Kzn floods death toll rises to 259

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that at least 259 people died as a result of heavy downpours and flooding across the province.

“The loss of human life as a result of the inclement weather conditions is one of the darkest moments in the history of our province.

“Hundreds of people have been left homeless with many roads, public infrastructure, and homes severely damaged,” Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka said.

Hlomuka added mop-up operations have commenced.

“The provincial government continues to work with the national government to ensure that relief is provided to all those that have been affected by the storms.

“We wish to commend disaster management teams for the tireless work they have been doing to evacuate affected communities. Relief is being provided to residents housed in community halls across the province through collaboration with social partners and government departments,” he said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala visited various families affected by the heavy rains on Wednesday.  

Ramaphosa promised government support, which included funeral arrangements and shelter for those who lost homes as well as food and blankets.

“The visit gives many of the affected communities hope as they deal with the trauma of losing loved ones and their homes in the incidents that occurred as a result of the heavy rains that struck large parts of Durban.

“We join the families in mourning the lives that we have lost as a result of the heavy rains,” Hlomuka said.

On Wednesday, the South African Weather Service warned localised rainfall, heavy at times, could be expected over KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend.

Read also: KZN floods impact the trucking industry – RFA

Hlomuka said more rain would cause damage to the “already saturated ground”.

“Residents are urged to seek alternative accommodation or use community halls. It is important that we pull together, as a province, in the face of such adversity,” he added. – News24