21 January 2013

South Africa: Mpumalanga and Limpopo Must Be Declared Flood Disaster Areas

Photo: Aliyu Adekunle S/Vanguard
Flooding leaves many homeless.

press release

The IFP calls on the government to declare Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces flood disaster areas, as heavy rains are causing havoc in these provinces.

IFP Spokesperson on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mr Peter Smith, MP said, "Floods caused major disasters in Mpumalanga and Limpopo, where people lost their lives, while bridges, houses and roads were destroyed by heavy floods during the weekend. Most of the affected municipalities will not be able to cover all costs for the damage and so it is vital for the national government to help these provinces urgently"

Some of the destroyed bridges, however, were already on the verge of collapse, as they were not built correctly.

"The Nkomazi Municipality residents have been complaining for a long time about low-lying bridges to the municipality, but the municipality said it did not have enough money in the budget for the construction of better bridges. The danger that these bridges pose has been demonstrated by the floods, as their weak construction has shown how the municipality does not prioritise the safety of the people it is supposed to serve," said Smith

The IFP calls upon the Nkomazi Municipality Mayor, Thulisile Khoza, the MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs in Mpumalanga, Madala Masuku, Vhembe District Mayor, Tshitereke Matibe and MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs in Limpopo, Clifford Motsepe to speed up the process of providing flood relief assistance to the affected communities. Furthermore they should work with the department of transport in identifying those areas which need better bridges in order to avoid more deaths during floods.

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