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Msunduzi Municipality assures public of assistance following latest heavy downpour

Heavy rainfall in Pietermaritzburg over the weekend. Picture: Supplied.

Heavy rainfall in Pietermaritzburg over the weekend. Picture: Supplied.

Published May 24, 2022

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Msunduzi Municipality has appealed to affected communities to use the municipality’s hotline or approach their ward councillors in order to get swift assistance.

This is after the heavy rain over the weekend, which caused extensive damage to some parts of Pietermaritzburg, including Imbali and Azalea townships.

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According to the municipality, seven wards were severely affected by the weekend floods in Pietermaritzburg, with mudslides, soil erosion and power outages being some of the reported incidents.

The municipality said Disaster Management had operational staff on standby, while other arrangements were made with relief organisations to assist.

“The assessments carried out by the Msunduzi Municipality on the reported incidents through the call centre line and others were done via the ward councillors. Wards that were affected are Ward 31, 23, 40, 11, 30, 5 and 28, and all these wards had challenges of roof leaks or roof totally damaged; except for ward 30 in Northdale, where there is a house built next to the river and soil was eroding towards the house,” said municipal spokesperson Ntobeko Ngcobo.

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She added that the water unit has been on site attending to burst water pipes which affected the water supply in Azalea and portions of Willowfountain, Panorama, and Northdale, while a number of overflowing sewers were also experienced.

According to the municipality, while there had been blockages reported in the central business district, the disruption had been minimal owing to the municipality’s ongoing programme to clean and maintain storm water drains.

In a bid to provide interim relief, a number of temporary structures have been constructed in different wards as part of the relief following the disasters experienced last month, and the programme would continue until all the affected wards have been covered, the municipality said.

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“The municipality appeals to members of the public to avoid sharing false information being circulated on social media of incidents related to the rainfall as this causes unnecessary panic. Only verified information issued by the municipality or credible news sources should be trusted,” Ngcobo stressed.

She assured the public that members of the disaster management team would continue to respond to calls for help but appealed against any false alarms from the public.

“The municipality is appealing to the community to ensure that they report the incidents immediately to ensure that the officials can respond, do necessary assessment on the extent of the damage and provide relief. The members of the public are urged to report incidents to their respective Ward Councillors or Emergency Communication Centre; 0800 033 911, ” Ngcobo concluded.

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