President Ramaphosa jets to flood-hit KZN as death toll rises

24 April 2019 - 07:20 By TIMESLIVE
Plastic pollution at Durban Harbour after torrential rains.
Plastic pollution at Durban Harbour after torrential rains.
Image: Gary Gould via Facebook

President Cyril Ramaphosa has flown to KwaZulu-Natal on his return from Egypt to assess flood damage and review the rescue operations underway in the ravaged province.

"Arrived back home and flew straight to KwaZulu-Natal to assess the damage caused by the floods and review the recovery efforts," the president tweeted early on Wednesday morning.

"Our thoughts are with the affected communities in KZN and Eastern Cape. I urge those living in the affected areas to take extra caution in this period."

Ramaphosa had been in Cairo on Tuesday, attending summits on Sudan and Libya.

The death toll from torrential rains that ravaged KwaZulu-Natal since Monday night stands at 51, as at 9.30am on Wednesday.

Rescue efforts are also under way in Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape. The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) arrived in the coastal town on Tuesday to help rescue and evacuate hundreds of residents left homeless by torrential rains.

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa praised Ramaphosa for taking action to help residents in the Eastern Cape.

Meanwhile, in Durban Harbour and its beaches, tons of plastic are being washed into the sea as litter is fed through the city's storm water drains, according to environmentalists and residents.

Thula Thula Conservation! This is what we are doing to our planet! Picture of the Durban Harbour after the floods yesterday - tons of plastic washed into the sea!

Posted by Thula Thula Rhino Fund on Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Queensburgh, south of Durban, was hard hit by floods on April 22 2019 and left seven people dead after structures collapsed in the area. TimesLIVE journalist Orrin Singh reports from the ground.