Red Cross teams receive emergency shelter supplies in Beira, Mozambique, and prepare to distribute aid to Cyclone Idai survivors, March 19, 2019. File photo: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies via REUTERS

PRETORIA - The ANC in Gauteng on Wednesday expressed their "deepest condolences" at the loss of life, destruction of the physical infrastructure and the disruption of ordinary life for the people of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi who were hit by Tropical Cyclone Idai. 

"We send our prayers on the memory of the departed while we wish for eventual recovery for the injured," said ANC Gauteng provincial spokesperson Tasneem Motara.

"The ANC-led government has already issued formal condolences to the respective governments of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Further to that, as a gesture of our core guiding principle of "Ubuntu" and human rights solidarity, South Africa has marshalled its embassies in the three countries to assess the extent of the damage in order to facilitate South Africa’s full response to the tragic occurrence."

The South African government has also appealed to businesses, non-governmental organisations and individuals to make contributions to the ongoing massive relief efforts. 

"As South Africa’s most Afropolitan province, we have a special connection to this tragedy as ANC Gauteng. We urge and shall engage local churches to open doors to donations and host memorial services which South Africans or diasporic communities in South Africa might wish to attend," said Motara.

"Many South Africans in Gauteng share familial and comradely links with the people of Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe who all played their respective roles during the liberation struggle against apartheid. It is in times like these that we must remember those who stood by us when the dark cloud of apartheid stood over our heads in South Africa."

The ANC called on entities and individuals seeking to assist to contact the provincial structure or to visit their offices in Marshalltown, Johannesburg.

Grindrod South Africa meanwhile, on Wednesday announced it would be releasing the MV Border, a 14,357-ton deadweight container vessel, presently deployed within its Southern African sea-freight business Ocean Africa Container Lines, to perform a relief voyage from Maputo to Beira. 

The vessel is expected to arrive in Maputo in the early hours of Thursday, where it will load the much-needed relief cargo that is presently being consolidated by local authorities and humanitarian aid organisations and sail to Beira.

The vessel will thereafter sail to Durban to resume its normal service.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Mozambique. We pray for their safety and hope that you all come through this without any harm,” said Andrew Waller, CEO Grindrod Limited.

Mozambique was mourning for more than 200 victims of Idai, one of the most destructive storms southern Africa has experienced in decades. 

In neighboring Zimbabwe, state media said the death toll was above 100.

African News Agency (ANA)