KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala says repair work in storm-ravaged areas will cost around R3.3bn. He is hoping parts of the province will be declared a State of Disaster. Picture: Gcina Ndwalane.
KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala says repair work in storm-ravaged areas will cost around R3.3bn. He is hoping parts of the province will be declared a State of Disaster. Picture: Gcina Ndwalane.

Zikalala calls for declaration of State of Disaster in KZN following recent storm damage which will cost R3.3bn to repair

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Jan 14, 2022

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Durban - KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Sihle Zikalala, has called for storm affected parts of the province to be declared disaster areas, adding that about R3 billion is needed to repair the damage.

At a special meeting of the Provincial Executive Council on Friday, he called for a State of Disaster to be declared in the areas worst affected by the storms.

"The Disaster Management Sub-Committee reported that the recent storms damaged homes, schools, roads and other critical infrastructure. Incidents logged over the festive season, notes 205 incidents of strong winds, lightning, structural fires, heavy rains, hailstorm, structural collapse including 16 drownings in KwaZulu-Natal," he said.

A total of 2068 homes were affected, leaving 10 972 people scrambling for cover while 773 homes were destroyed and 2095 partially destroyed.

The Premier said at least 25 people lost their lives as a result of lightning and drowning incidents and one person was still missing.

"The report estimates that it will cost R3 312 538 805 to repair the damage, and to return the situation to normal. To source funds and to address this crisis, KwaZulu-Natal has called on national government to declare the province a national disaster.

“This will allow access to emergency funds but also empower the province to reallocate existing budgets and grants to address urgent needs," Zikalala said.

He explained that the province will request national government to declare a Provincial State of Disaster in terms of Section 41 of the Disaster Management Act.

"The State of Disaster will allow for the mobilisation of financial resources from the national sphere of government and support the re-prioritisation and reallocation of budgets and grants to repair and recover from the disaster.

The declaration will also allow access to additional, post disaster recovery grants available to implement the repairs and recovery programmes," he added.

Disaster has been experienced province-wide, with the following areas witnessing major damage: uMgungundlovu District (Umgeni, Msunduzi and Mshwathi Municipalities), King Cetshwayo District (uMlalazi, Umthonjaneni, and City of uMhlathuze Municipalities), Ilembe District (Mandeni, Maphumulo and Ndwedwe Municipalities), Umkhanyakude District (Jozini and Mtubatuba Municipalities), and Zululand District (Abaqulusi, Ulundi and Nongoma Municipalities).

Zikalala and various MEC’s and Mayors have been criss-crossing the affected areas in the province to inspect the damage and work with disaster management officials in providing immediate responses to all families that have been affected by the disaster incidents.

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