KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka has called on residents to exercise extreme caution especially in areas prone to weather-related disasters. Picture: Supplied
KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka has called on residents to exercise extreme caution especially in areas prone to weather-related disasters. Picture: Supplied

KZN residents urged to be on alert as thunderstorms forecast

By Sibusiso Mboto Time of article published Oct 23, 2021

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DURBAN - KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka called on residents to exercise caution in areas prone to weather-related disasters.

He made the appeal last week when he launched the Summer Season Disaster Awareness Campaign in the district at the Morningside Sports Ground, Ixopo.

Hlomuka’s warning came as the South African Weather Service issued an alert on Saturday.

It said severe thunderstorms had been forecast for the north-eastern parts of KZN from this afternoon (Saturday) into evening.

It said the storms may result in localised damage to infrastructure, settlements, vehicles and cause harm to livestock.

Last week, Hlomuka, who officially opened the multi-million rand Fire and Rescue Centre in the Harry Gwala District Municipality, said the district was prone to disasters such as runaway veld fires, thunderstorms with lightning, hailstorms and heavy rains resulting in flooding.

The MEC indicated that his department would continue to invest millions of rand in improving the ability of municipalities to respond to disasters with specialised centres and equipment.

“When we build municipal capacity to respond to disasters, we are also making our areas attractive to investors and improving the safety of communities," said Hlomuka.

Harry Gwala District Municipality mayor Zamo Nxumalo said the opening of the state of the art fire station marks an important milestone in the efforts to ensure the safety of residents in the district.

“Should any incident strike, we know that assistance will arrive very fast. As we start the summer season, we are ready to face disasters," Nxumalo added.

Victims of recent disasters, who are mostly from the Ofafa area, received assistance in the form of groceries and other household items.

Babongile Mthembu’s son, Nhlanzeko, 9, died when he was struck by lightning last month. She expressed her gratitude for the assistance from the government.

Aside from the groceries, a lightning conductor was also installed near her home. She added that having a fire station nearby would be of great help to the community.

THE MERCURY

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