Eighty-one houses and a church were damaged by an apparent tornado in Kestel, in the Free State, the provincial co-operative governance and traditional affairs department said on Monday.

“Damage ranges from blown rooftops, partially collapsed walls and blown roofs,” spokeswoman Senne Bogatsu said in a statement.

Of the damaged houses, nine were RDP houses, 11 were mud houses, eight were shacks and 62 were privately-owned brick structures.

Eskom electricity poles were the only damaged infrastructure and electricity was slowly being restored to affected areas.

Local shops donated food and clothing to those in need.

On Saturday, a violent storm - which some described as a tornado - passed through the area causing the extensive damage.

A report on the damage was expected to be finished on Tuesday, Bogatsu said. - Sapa