Disaster areas declared as province helps families
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