On Tuesday, the municipality continued assessing the damage caused by recent storms, while the South African Weather Service expected more thunderstorms and showers to batter parts of the province during the week. Picture: uMngeni Local Municipality
On Tuesday, the municipality continued assessing the damage caused by recent storms, while the South African Weather Service expected more thunderstorms and showers to batter parts of the province during the week. Picture: uMngeni Local Municipality

uMngeni Local Municipality wants the area declared a local disaster after storms; applying to KZN premier for financial assistance

By Thobeka Ngema Time of article published Jan 9, 2022

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DURBAN - The uMngeni Local Municipality has decided to write to the national government requesting the area to be declared a local disaster and applying to KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala for financial assistance to deal with the disaster.

Mayor Chris Pappas issued an urgent statement to uMngeni residents on Saturday regarding the storm that battered the municipality on December 30.

Pappas said: “The uMngeni Municipality has taken the decision to write to the national government requesting the area to be declared a local disaster.”

Pappas said on December 30, a massive freak storm hit most of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and the days that followed have seen heavy downpours, hail and strong winds.

He said their infrastructure had been severely damaged and a number of communities had been negatively affected. Individuals had lost their homes and belongings and the infrastructure had in some cases totally collapsed.

“In addition to the declaration of a state of disaster we will be applying to the premier of KwaZulu-Natal seeking financial assistance to deal with the disaster,” Pappas said.

“As a small municipality with a budget of R480 million we do not have the ability to deal with a disaster of this size. We have noted the assistance that has been offered to neighbouring Msunduzi and will be appealing to the premier for the same. We will look for assistance from CoGTA, Human Settlements, Rural Development, Social Development and Department of Transport among others.”

Pappas said the damages caused thus far ran into tens of millions of rand.

“We are hopeful that the premier and the national government will see the urgency of our application and provide us with assistance as has been done for other municipalities in KZN,” Pappas said.

He also asked residents to send through storm damage complaints to their respective ward and proportional representation (PR) councillors in order for the municipality to continue its assessment.

On Tuesday, the municipality continued assessing the damage caused by recent storms, while the South African Weather Service expected more thunderstorms and showers to batter parts of the province during the week.

Then, the municipality said the recent seemingly unrelenting storms had been the worst for uMngeni Municipality in more than 30 years. The torrential rains have caused tens of millions of rand in damages and the municipal leadership and administration have commenced the processes of quantifying the damage and will thereafter apply for relief funding from relevant departments in both the provincial and national spheres of government.

Daily News

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