12 October 2017

South Africa: Gauteng to Declare Parts of Province Disaster Areas

Gauteng Premier David Makhura will declare parts of the province disaster areas following the severe storms and strong winds that hit the province on Monday.

This decision was taken at an ordinary meeting of the Executive Council Meeting on Wednesday, following a briefing on the extent of the damage by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta).

The storms left a trail of destruction in parts of the City of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and the West Rand District Municipality.

Approximately 840 houses have been damaged by the storm and an estimated 1 600 people have been affected, with five fatalities reported so far. Two fatalities occurred as a direct result of the storm, while three fatalities occurred as a result of motor vehicle incidents. Assessment of the damage is still ongoing.

"We are taking the necessary steps to declare some of the affected areas disaster areas so that we can tap into all available resources to assist those who have been displaced by the storm to rebuild their lives," said Premier Makhura.

Two schools in Krugersdorp have been damaged by the storm, namely Laerskool Protearif and Laerskool Muldersdrift. The Department of Education is currently working with school governing bodies, community members and other key education stakeholders in negotiating for temporary accommodation at neighbouring schools and churches in the area.

Provincial and local government disaster management teams have been working around the clock in assisting with providing temporary relief for those affected by the storm.

"Our sympathies go out to all the victims of the storm and I wish to express our heartfelt condolences, as the provincial government, to the grieving families. We wish all those injured a speedy recovery," said Premier Makhura.

Premier Makhura also thanked the Emergency Management Services, Provincial Disaster Management and community safety teams for acting swiftly in their response to the disaster to minimise its effects.

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