Heavy rains caused flooding, claiming many lives and damaging roads and property in Durban in April. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) on Friday assured the public that the province would be able to conduct national elections on May 8 despite recent devastating floods.

Heavy rains and severe flooding claimed 71 lives across the province and damaged access roads to some voting stations, while scores of people lost their identity documents.

KZN member of the executive council for Cogta Nomusa Dube-Ncube said her department continued to coordinate and oversee relief efforts and was confident it could attend to all challenges before the elections.

"We assure voters that they can come to voting stations and be guaranteed that they will be safe and that all infrastructure will be operational even if it means making temporary arrangements," she said.

"We are aware of the concerns in the eThekwini municipality and elsewhere but we are resolving all challenges and come election time, it will be all systems go."

Dube-Ncube said her department was working with affected municipalities and the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) to address the damage and the issue of lost identity documents (IDs).

The municipalities were rehabilitating damaged access roads, either on their own or with assistance from the department of transport. 

"The department of home affairs is assisting with the issuing of temporary IDs to all affected individuals," Dube-Ncube said.

"Municipalities were asked to assist financially all those who cannot afford the application fee for a temporary ID certificate and home affairs has been asked to waive the R70 application fee for this document."

African News Agency (ANA)