Ramaphosa to visit flood-stricken Eastern Cape

About 3 969 people have been displaced, and housed at more than 20 different shelters, and in other areas.

About 3 969 people have been displaced, and housed at more than 20 different shelters, and in other areas.

Published Jun 7, 2024


To fast-track relief efforts in Eastern Cape areas battered by heavy rains, the government has classified the floods as a national disaster.

Mop-up operations are under way with President Cyril Ramaphosa expected to visit the province on Friday to assess the response by government departments and entities.

As of Wednesday, a Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) preliminary incident report indicated that eight lives were lost with one person missing and the cost of damage tallied nearly R500 million.

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) acting executive director for Safety and Security Shadrack Sibiya on Thursday said disaster management received reports about one person who was swept away by floods while rescue operations were under way.

Nine areas in the NMBM, including Kariega were affected and five under the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality.

About 3 969 people have been displaced, and housed at more than 20 different shelters, and in other areas.

Ramaphosa said: “Even though we know winter can be harsh, we are nonetheless saddened when we lose loved ones and face devastation on the scale we have seen in the Western and Eastern Cape and KZN. At this difficult time, national and provincial authorities as well as civic organisations are working tirelessly to assist the affected communities with much-needed, immediate psychosocial support and humanitarian relief. This relief is the first step on the demanding journey of rebuilding lives, homes, businesses and public infrastructure after events of this nature. Government will do its best to ensure that the recovery process meets the needs of residents and enables a renewal of the affected areas.”

A ministerial delegation representative including Human Settlements Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi, Cogta Minister Thembi Nkadimeng and provincial Premier Oscar Mabuyane conducted assessments and visited sites housing displaced residents.

Kubayi declared the urgent relocation of families currently housed at mass care centres to temporary emergency accommodation inclusive of safer places for mothers and small children as an immediate action and temporary residential units as a medium to long-term intervention. “Currently, the government is conducting assessment of damages and requests communities to remain united, vigilant, and monitor weather updates as further rainfall is anticipated,” said Mabuyane.

The Garden Route District Municipality in the Western Cape is meanwhile helping more than 200 affected people with humanitarian assistance in areas cut-off such as Warmbad, Muisplaas, Middelplaas, Proefplaas, Rooiheuwelpad, Nel’s River in De Rust 17 and in Varkenskraal, Meiringspoort.

The provincial infrastructure department reported eight rivers that were flooded with no alternative routes available and more than 50 roads remained closed.

The City’s disaster risk management centre spokesperson Charlotte Powell said assessments on the ground were ongoing as reports come in.

“The City continues to provide assistance in areas where flooding has been reported and to date, disaster management officers have made assessments in 41 informal settlements where 1 221 structures were flooded and 2 246 persons affected. Areas include Khayelitsha, Strand, Gugulethu, Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, Wallacedene, Vygieskraal, Bloekombos and Hout Bay areas,” she said.

Relief is also being provided by Gift of the Givers, the Mustadafin Foundation and Ashraful Foundation.

Cape Times