2 January 2018

South Africa: Mop Up Operations Underway for Storm-Hit Joburg

Interim plans are underway to deal with the damage caused by the severe storm, which toppled trees and lifted roofs and damaged homes, leaving hundreds of residents without shelter in parts of Johannesburg.

Saturday's storm left two men dead as it ripped through the south and west parts of Johannesburg, including Lenasia, Lawley, Protea Glen, Lefureng, Snake Park, Slovoville, Jerusalema and Braamfischerville.

The City of Johannesburg says it has put in place a multi-organisational approach to address the challenge. The city's Group Risk Advisory Services will conduct a full risk assessment of the damage caused by the storm and a preliminary report is expected to be released by Friday.

The report will table the full extent of the damage caused by the storm and whether the event needs to be declared a provincial or national disaster.

Further to this, the advisory services will also conduct an investigation into the quality of some of the buildings which collapsed as a result of the storm, particularly:

The identities of contractors involved in the construction of some of these buildings;

The city's role in issuing certificates of occupation, which affirm the safety of these buildings; and

The role of financial institutions, such as lenders and banks, who fund the construction of some of these poor buildings.

This investigation is expected to be completed within the next 60 days.

The city has also been working around the clock to restore power and fix burst water pipes, which were affected by the storm.

City Parks will clear all debris, stones and other material that was strewn onto road infrastructure, while the Johannesburg Road Agency is running as an assessment of the traffic lights and roads. It has started repairs to restore infrastructure.

The Gauteng Provincial Government has committed to providing available temporary accommodation, emergency tents and mattresses for those displaced by the storm through the Housing Department.

The city has also committed to making community centres available for the purpose of providing temporary relief to those in need of emergency shelter.

The South Africa Social Security Agency (SASSA) and the Provincial Department of Social Development have also agreed to assist with the provision of food parcels to those displaced.

City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba, who visited the affected areas, has thanked all the role players involved in assisting residents, especially provincial government and emergency services personnel for their continued support and vigilance.

The Mayor also appealed to all members of the public to please assist where they can by donating to civil society organisations such as The Gift of the Givers, Rhema Church, Alimdaad Foundation, Pzuchi Foundation, Zakm International Rescue and The Red Cross Society.

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