Durban - Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma was on Tuesday briefing the media on the National State of Disaster in KwaZulu-Natal in the wake of devastating floods.
The mop-up and search and rescue operations continued throughout the long weekend after the worst floods recorded in KwaZulu-Natal in history. The floods also affected parts of Eastern Cape.
On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national state of disaster.
Ramaphosa said the natural disaster which completely destroyed 4000 homes in the province and killed over 400 had implications beyond KZN.
The flooding had disrupted fuel lines and food supplies.
Last week a provincial state of disaster was declared in KZN but this was inadequate.
The damage to the Port of Durban had far-reaching consequences and did not just affect KZN and that is why Cabinet decided to declare a national state of disaster, Ramaphosa said.
He said the national state of disaster enables the mobilisation of more resources, capabilities and technical expertise to provide relief, as well as aid in the recovery and rehabilitation to affected areas.
“But it further gives more meaning to our work as an integrated government where the district development model is put fully inaction where the national government, provincial government and local government work together to address the type of challenges that we now have,” Ramaphosa said.
He said the response to the disaster would happen in three phases.
“First, we will focus on the immediate humanitarian relief ensuring that all affected persons are safe and that their basic needs are met. Second, we will focus on stabilisation and recovery. rehousing people who have lost homes and restoring provision of services,” Ramaphosa said.
“And thirdly, will focus on reconstruction and rebuilding as many areas as destroyed and devastated including infrastructure. This will not only involve the construction and repair of major infrastructure.”