Flood-hit KZN asks for national help

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IOL toti train NETCARE911 Fourteen people have been confirmed dead in KwaZulu-Natal after the heavy rains and flash floods this week. Four people were injured when a goods train plunged into the Amanzimtoti River (pictured) near Durban. File photo: supplied

KwaZulu-Natal - Fourteen people have been confirmed dead in KwaZulu-Natal after the heavy rains and flash floods this week.

On Wednesday, Premier Zweli Mkhize said the national government would be asked to declare as disaster areas parts of KZN worst hit by the thunderstorms.

This comes after ferocious storms wreaked havoc in the province, damaging infrastructure and property and leaving thousands of people homeless.

The worst-affected areas were Ladysmith, Ugu district and parts of Durban.

Mkhize said his cabinet had received a report yesterday on the disaster incidents from the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

“After considering the magnitude of the preliminary damage and the resources required to fix the damage, the cabinet decided to request national classification of affected areas to that of disaster status and advised municipalities to adopt resolutions in the same vein,” he said.


Mkhize said this meant that the province was formally approaching the national government for additional resources to rebuild damaged infrastructure and homes and assist those affected.

“While we know that no one can be blamed for this tragedy orchestrated by forces of nature, we sympathise with all our people who are going through difficulties at this important period preceding Christmas,” he said.

“This is indeed a huge setback for us because it means resources must be spent on rebuilding destroyed infrastructure and property. Funds for new infrastructure may have to be diverted to fix the damage,” Mkhize said.

The damage caused by the floods is expected to escalate to tens of millions of rand.

“We are heartened by the bravery of disaster and emergency personnel who continue to risk their lives to save property and their fellow human beings.” - Daily News

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