Durban - International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu had to call the L section community of Umlazi to order after some residents were seen fighting over t-shirts.
Sisulu led a government delegation to two disaster sites in Umlazi, where she was accompanied by Cooperative Governance MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube, Social Development MEC Weziwe Thusi and eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede.
It is unclear who had handed out the t-shirts, but as Sisulu emerged from one of the affected houses, a group of about 10 people was seen tussling over the t-shirts.
This angry community is the same one which had blockade roads and burnt tyres on Thursday night as they decried the lack of assistance following the storm.
“We will give the t-shirts to the Councillor to give to you, we cannot give you t-shirts now because we are here as the government, we don't want people to say we are campaigning while on government business. We will be back here and we will keep working with you,” she said.
A group of Somalian business donated food and blankets to the L section community. Sisulu announced this to the community on the streets of L section’s Mugabe Road where a sizable crowd had emerged.
Meanwhile, eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede slammed the use of burning and blocking roads.
She said residents had to be patient.
“The damage here was terrible, the roads were affected and people's houses have been destroyed. We can see that this area we cannot build here, we will need land, but the good thing is that as eThekwini we are buying land and we will be able to build for the people in good land,” she said.
Gumede said the floods were natural disasters and could not be blamed on anyone and slammed opportunists for their conduct.
“The community must be patient and unite so we can all deal with this constructively,” she said.
At H section, where five houses collapsed and where one of them was filmed collapsing in a viral video, the government delegation got to hear firsthand how people had lost everything in the storm.
Sisulu said she was shattered.
She thanked the community for rallying around one another and providing assistance in the search for the body of Mnotho Mlotshwa, who was a 10-year-old boy who was trapped beneath the rubble.
Lin Songtian, the Chinese ambassador to South Africa, provided food, blankets and clothes. He said the Chinese government was with the people of South Africa at their time of need.
“We are happy that we can offer the hand timeously within 24 hours. We hope tomorrow that the clothes, the food, will come to the people who need it,” he said.
The items were expected to arrive on Saturday.