State of disaster declared in KZN after violent civil unrest

Provincial government estimates cost of damages and relief to be R1.58bn

29 July 2021 - 17:52 By nomahlubi sonjica
The Camps Drift Park mall in Pietermaritzburg was among those razed to the ground in recent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. File photo.
The Camps Drift Park mall in Pietermaritzburg was among those razed to the ground in recent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. File photo.
Image: Sibonelo Zungu/Reuters

The KwaZulu-Natal government has declared a state of disaster in the province due to the magnitude of the damage caused by the recent civil unrest.

This will not only allow the province to access national government relief, but also “support the reprioritisation of budgets to implement the repairs and recovery programmes”, the province said in a statement.

Premier Sihle Zikalala made the decision at a provincial council meeting on Wednesday, his office said on Thursday. The council was deliberating the recent unrest that gripped KZN and Gauteng.

It received a detailed progress report as most of organs of state had conducted their preliminary assessments to determine the magnitude of the damage and associated cost implications.

The estimated cost amounts to R1.58bn, the provincial government said, of which R47.7m was required by municipalities.

“The executive council noted that the financial implications for the damage and recovery costs were still not final. It was resolved that with the work done so far, the situation is beyond the provincial and municipal capacity to deal with the cost of public riots and unrest as reported,” the provincial government said.

“The executive council recommended to submit for classification to the national disaster management centre in terms of section 23(1)(b) of the Disaster Management Act.”

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