Johannesburg/Pretoria - The South African National Defence Force says it is preparing to assist in relief efforts following the devastating KZN floods.
Reports indicate at least 45 people have lost their lives so far as the heavy rains continue to cause damage to the coastal city.
Unprecedented rainfall of between 180mm and 310mm was also recorded in parts of the city as authorities now urge parents not to send pupils to school as the heavens continue to pour, leaving a trail of destruction across the city.
In a brief statement, the SANDF said the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (PROVJOINTS) was currently responsible for the co-ordination of all efforts towards the aid with the floods in the KZN.
“The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) as part of the PROVJOINTS, is preparing to assist in these efforts,” the SANDF said.
The floods in Durban have caused massive damage to infrastructure, crushing homes, destroying roads and sinking vehicles.
EThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said on Tuesday that at least 45 people have lost their lives so far as a result of the heavy rains which were expected to continue overnight in KZN and parts of the Eastern Cape.
The KZN Education Department said on Tuesday that schools should suspend teaching and learning due to the heavy rains.
“Attention to all school principals and school governing bodies. Due to inclement weather conditions, the Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal advises teachers, parents and caregivers to use their discretion whether or not to send their children to school tomorrow, being the 13 of April, 2022.
“The department will monitor weather patterns and give further advice in this regard,” the department’s Muzi Mahlambi said in a notice.
He said the department was making the call to avoid the loss of life of pupils and teachers in the province. The department said it would provide a similar update on Wednesday to parents.
The opposition party, the DA, has called on the government to declare the province of KwaZulu-Natal a disaster zone, arguing that municipalities had limited resources and disaster management were not up to the challenge.
“Given the current conditions, the DA urges the premier to recommend to the national disaster centre that KZN be declared a disaster zone,” the DA’s Martin Meyer said earlier.
The South African Weather Service has issued a Level 9 for heavy rain in the province, calling on the public to be alert.