­fra­struc­ture‚ af­fect­ing the sup­ply of wa­ter and elec­tric­ity.

In a state­ment is­sued yes­ter­day, Mchunu said the fi­nan­cial cost of re­pair­ing dam­aged in­fra­struc­ture was still be­ing quan­ti­fied.

“The ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil has de­clared a pro­vin­cial dis­as­ter. The ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil has agreed that the pro­vin­cial govern­ment and district mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties must ur­gently as­sess the stormwa­ter drainage sys­tem with a view to im­prov­ing it where nec­es­sary‚” he said.

“The ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil noted the col­lapse of some houses and in this re­gard‚ the de­part­ment of hu­man set­tle­ments‚ work­ing with rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties‚ will at­tend to the is­sue of poor work­man­ship on some houses.”

He said that in view of the dec­la­ra­tion‚ the pro­vin­cial trea­sury would meet sec­tor de­part­ments to ad­dress the repri­ori­ti­sa­tion of bud­gets.

“We can con­firm that more than 133 schools have been af­fected and this in­cludes high schools, with some of them be­ing used as mark­ing cen­tres.

“The es­ti­mated costs to re­pair the dam­aged schools is about R136-mil­lion. Govern­ment will do ev­ery­thing in its power to en­sure that learn­ers who are pre­par­ing for the fi­nal ma­tric ex­am­i­na­tion are not af­fected‚” he said. — DDC

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