Durban - Torrential rain across KwaZulu-Natal since Sunday night has led to damaged roads, bridges and flooded homes.
The KZN Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Department yesterday said disaster management teams, in collaboration with the Joint Operation Cluster involving all municipalities and law-enforcement agencies, had swiftly responded to reported damage.
“Families whose homes were damaged and submerged in water have been successfully evacuated. Preliminary reports indicate that in the uBuhlebezwe Local Municipality, in the Harry Gwala District, two houses were destroyed due to heavy rains, while another two sustained partial damages.
“No injuries or fatalities were reported. The affected families have chosen to stay with relatives.”
In eThekwini, two houses in KwaMashu were flooded and another in Molweni was damaged by a fallen tree.
“Several roads have been damaged and have been closed to ensure safety; part of the Huletts Bridge collapsed on the old South Coast Road. A boundary wall at Botanic Gardens on John Zikhali Road in Morningside collapsed, resulting in parts of the road becoming unstable. Traffic enforcement officers have deemed the road unsafe for use.”
KZN Cogta MEC Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi said disaster teams were maintaining a heightened state of readiness as they continued to monitor the rains in the northern parts of the province.
“The rains are still ongoing in the northern part of the province, where a level 6 alert has been issued by the South African Weather Services. Our disaster teams have been activated and will respond promptly. We also want to commend residents for heeding the warnings that have been issued. The risk has not subsided; we urge them to exercise caution continuously.
“We appeal to motorists to follow instructions from traffic officers, as some roads have had to be temporarily closed. All our municipalities are prepared, and residents in low-lying areas are advised to move to safer places if necessary. Public facilities such as halls, churches and schools will serve as safe havens should the situation deteriorate,” she stated.
Remona Mckenzie, Greyville ward councillor, said a burst pipe under a manhole had led to the collapse of a road and part of a property where the eThekwini mechanical services workshop is.
Juan van Dyk, from the Montclair Community Policing Forum, said he had received a call from community members about the bridge on South Coast Road. He said he was told by engineers that the rain had washed away supporting material, leading to the damage.
The Department of Education has issued guidelines for school management in the event of flooding.
It said while there had not been any reports of damage to schools, it was imperative that principals adhered to specific guidelines regarding extreme rainfall, wind or any natural disaster.
“Principals need to always communicate with parents and learners to ensure that they take extra caution before sending their children to school.”