Durban — Cape Vidal is open to visitors after recent heavy rains left a trail of damage.
On Wednesday, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority announced the re-opening of the Cape Vidal facility on the Eastern Shores section of the park near St Lucia.
The facility and other sections of the park were temporarily closed after the destruction caused by the recent heavy rainfall that affected most of KwaZulu-Natal, especially in the uMkhanyakude District on the North Coast.
“The damage to infrastructure such as Eskom power lines and houses at various points forced iSimangaliso management to temporarily close access to certain sections of the park in the interest of public safety. The electricity has since been restored, logs and debris removed, and other restorative maintenance work is ongoing to normalise the situation in the facility,” said iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority spokesperson Bheki Manzini.
“iSimangaliso would like to assure the public and visitors that it will work tirelessly to ensure the park is fully ready to welcome visitors before the festive season. The majority of the infrastructure repair work has been completed already.”
Manzini added that pre-emptive monitoring of the ecological impact as a result of the recent heavy rains is ongoing and includes the impact on the St Lucia Lake ecosystem and the estuary mouth which will remain open.
Recently, inclement weather in KZN resulted in the death of eight people. Initially, five people, including a 1-year-old, died following a structural collapse under heavy rains and strong winds in Mtubatuba. The death toll rose to six after the discovery of another person struck by lightning in the Mpofana Local Municipality under the uMgungundlovu District Municipality. Disaster management teams discovered two additional casualties as a result of lightning during severe thunderstorms and lightning strikes accompanied by heavy rainfall in KwaZulu-Natal.
A report indicated that nearly 1 000 households were assessed, with houses damaged, affecting over 4 000 people. In the health sector, seven health facilities, including two hospitals in eThekwini and Ladysmith, were also impacted. In education, the number of affected schools currently stands at 42, with 34, located in the uMkhanyakude District.
In agriculture, three farming projects, including two broilers and a piggery house, were damaged in Mtubatuba. Additionally, 350 hectares of crops have been affected in the Mtubatuba area.
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