KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) is leading mop-up operations in KwaMashu, Amaoti, Verulam and Inanda just hours after a severe thunderstorm swept through the area devastating homes and claiming lives from a family in Amaoti area.
Today Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube together with eThekwini Mayor Cllr Zandile Gumede visited the affected areas. They also visited the family where three members - a mother, father and a child were washed away. The bodies of the father and a child have been recovered but the mother is still missing. In another incident, two people are still reportedly missing in the Verulam area. “Police search is still ongoing for all the missing persons. The scale of devastation is overwhelming," said MEC Dube-Ncube.
Dube-Ncube arrived on the scene early this morning to lead clean-up efforts in the affected communities alongside Mayor Gumede and Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer. KZN Cogta's disaster management teams are and will remain on site assisting the community with emergency relief.
Reports received by Cogta indicate that in addition to the reported casualties, dozens of households across KwaMashu sustained damage caused by strong winds and heavy rains. The storm also damaged utilities and all disrupted municipal services are now being restored.
"The full extent of the damage caused by the storm is still being assessed by our disaster management teams. We are urging all affected residents to report to their local ward councillor and municipal officials so that appropriate measures are implemented," said Dube-Ncube.
KZN Cogta is mobilising partner departments within the provincial government to complement its emergency relief efforts in the affected areas. Meanwhile, inclement weather conditions are expected to continue in the area and residents are urged to pay attention to weather forecasts.
The MEC has also appealed to political parties not to politicise disasters as some politicians were seen canvassing for votes instead of supporting the affected residents. “I know it is election season but the values of ubuntu must not desert us even in an election season. We have deaths, kids who need uniforms, families who need food and all need support. It is highly immoral and opportunistic to canvass votes from people in distress, especially when you come empty handed being a Member of Parliament. This is the time to assist people in need, not to resort to empty publicity stunts,” said Dube-Ncube.
People are urged to contact the following number for help: Provincial Disaster Center: 0800 005133
For more information contact: KZN Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso, 082 884 2403 or Senzelwe Mzila, 082 474 1882