25 April 2019

South Africa: Mop-Up Operations Intensify in Durban

Disaster relief efforts continue with mop-up and rescue operations in areas affected by the storms in Durban, that claimed over 50 lives and caused extensive damage.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Zweli Mkhize said disaster teams are now in a race against time to rescue unaccounted for people, with mudslides and sinkholes having swallowed homes.

"The extent of the damage in certain areas requires the expertise of engineers and others who are qualified to guide the process to repair all that has been damaged and rebuild what is damaged," said Mkhize.

Mkhize, who was in a government delegation that accompanied President Cyril Ramaphosa on an assessment of the extent of damage, urged communities to heed the call and tips from the authorities regarding the extreme weather conditions.

KwaZulu-Natal emergency services said they are working around the clock to minimise the impact of flooding on communities and provide assistance to those affected.

"Both Minister Mkhize and the President have thanked the disaster personnel from all across the province for their selfless speedy response in assisting communities," the Cogta Ministry said.

Cogta will continue to coordinate all role-players in order to respond rapidly to incidents in KwaZulu-Natal as well as monitor provinces experiencing similar challenges.

The Minister started his visit to KZN on Wednesday, where he engaged the provincial leadership, especially the Cogta Department, about the unfolding work on the ground from various spheres, institutions and organisations aimed at assisting families and communities that have been devastated.

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