Disas­ter ar­eas de­clared as prov­ince helps fam­i­lies

The Mercury - - NEWS -

THE KwaZulu-Natal gov­ern­ment has de­clared the ar­eas im­pacted by a storm on Tues­day as disas­ter ar­eas.

The dec­la­ra­tion by the provin­cial gov­ern­ment was an­nounced by Premier Wil­lies Mchunu yes­ter­day morn­ing.

The provin­cial gov­ern­ment said they would also be call­ing on the na­tional gov­ern­ment to clas­sify and de­clare a provin­cial disas­ter, as the in­clement weather af­fected more than one district.

“Fi­nan­cial im­pli­ca­tions re­quired to re­pair and re­ha­bil­i­tate the phys­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture are still be­ing quan­ti­fied and will be con­firmed once all the as­sess­ments have been con­cluded. I must also has­ten to state that Eskom has also as­signed a team to deal with elec­tric­ity pro­vi­sion in af­fected ar­eas,” Mchunu said.

He said the ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil had agreed that the provin­cial gov­ern­ment and district mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties must ur­gently as­sess the stormwa­ter drainage sys­tem with a view to im­prove it where nec­es­sary.

The of­fi­cial death toll from the storm was 14 peo­ple, with five still miss­ing.

“We are pro­vid­ing the nec­es­sary emo­tional sup­port to the be­reaved fam­i­lies dur­ing this trau­matic pe­riod. Us­ing our in­di­gent poli­cies, we want to an­nounce that the gov­ern­ment will as­sist needy fam­i­lies with fu­neral ar­range­ments. The de­tails will be an­nounced in due course.”

Mchunu said more than 130 schools had been af­fected and these in­cluded high schools, with some be­ing used as exam mark­ing cen­tres. The es­ti­mated cost to re­pair the dam­aged schools is R136 mil­lion.

“The gov­ern­ment will do ev­ery­thing in its power to en­sure that learn­ers who are pre­par­ing for the fi­nal ma­tric ex­ams are not af­fected.”

He also said health­care fa­cil­i­ties were re­ceiv­ing at­ten­tion from the Health Depart­ment, and all pa­tients from flooded hos­pi­tal wards had been moved to safety. – Mer­cury Re­porter

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