A road between Qhaka and Mthatha, Eastern Cape is virtually cut off after mudslides during heavy rains and flooding. A 12-year-old girl drowned following flooding at KwaBhaca (formerly Mount Frere). Picture: Supplied

Port Elizabeth - The Eastern Cape government has confirmed that a total of 11 people died while two people remain missing as a result of the recent flooding in the province. 

Provincial government spokesperson, Sonwabo Mbananga, said the Office of the Premier had set up a Joint Operations Centre to coordinate disaster relief efforts in the province, following the floods which devastated Alfred Nzo, OR Tambo and Joe Gqabi District Municipalities. 

He said the provincial government is also working with relevant government departments as well as affected municipalities in coordinating the costing of the post-disaster reconstruction effort. 

The Eastern Cape Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) had also confirmed that 70 voting stations had been affected by the floods, including schools and pre-schools. 

Mbananga said early assessments of the damage caused to infrastructure, which have been possible only following the receding of water levels in flooded towns and villages, have revealed collapsed bridges and damaged roads in some parts. 

The provincial government is currently preparing an urgent report for national government for the consideration of declaring disaster-stricken, affected regions. 

"Among the priorities is to urgently render the 70 affected voting stations open and ready for the 8 May 2019 Parliamentary and Provincial Elections, including the repairs to bridges and walkways with the assistance of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) in this regard." 

Mbananga said in Mbizana in the Alfred Nzo District, 11 bridges and five access roads were affected, with three bridges in Ntabankulu also affected.

Three houses in Ntabankulu in wards 7, 10 and 15 were damaged while in Matatiele 51 houses in ward 26 were damaged, with 6 people left homeless in Cedarville. 

He said that 1091 people in Port St Johns including those from Green Farm who were evacuated, have since returned to their homes. 

In Ingquza Hill four families who were evacuated following the collapse of their homes are still being accommodated by neighbours. The Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) will be deploying two mobile trucks to Alfred Nzo and OR Tambo Districts to help expedite the issuing of Identity Documents to citizens who lost their IDs and Birth Certificates. 

The Provincial Department of Health reported that two clinics were damaged, namely the newly constructed Sakhela Clinic in the King Sabata Dalindyebo Local Municipality which suffered structural damage. The Flagstaff Clinic in the Ingquza Hill Local Municipality also suffered damage. 

The process of clearing the debris on the affected roads has commenced through the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) from the Provincial Department of Transport. The R61 has been cleared. 

African News Agency/ANA