Premier de­clares KwaZulu-Natal dis­as­ter area as storm toll hits 11

The Herald (South Africa) - - NEWS - Jeff Wicks

KWAZULU-Natal has been de­clared a dis­as­ter area by premier Wil­lies Mchunu af­ter a mega storm 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 prop­erty‚ hous­ing, in­fra­struc­ture‚ roads and bridges, and af­fected the sup­ply of util­i­ties such as water and elec­tric­ity. Mchunu said the fi­nan­cial cost of re­pair­ing dam­aged in­fra­struc­ture was still be­ing quan­ti­fied.

“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.

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

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