31 December 2021

KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has sent condolences to the Shange family, following the tragic incident which took place yesterday, where 10-year-old, Xolani Shange drowned after being swept away by water while attempting to cross a low-lying bridge in KwaMpumuza, ward 1 of the Msunduzi local municipality.

Shange was one of two people that were swept away with the second person surviving the incident and currently receiving medical attention.

In the second incident, one person is missing after they were swept away during a flooding incident in Ward 8 of the Maphumulo local municipality.

Yesterday’s storm uprooted trees, flooded roads and damaged both public and private property in several municipalities. Hlomuka has dispatched disaster management teams to assess to extent of the damage in Maphumulo, Msunduzi and uMngeni where it is believed the most severe storms took place.

More severe thunderstorms are forecast for KZN

Hlomuka has warned residents to be vigilant as severe thunderstorms are forecast today in the districts of uThukela, Harry Gwala, Amajuba, uMgungundlovu and Ugu. The weather warning from the South African Weather Service indicates that some of the thunderstorms are expected to become severe and will be accompanied by heavy downpours, strong damaging winds, hail and excessive lightning.

Hlomuka has appealed to residents to closely monitor the weather conditions which pose a serious risk of localised flooding in low-lying areas and areas where the ground is already saturated because of previous rains.

“We urge residents to stay indoors and if caught in a thunderstorm, they must seek shelter in a building and stay as far away as possible from trees, telephone lines and power lines. Residents are also warned to avoid travelling on bridges and roads in low-lying areas as these are susceptible to flooding,” said Hlomuka.

Disaster management teams will continue to monitor areas that are prone to weather-related incidents.

The thunderstorms will primarily affect the northeast of the province but will extend throughout the whole of KZN. According to South African Weather Services, the areas most likely affected by severe storms include Alfred Duma – Indaka, Alfred Duma – Ladysmith, Dannhauser, eDumbe, eMadlangeni, Endumeni, Ethekwini, Inkosi Langalibalele – Estcourt, Inkosi Langalibalele – Sobabili, KwaDukuza, Mandeni, Maphumulo, Mkhambathini, Mpofana – Giants Castle, Mpofana – Mooi River, Msinga, Ndwedwe, Newcastle, Nkandla, Nquthu, Okhahlamba, Richmond, Msunduzi, uMlalazi, uMngeni, uMshwathi, Umvoti, Abaqulusi, Big Five Hlabisa – Hlabisa, Big Five Hlabisa – Hluhluwe, Jozini, Mthonjaneni, Mtubatuba, Nongoma, Ulundi, Umhlabuyalingana, uMhlathuze, uPhongolo.

Issued by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs