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18 learners and one teacher die in heavy rains and flooding in KZN

A petrol tanker was swept into the sea in Durban after heavy rain caused flooding in KwaZulu-Natal. Some residents had to leave their homes and others were trapped. Picture: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency (ANA)

A petrol tanker was swept into the sea in Durban after heavy rain caused flooding in KwaZulu-Natal. Some residents had to leave their homes and others were trapped. Picture: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency (ANA)

Published Apr 14, 2022

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Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga has expressed her sympathy to all the families who have lost loved ones in the heavy rains in KwaZulu-Natal.

Motshekga said that by Wednesday afternoon 18 learners and one teacher had died.

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“We are saddened that so many lives have been lost and we would like to express our deepest condolences to all affected families and relatives. It is such a tragic loss and our prayers go out to those who have lost their family members and those who lost their belongings,” said Motshekga.

The latest reports indicate that 306 people have lost their lives in the widespread floods in the province.

The floods have forced the Department of Education in the province to close schools until next week as more than 248 have been reported to be damaged.

“This is a catastrophe and the damage is unprecedented. What is even more worrying is that more rain is expected in the same areas that are already affected,” Motshekga said.

Recent storms in KZN had already caused extensive damage to more than 200 schools. KZN Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu said there were now more than 500 schools that required urgent attention.

The national Department of Basic Education said it had sent a team of senior managers to support the KZN Education Department in conducting an assessment of the damage. The minister would visit the province soon.

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The national department said it would collaborate with the Department of Education in KZN and with other departments and stakeholders to help affected families.

The province has now been declared a disaster area.

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