KZN storm damage estimated at over R1.3bn

13 June 2024 | SANews

The KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Department has estimated the cost of damage to various parts of the province, after last week’s heavy storms, at over R1.3 billion.

It said the eThekwini Metro accounts for almost R500 million.

The department said as the mop-up, recovery and relief efforts continue after the storms that left a trail of destruction in six district municipalities continue, the cost of the devastation has started to emerge.

About 20 schools and roads, bridges, community halls, and electricity infrastructure were also impacted.

“At this stage, the estimated cost of damage amounts to over R1.3 billion for the entire province, with eThekwini Metro alone accounting for over R490 million. Ongoing assessments indicate that over 7 000 households so far have been affected,” the department said on Wednesday.

The department said since last week, when the storms that claimed 12 lives struck, several sectors of the province and government, in collaboration with social partners and private donors, have been on the ground assisting victims to restore their lives.

“Today, the National Department of Human Settlements will deliver the first batch of building material, which will benefit about 674 households, at eMagwaveni in uThongathi. Donors and non-governmental organisations started delivering materials on Tuesday to many families.

“The Department of Home Affairs deployed two mobile offices at the eMagwaveni shelter to assist people who lost their identity documents to apply for new documents. These mobile offices will be moved to all shelters to ensure that no one is left behind,” the department said.

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has also provided a basket of services, and so far, over 3 400 assessments have been processed for Social Relief of Distress food vouchers.

“Over 2 000 hot meals have been provided on a daily basis since 4 June. Over 1 200 mattresses and 1 700 blankets have been distributed.”

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube has lauded all government departments, including public entities and social partners who have been at the forefront of assisting the storm victims.

“As the provincial government, we are pleased with the support and commitment displayed by various departments and social partners in assisting families in distress. While our aim is not to keep families in mass care centres, we are satisfied with the services the government is providing to the affected families,” Dube-Ncube said.

Nkadimeng commends swift and compassionate response

Meanwhile, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Thembi Nkadimeng has expressed her gratitude to the citizens of KwaZulu-Natal for their swift and compassionate response in aiding the victims of the recent tornado.

Joined by CoGTA MEC, Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi, Nkadimeng conducted an oversight visit to KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday to assess relief and recovery efforts, particularly in uThongathi.

“Your generosity and willingness to help have made a significant difference during this challenging time,” Nkadimeng said.

The Minister acknowledged the collective effort and solidarity displayed by the community, which has provided much-needed relief and support to those affected by this natural disaster.

“Your actions exemplify the spirit of ubuntu and the strength of our community. Thank you for your kindness and unwavering support. Together, we will continue to rebuild and support those in need,” Nkadimeng said.


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