Durban – Premier Sihle Zikalala said the needs identified in KwaZulu-Natal were enormous and that billions of rand would be required to rebuild the province.
Zikalala was speaking during a briefing on the interventions made to date since the catastrophic floods swept through the province.
This comes after a state of disaster was declared in the province last week following a visit by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Zikalala said the provincial government had resolved during a meeting on Sunday morning that a request be made for the situation to be declared a national disaster.
“The provincial government resolved to ask the national government to consider a review and perhaps investigate whether this disaster should not be declared as a national disaster,” he said.
He said the resolution was made with an understanding that the president and various ministers have been on the ground surveying the damage and have witnessed the level of response required.
“We remain grateful for the speed with which the state of provincial disaster was declared and we can assure the nation that we are doing our best,” said Zikalala.
On the cost of the overall damage, Zikalala said the government was surveying and quantifying the damage.
“We want to be scientific and not alarmists about it and to ensure that we have covered all sectors affected,” he said.
The premier also welcomed the support that KZN had received from other provinces.
“We have welcomed support from sister provinces. We are truly appreciative of this humanitarian assistance,” he said.
The Western Cape government led by Premier Alan Winde has deployed disaster managers, fire and rescue workers and engineers.
Free State provided a roads engineer, director of construction, rescue workers, structural engineers and staff from the Department of Health.
According to Zikalala, more teams from other provinces would arrive on Monday.
“The SAPS has also deployed a contingent of personnel to ensure safety and apprehend and thwart criminal elements that may attempt to use the tragedy to pursue criminal activities,” he said.