Cabinet has resolved to approach National Government to declare parts of the province worst hit by the recent flash floods and thunderstorms disaster areas, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize announced today.
This after ferocious storms wreaked havoc in the province leaving a trail of destruction on infrastructure, property and rendering thousands of people homeless.
Cabinet today received a report on the disaster incidents that befell the province recently from the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. After considering the magnitude of the preliminary damage and the resources that will be required to fix the damage, Cabinet decided to request national classification of affected areas to that of disaster status and advised municipalities to adopt resolutions in the same vain.
This now means the province is formally approaching National government for additional resources to rebuild damaged infrastructure and return peoples life to normalcy.
"On behalf of cabinet we extend our heartfelt condolences to all the families that lost their loved ones through these unfortunate incidents. While we know that no one can be blamed for this tragedy orchestrated by forces of nature, we sympathise with all our people who are going through difficulties at this important period preceding Christmas. It is because of our appreciation of the traumatic experience our people are going through which has influenced us to make this declaration" said Premier Mkhize.
"This is indeed a huge setback for us as it means resources must be spent on rebuilding destroyed infrastructure and property. Funds for new infrastructure may have to be diverted to fix the damage" Mkhize added.
To date, we have lost a total of 14 lives. The worst affected areas are Ladysmith Ugu, District and other parts of Durban
The damage will escalate to millions of rands. We do not at this stage have the accurate figure but once all the emergency relief and rescue efforts have been conducted we will commence with the process of quantifying the damage.
We are heartened by the bravery of disaster and emergency personnel who continue to risk their lives to save property and their fellow human beings.
We are inspired that there are people who are prepared to risk their lives in service of others.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all the affected families in this critical hour of need.