Several households in Durban sustained damages caused by strong winds and heavy rains last week. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - Returning those affected by last week's floods in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape to their homes was a priority for the national disaster management centre (NDMC), Cogta minister Zweli Mkhize said on Monday. 

The cooperative governance and traditional affairs department is leading the coordination of the post disaster management work being done by the NDMC.  

"Ministers involved in the management of the devastating flood disaster that befell parts of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape are discussing different means to expedite the rescue and rehabilitation of affected communities and return to normality for the affected communities," said Mkhize via an emailed statement. 
He said returning families to their homes must be prioritised, as must the mobilisation of additional support from business and civil society to help rehabilitate homes. This was in addition to what government was planning to undertake. 

The provision of food relief, clothes, blankets and alternative accommodation must be coordinated, said Mkhize, and the clearing of debris and rubble in public spaces and roadways needed to be undertaken urgently.

"Access to schools, clinics, hospitals, commercial and economic centres must be ensured. Schooling is still disturbed in some communities as a result of rivers still overflowing or broken bridges and this must be urgently looked into so that children can return to school," said Mkhize, adding that some of the schools had been designated as voting areas for the country's upcoming national and provincial elections. 

Continuous support and counselling for affected families must be ensured, especially those who had lost their loved ones, he said. 

African News Agency (ANA)