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Search and rescue teams commended for bravery in flooded KZN

18 April 2022 - 11:57 By TIMESLIVE
A overview of the situation at Khokhoba in Resevoir Hills.
A overview of the situation at Khokhoba in Resevoir Hills.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

KwaZulu-Natal co-operative governance and traditional affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka has commended the men and women in search and rescue teams who continue to look for 63 missing people in the aftermath of devastating floods in the province.

“We commend them for their bravery and commitment,” Hlomuka said on Monday.

The death toll stands at 443 with eThekwini recording 399 lives lost, iLembe district 30, King Cetshwayo five, Ugu seven and uMzinyathi two. The army is sending 10,000 members to help with relief, rescue and rebuilding the province.

“The tragedy unfolding in our province is one of the worst natural disasters in the recorded history of our country. The response we have seen from all sectors of society shows South Africans are united in overcoming adversity,” said the MEC.

The provincial disaster management centre has activated a toll-free helpline, 0800 000 953/954, for members of the public who need support. The number is manned 24/7 and bolsters capacity for the district disaster management centre.

“We wish to express our gratitude once more to all South Africans who continue to donate to relief efforts. Every piece of clothing, food and bedding donated towards the relief efforts makes a big difference to the lives of the victims of the disaster, many of whom lost loved ones and everything in moments because of the flooding,” said Hlomuka.

“The provincial government is under no illusion about the task that lies ahead as we set forward to build and repair critical infrastructure such as roads, electricity, water and sanitation.”

The eThekwini metro and districts of King Cetshwayo and iLembe are the most affected areas in the province.

“These municipalities have made great progress to restore the supply of electricity and water to areas where they were disrupted. There are areas that have suffered extensive damage which will take longer to repair.”

On Sunday premier Sihle Zikalala said government and social partners would provide support to bereaved families.

“The executive council has approved the provincial policy on government support funeral assistance to people who passed away as a result of the flood disasters. We will work closely with the affected municipalities, which also have their own policies to assist the needy and indigent and are currently conducting profiling in line with their policies. Partners such as AVBOB have also committed to supporting about 150 people,” said Hlomuka.

“During this difficult period faced by our province, we wish to once more commend the support our province continues to receive from all corners. The additional support has made relief efforts smoother.”


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