Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Sipho Hlomuka today visited the areas of Ibisi, KwaMeyi and KwaJames in the Mzimkhulu local municipality to lead mop-up operations following the severe thunderstorms that hit the District on Christmas Eve which severely damaged the Mlozana Primary School and 308 houses leaving 32 families homeless.
Tragic scenes of houses with roofs blown off, collapsed walls greeted Hlomuka as he visited the school and the affected households together with Mayor of Harry Gwala Cllr Nxumalo, the Mayor of uMzimkhulu Cllr Mpabanga, KZN Legislature Deputy Speaker Honourable M Ndobe.
Disaster relief packages specifically put together for the affected families were distributed which include roof sheeting, food and blankets. “We are heartbroken about what we have seen here. We are thankful to the All-Mighty that there were no fatalities and those that were injured were quickly rushed to a hospital and have received proper medical care. We have identified community halls which are being utilised to assist those that have been left homeless while they rebuild their lives” said Hlomuka.
Hlomuka has vowed to ensure that all the victims of the storm receive adequate support in rebuilding their lives. “It is very sad that instead of celebrating Christmas, 308 families now have to rebuild their lives following these heavy storms. Since the area where the storm hit is spans across three municipalities (Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, uMzimkhulu and uBuhlebezwe local municipalities) our disaster management teams will continue to work with these local municipalities and the district to ensure that adequate support is provided to all the victims of this severe storm” added Hlomuka.
The department has also received a weather warning from the South African Weather Service which indicates that dangerously hot and humid conditions are expected to continue in the North-Eastern parts of the province, today. Hlomuka has urged residents to stay hydrated as these conditions are expected to be extremely uncomfortable.
Hlomuka has also directed the department to convene a Disaster Management workshop in the new year to mitigate the impact of weather-related incidents across the province. Since January the province lost over 200 lives as a result of weather-related incidents.