Inclement weather conditions continue to wreak havoc in our communities.

This afternoon we joined leadership of the uMgungundlovu District and uMsunduzi Local Municipality, in leading mop-up operations in Ward 23, Peace Valley, where heavy rains caused the Msunduzi river to burst its banks and flood surrounding communities.

We are grateful that no life was lost in this incident but are gravely concerned about the welfare of the communities that reside in areas that are deemed unsafe since they are prone to flooding and other weather-related incidents.

The Community of Peace Valley bore the brunt of yesterday’s heavy rains with several households submerged in water, we wish to commend all stakeholders for their speedy response in the evacuation of the 35 families that were affected by the flooding to a nearby shelter.

The impact of yesterday’s incident does not only stop in Peace Valley but other communities around Pietermaritzburg have also been affected and our teams are deployed to assess the extent of the damages in these areas.

So far the exact number of people affected cannot be given as teams are still busy.

The Provincial Disaster Management Centre will continue to work closely with the affected municipalities to ensure that relief is rolled out to communities that are affected.

We also wish to warn our communities against building in low-lying areas that are near rivers, as this possess a great risk to them and their families.

Our province is prone to weather-related incidents, especially during the spring and summer seasons. We all share a responsibility in ensuring that we heed the weather warnings issued by the South African Weather Service so that we can protect ourselves and our families.

We also strongly believe that it is now time for households located on riverbanks to consider relocating. Weather patterns have changed drastically and flooding is becoming more frequent and severe.

Issued by MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sihle Zikalala.