A learner has been killed by a lightning strike in the town of Dannhauser, KwaZulu-Natal.
The Grade 3 learner and two others were walking home from their Mandlamasha Primary School, in Dannhauser, during a thunderstorm when lightning struck the ground.
The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) said the child died at the scene, while the other two learners were rushed to hospital where they are recovering.
"It is deeply sad that such a young person has left us in a tragic manner. We express our deepest condolences to the family and we wish a speedy recovery to the other two learners that are in hospital. Our disaster team will reach out to the families as per our normal procedure to assist families affected by such incidents," said Cogta MEC Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi.
She said severe thunderstorms, gale force winds and lightning wreaked havoc in Dannhauser, Estcourt, Vryheid and Ulundi.
Sithole-Moloi said several homes were damaged when roofs blew off.
"Our initial reports suggest that the most affected areas were Wembezi in Estcourt, under the Inkosi Langalibalele Local Municipality, which was damaged by thunderstorm and strong winds; Nhlazatshe in Ulundi, damaged by strong winds and Ozwathini and Mhlongo farm under Abaqulusi Local Municipality, which were damaged by the hailstorm," she said.
Disaster management teams are working to assist those left devastated by Monday's inclement weather.
"We have coordinated with other departments to come to the aid of affected families. Some families have lost their valuables such as furniture and important documents and medications. We are engaging with the Department of Health, Home Affairs, and the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to assist with the replacement of important documents and medication," the MEC said.