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KZN FLOOD WRAP | Damage likely to result in drinking water shortage

13 April 2022 - 07:10 By TimesLIVE
Debris washed up on a beach in Durban during the KwaZulu-Natal floods.
Debris washed up on a beach in Durban during the KwaZulu-Natal floods.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

April 13 2022 - 18:16

WATCH | KZN community blocks off highway, accusing Ramaphosa of ignoring them

President Cyril Ramaphosa's visit to flood-ravaged parts of eThekwini was overshadowed by hundreds of angry Bhambayi residents closing off the M25 highway in Inanda, north of Durban, with burning tyres and debris on Wednesday afternoon.

Community leader Mdu Hadebe, 37, claimed the community was aggrieved that no one had responded to their calls for help as three families were washed away during the recent floods.

April 13 2022 - 18:06

'Catastrophe of enormous proportions' — Ramaphosa plans to declare KZN a disaster area

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the death and devastation after torrential rains that caused roads and bridges to collapse, swept away homes and caused fatal mudslides is a “catastrophe”. 

Speaking at Bhekisisa High School in Ntuzuma on Wednesday, Ramaphosa said he had spoken to the finance minister to arrange financial aid for the province. 

“This is a catastrophe of enormous proportions and we need to act with haste to assist affected communities. We are working to gazette declaring KZN a provincial state of disaster so we can do things quickly,” he said. 

April 13 2022 - 17:41

Residents living downstream of dams warned to be vigilant as sluice gates are opened

The department of water & sanitation said after the devastation caused by rain in KwaZulu-Natal, a decision was also reached for Umgeni Water to release water from the Hazelmere Dam, to the north of Durban.

“We continue to call on communities to steer clear of the dam as the outflow continues to surge. We will continue to monitor the situation and update the public as and when the information comes,” spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said.

The department refuted news that Shongweni Dam, west of Pinetown, in KwaZulu-Natal, had collapsed.

April 13 2022 - 17:39

Gift of the Givers in KZN seeks help to retrieve body trapped under rubble since Monday

Gift of the Givers on Wednesday said it was assisting in efforts to retrieve the body of woman who was buried under a collapsed wall in Durban North.

Taking to its social media accounts, the disaster response NGO said the body had been trapped under the rubble since Monday.

“We are urgently looking for a [Bobcat] to excavate a deceased individual who passed on in Durban North when the wall of the house collapsed. Search and rescue teams have been battling since Monday night to retrieve the body,” said group founder Imtiaz Sooliman.

April 13 2022 - 16:45

Lack of mortuary vans sees KZN police transport bodies as flood death toll tops 250

The official death toll from the floods that have devastated KwaZulu-Natal is likely to exceed 253, as police help transport the bodies of victims in the face of limited mortuary vans.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is visiting flood-ravaged areas in greater Durban will make an official announcement after his inspection and meetings with victims' families on Wednesday.

KwaZulu-Natal police chief Lt-Gen Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi told reporters the number of deaths is “way more” than what is being reported by the media.

April 13 2022 - 15:45

Sharks vs Bulls Currie Cup match cancelled due to KZN floods

The Currie Cup fixture between the Sharks and Bulls on Saturday has been cancelled due to the floods in KwaZulu-Natal, SA Rugby has confirmed.

April 13 2022 - 15:35

KwaZulu-Natal's overnight flood death toll exceeded 200 — report

KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Nomagugu Simelane said on Wednesday at least 253 bodies were in mortuaries overnight after the floods which have devastated parts of the province.

“The biggest worry is the number of bodies that we are finding. As you correctly indicated, our mortuaries are a bit under pressure, however we are coping,” Simelane told eNCA.

“As of late last night, we had received something close to 253 bodies in our two different mortuaries in eThekwini. We are talking about Phoenix and Pinetown.”

April 13 2022 - 15:18

Eastern Cape communities forced to abandon their homes due to flooding

Rescue teams are aiding communities forced to abandon their homes on Tuesday night because of floods in the OR Tambo district municipality in the Eastern Cape.

Port St Johns, Greens Farm and some parts of Nyandeni local municipality, King Sabata Dalindyebo local municipality and Ingquza Hill local municipality were the worst affected.

OR Tambo district municipality spokesperson Zimkhita Macingwane said: “We’ve also received reports that various roads are impassable and we urge members of the community to be extra cautious during this period so they don’t take the risk of crossing flooding rivers and streams.”

April 13 2022 - 15:16

Flood-hit Toyota halts production at its Durban plant

Toyota SA has suspended operations at its Prospecton plant, south of Durban, after it became waterlogged during the heavy rain that battered KwaZulu-Natal.

The area, which is home to several industries, was hard hit by the rain.

“We can confirm that plant operations have been halted,” said Mzo Witbooi, the company's spokesperson.

April 13 2022 - 14:27

POLL | Have the floods changed your Easter holiday plans?

At a time when many people would be planning to head to the coast for the Easter break, KwaZulu-Natal has been devastated by flooding that destroyed homes and infrastructure and killed dozens of people.

Torrential rain and landslides have hit the area since Sunday night, displacing hundreds. Relief and rebuild efforts (to which you can contribute here) have been under way since.

The disaster may have an effect on local tourism with the Easter holidays among the busiest in the province. However, KwaZulu-Natal chairperson of the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa, Brett Tungay, told TimesLIVE hotels, lodges and guest houses are still expected to be busy.

April 13 2022 - 14:20

WATCH | Ramaphosa hears first-hand accounts of losses, missing family members in KZN floods

Residents of New Germany in eThekwini were among the first to be visited by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday when he headed to sites hard-hit by flooding.

The area, which borders a river, has seen several homes destroyed. Ramaphosa visited the home of the Gwala family, who lost a member in the flooding. 

Mabel Gwala, 69, was washed away on Monday and has not been seen since.

April 13 2022 - 14:00

WATCH | Hunt for 5 crocodiles washed away from KZN farm during floods

Crocodiles on a farm near Tongaat, north of Durban, were washed away during the devastating floods that hit KwaZulu-Natal.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife spokesperson Musa Mntambo told TimesLIVE on Wednesday 12 crocodiles had been washed away from the Crocodile Creek Farm between Tongaat and Ballito.

According to its website the Crocodile Creek Farm has “roughly 6,000 Nile crocodiles, slender-snouted crocodiles, West African dwarf crocodiles, American alligators, deadly mambas and a wide array of snakes, tortoises, rabbits and wild monkeys”.

April 13 2022 - 13:51

Statement from Road Freight Association CEO Gavin Kelly

Authorities in KwaZulu-Natal have requested that, where possible, all freight movements (trucks) towards the Port of Durban are suspended/withheld until the situation at the port has improved.

There are already long queues of trucks along the N3. The Marianhill plaza has a backlog of 10km all the way to Hammarsdale and the problem is that (according to the road traffic inspectorate) the local communities are now targeting the trucks (eg. looting).

Access roads around the port have been damaged, container yards, truck depots and trucks themselves have been flooded and damaged and the area is really a disaster at the moment.

Logistics operations will be impacted: there will be delivery disruptions for goods being imported. The Association has advised members to delay any departures towards Durban, and to find depots and safe parking areas along the way.

Where possible, Members have been requested to assist one another to get any vehicles off the road and to secure holding areas until the logistics chain is up and running again.

No foreseeable shortages in foodstuffs and fuel are expected.

April 13 2022 - 13:48

Ramaphosa accompanied by Gumede, Zikalala, Kaunda and Pillay

April 13 2022 - 13:44

Restoration of MTN sites in KwaZulu-Natal under way 

The MTN Foundation is preparing R250,000 worth of food parcels and blankets for those impacted by the floods in KZN 

In the aftermath of the floods, repairs to over 500 MTN sites have begun but remains a challenging task. Overnight MTN technicians were able to restore 28 sites in KZN, however, access to sites that have now been declared a disaster are preventing repair work from continuing. 

“The situation on the ground is devastating and we are finding that as sites are being restored new sites are becoming affected. We can confirm that much of Ballito is now back up and running as our technicians were able to access the affected sites. However, many other sites remain inaccessible and dangerous,” explains MTN SA’s executive for corporate affairs, Jacqui O’Sullivan. 

“Technicians attempted fibre repairs in Scottburgh and Umlazi last night but disaster management officials and the SAPS had to stop activities as a road and bridge in the affected areas became dangerously unstable. The teams are back there this morning for another attempt at the repairs.” 

Currently, more than 370 sites are affected by the floods, while load-shedding remains a concern, as batteries need 12-16 hours to recharge which is not always possible in these current conditions. MTN has every possible internal and partner resource deployed to restore services. 

“We know this is a time of great anxiety and frustration, as friends and families worry for the safety of their loved ones. The MTN Foundation, as part of our ongoing Y’ello Hope initiative, is currently preparing R250,000 worth of food parcels and blankets to send to the affected region, to help those most in need.  

The restoring of connectivity is our priority, and we will keep our customers updated via social media, radio and TV, as services are restored,” says O’Sullivan.

April 13 2022 - 13:39

Netcare’s major incident response team deployed in KZN

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of KwaZulu-Natal during this extremely difficult time that has seen lives lost, people injured and extensive damage to property leaving many people without a roof over their heads amidst unusually heavy rainfall and floods,” said Mande Toubkin, general manager emergency, trauma, transplant and CSI at Netcare.

“We would like the people of KZN to know that, as always, we are here to support them through this crisis and that we will continue to do the very best we can while ensuring their safety and that of our frontline heroes.

“The closure of major roads in certain parts of Durban and surrounding areas due to flooding has unfortunately resulted in certain of our hospitals, Netcare Medicross and Netcare Prime Cure facilities becoming inaccessible, which at times has led to logistical difficulties with the transfer of patients and supplies.”

Toubkin noted that Netcare 911’s emergency medical teams, as well as its helicopter emergency medical service, were helping to manage the difficult situation on the ground.

“Extensive contingency measures have been implemented within Netcare Group facilities and, where needed, have been implemented to provide individuals in need of medical assistance with the best and safest care possible.

“Like many other businesses, we have experienced some temporary challenges due to staff shortages as a result of some staff members not being able to reach their place of work, however Netcare’s hospitals remain open throughout KwaZulu-Natal. We have treated a number of people for conditions such as hypothermia and other injuries related to the flooding.”

Toubkin confirmed that Netcare currently has sufficient oxygen, medicines, food and water and is continuing to monitor supplies to ensure that the health of patients is in no way compromised.

According to Salome Liebenberg, general manager operations at Medicross, a few Netcare Medicross and PrimeCure Medical and Dental Centres in KZN were closed on Tuesday, but all have re-opened today with the exception of PrimeCure Bluff, where severe damage was experienced to the property.

Toubkin said staff within all Netcare operations are fully trained in the effective implementation of a major incident plan.

“With the full support and cooperation of a well-prepared team, an entire evacuation procedure can be undertaken swiftly and in an orderly manner should it be necessary. We wish to thank Netcare 911 staff and management for their fantastic support and guidance throughout this challenging natural disaster.”

April 13 2022 - 13:34

LISTEN | eThekwini won’t be load-shed but unplanned system outages remain high: De Ruyter

Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter says the power utility has come to an arrangement with the eThekwini district leadership and has suspended load-shedding in the area.

He said Eskom is working tirelessly to bring load-shedding to an end.

The EFF and DA have been united in their calls for load-shedding to be suspended in KwaZulu-Natal while the province deals with devastating flooding.

April 13 2022 - 13:11

Expect rain at Easter and above average downpours inland for autumn and winter

SA is likely to experience above normal rainfall in the northeast and below normal rainfall in the southwest during late autumn and early winter.

That's according to a multimodel rainfall forecast by the SA Weather Service (Saws) on expected weather patterns between April and August.

“Temperatures are expected to be above normal for most of the country with the exception of minimum temperatures over the southern parts,” Saws said in its seasonal climate watch brief issued at the end of March.

April 13 2022 - 12:39

'Crocodiles on the loose' in Tongaat

April 13 2022 - 12:21

'I must go inside to see these people': Ramaphosa visits flood victims

April 13 2022 - 11:33

‘It’s painful to witness’: ‘The Wife’ star Linda Majola prays for flooded KZN

The Wife actor Linda Majola has expressed his heartbreak at the havoc wreaked floods in KwaZulu-Natal. Though he shared that his family was not badly affected during the floods, the actor said he wanted to be home to help his neighbours.

The heavy rain has resulted in school closures, damage to infrastructure, car accidents and deaths.

Taking to Twitter, the star who was born in a small community called Bonela in eThekwini shared how he had been in touch with his grandmother, who assured him they were not harmed.

April 13 2022 - 10:59

Rain damage likely to result in drinking water shortage in KZN

Households across KwaZulu-Natal were without water on Wednesday after heavy rain in the province.

Umgeni Water said the rain over the past four days had caused substantial damage to some of the utility’s raw water abstraction and conveyance infrastructure in at least three regions.

The water utility cautioned three customers — eThekwini metro, Ugu district municipality and iLembe district municipality — that potable water production by Umgeni Water had been compromised and this would result in a significant reduction in supply of drinking water.

April 13 2022 - 10:43

Paramedics carry patient across river and washed-away roads in KwaDukuza

KwaZulu-Natal paramedics had to carry a patient across a river and washed-away roads to an awaiting ambulance on Wednesday morning.

IPSS Medical Rescue said paramedics responded to a call alerting them to an elderly woman having difficulty breathing in Shakaville in KwaDukuza.

“Due to flooded rivers and damage from the rains, medics had to carry the patient across rivers and washed-away roads to the ambulance. The patient was treated and stabilised by IPSS advanced life support before she was transported to hospital,” IPSS said.

April 13 2022 - 10:35

IN PICS | Flood devastation and tragedy in KwaZulu-Natal

President Cyril Ramaphosa is on Wednesday visiting flooded parts of KwaZulu-Natal that have been battered by torrential rains since last weekend. The president will travel to Clermont, Lindelani, Ntuzuma and Emawoti to meet affected families and inspect damage to infrastructure.  

Minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele, co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and police minister Bheki Cele will accompany Ramaphosa during his visit.

It is estimated 59 people have lost their lives and many are missing.

April 13 2022 - 10:33

Food, blankets, plastic, clean water and clothes — here’s how you can help relief efforts in KZN

As heavy rains and floods continue to wreak havoc in large parts of KwaZulu-Natal, several humanitarian organisations have announced relief efforts to aid affected communities in the region.

Here’s how you can join relief efforts or donate to help those in need.

April 13 2022 - 10:19

WATCH | Ramaphosa visits areas affected by floods in KwaZulu-Natal

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to visit flood-affected areas in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday. He will be accompanied by several cabinet ministers.

April 13 2022 - 09:29

EFF and DA unite in call for ‘inhumane’ load-shedding to be halted in KZN amid flood devastation

The EFF and DA have been united in their calls for load-shedding to be suspended in KwaZulu-Natal while the province deals with devastating flooding that destroyed homes and crucial infrastructure and killed dozens. 

The EFF said implementing power cuts in affected areas was “inhumane” and would “actively aid the trauma, dislocation, and death of our people”.

The party called on the power utility’s leadership to “practice restraint, compassion and a basic sense of humanity and not subject the people of KwaZulu-Natal to darkness as they attempt to piece together their lives and come to grips with a natural disaster”.

April 13 2022 - 07:43

‘All I could see were waves of water and trees flying all over’: KZN’s flood horror

Baduvile Zungu’s eyes were opened to the sheer wrath of Mother Nature when her family narrowly escaped with nothing more than their lives on Monday night.

The 74-year-old grandmother and her children lost all their belongings when waves of muddy water and debris gushed through their informal settlement in Ntuzuma, north of Durban, destroying everything in their wake and leaving them completely exposed to the elements.

Zungu’s plight was brought about after torrential downpours in KwaZulu-Natal since Sunday, which have killed at least 45 people — including seven children — and left hundreds displaced.

Seated on a thin mattress inside a community hall in Ntuzuma, Zungu recalled the force of the water which, in a matter of seconds, swallowed all their possessions and left them destitute.

April 13 2022 - 06:00

EDITORIAL | KZN needs all the help it can get, starting with government

Just a month ago, Business Times brought the good tidings that investor confidence in KwaZulu-Natal was returning after being battered in the wake of the July violence, with activity in Durban’s logistics and industrial property market gaining momentum.

In the past two days, a very distressing picture has started to emerge, one that could dash hopes that the province is on the road to economic recovery. Widespread floods are wreaking havoc across the length and breadth of the province, from KwaDukuza in the north to Margate in the south.

Images of collapsed roads, sinkholes and washed-away bridges have flooded social media platforms after torrential rains started on Monday night.

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