The inclement weather conditions that have struck large parts of the province since the 15th of December have left a trail of devastation and destruction in several areas within the province. As a result of these weather conditions that occurred on 30 December 2021 alone, four fatalities have occurred, which include a 3 year that drowned in ward 8 Maphumulo Local Municipality.

Disaster Management teams have been busy with the rollout of interim relief measures to the 1692 households that have been affected. The nature of the incidents ranges from housing structural damages, the collapse and flooding of roads and hail damage, some of these incidents led to fatalities. Some areas experienced black-outs as a result of extensive damage to power lines after trees were uprooted by the storms.

The most affected areas are the Districts of uMgungundlovu (400 households) and Ilembe (300 households including the collapse of a part of the R74 road which connects KwaDukuza and Greytown).

Following the severe thunderstorms that brought hail and heavy rains yesterday, 4 January the number of households that are affected is expected to increase.

The department continues to support and coordinate the response by the affected municipalities in partnership with sector departments.

Within this period the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Department under the leadership of MEC Sipho Hlomuka, has received over 12 severe weather warnings from the South African Weather Service, which were all acted on by Disaster Management teams.

Since the start of the festive season, the department has activated all Disaster Operations Centres to monitor incidents and coordinate response to report to the weekly Joint Operations Committees (JOCs) on further interventions required. The department has also provided social relief to all municipalities for distribution to the affected households whilst also facilitating the interventions by other sector departments in line with their legislative mandates.

So far the total cost of the damage has not been finalised since the majority of assessments are being conducted and incidents continue. The determination will be made once all assessments have been completed and quantified.

The MEC for Cogta, Sipho Hlomuka has commended disaster management teams for their swift response to the incidents that have struck many parts of the province.

MEC Hlomuka has urged residents and all sectors of society to partner with the provincial government in the fight against climate change. “All of us have to acknowledge that climate change is real, frequent and violent. We need to pay attention to all the severe weather warnings issued by the South African Weather Service to practice risk avoidance behaviour such as staying indoors, avoiding sporting and recreational activities during thunderstorms, and ensuring that we do not cross overflowing and running rivers either by car or on foot said Hlomuka.

Issued by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs