Durban – President Cyril Ramaphosa is on his way to KwaZulu-Natal - if he has not arrived already.
This morning, the provincial government’s spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said the first meeting point with the president would be at Pinetown Civic Centre by 9am.
“The president will first receive a briefing from the premier (Sihle Zikalala) which I anticipate to be a closed session and then there will be visits to affected areas,” Mabaso said.
On Tuesday, the presidency announced that Ramaphosa would visit flood-stricken parts of KZN today, to offer support to affected communities and assess the response of government and civil society to this critical situation.
It said that as the president prepared for this visit, his thoughts were with families who had lost loved ones, people who have been injured and individuals, businesses and organisations who have lost property.
“This is a tragic toll of the force of nature and this situation calls for an effective response by government in partnership with communities,” Ramaphosa said.
“This situation calls on us to come together as a nation and offer assistance to those who desperately need our care and support.”
The presidency said Ramaphosa’s visit followed meetings this evening of the National Disaster Management Centre and the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Disaster Management. The National Disaster Management Centre is established in terms of the Disaster Management Act to co-ordinate integrated responses to disasters by all spheres of government, the private sector and civil society.
The president is expected to travel to eThekwini this morning and will visit a number of areas that have been severely impacted by persistent, heavy downpours in recent days which have claimed lives, infrastructure and various assets.
The president’s tour will commence at about 10.30am with a briefing to the president by premier Sihle Zikalala, eThekwini Municipality mayor Mxolisi Kaunda and officials on the extent of flood damage and the response by government entities.
Ramaphosa will be accompanied by Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Police Minister Bheki Cele.