The boarding establishment at Umlazi Comtech was destroyed by the storm. Picture: Karinda Jagmohan

DURBAN - MORE than 40 schools were damaged by Tuesday’s heavy rains in KwaZulu-Natal, the provincial government confirmed.

This takes the number of schools damaged by inclement weather to just under 400 schools in the province as more than 350 others have been damaged in the past two months.

As the heavy rain swept through the province on Tuesday, killing at least 11 people, it also caused damage to 42 schools around the province.

Read also: 11 confirmed dead in Durban storm

The hardest hit region as per KZN Department of Education districts, was the Umlazi District, which covers the south, east and central Durban. A total of 24 schools was damaged in the Umlazi District.

In the Ugu District in the South Coast, 12 schools were damaged, while in the King Cetshwayo District (Richards Bay), 4 schools were damaged.

  Damaged school hall at the Umlazi Comtech school. Picture: Karinda Jagmohan 

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In the Pinetown District, which covers parts of the Outer West and Northern Durban, and Umgungundlovu District, in Pietermaritzburg, one school each were damaged in those regions.

The Department of Education said more schools could be affected as the Zululand, Uthukela and Ilembe districts had not yet submitted damage reports to the department. 

One of the affected 42 schools was the Umlazi Comtech school, where single bed mattresses lay on the lawns to dry in the midday sun as a delegation of provincial government politicians arrived at the school on Wednesday.

The politicians, which included Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo, acting Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Weziwe Thusi, Human Settlements and Public Works MEC Ravi Pillay, had been on a walkabout of the school assessing damage.

Read also: Lessons after Durban storm

After walking through muddy halls and assessing damaged roofs with officials, Umlazi Comtech’s deputy principal Thembinkosi Nzama said in the midst of the raging storm on Tuesday, teachers had to race for cover to ensure pupils were safe. 

The school, which has an intake of over 1 700 pupils from Grades 8 to 12, has more problems to worry about. The school hall, where the 350 matric pupils are set to write final exams, was flooded on Tuesday.

SUNDAY TRIBUNE