FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2023
KWAZULU-NATAL COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS PROVIDES UPDATES ON DISASTER RESPONSE
The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) would like to provide an update on the ongoing disaster response and intervention efforts following the heavy rainfall and strong winds that caused devastating floods in the Ugu District and eThekwini Metro areas.
According to the latest reports from the Provincial Disaster Management Centre, the number of confirmed fatalities has tragically risen to seven. In Durban, the deaths were recorded as follows: two in Cato Manor, one in Durban North, one in Pinetown, and two bodies were recovered in Bayhead on Tuesday afternoon.
The number of fatalities remains at one in the Ugu District, specifically recorded in Port Shepstone. Furthermore, seven individuals are still reported as missing, and our dedicated search and rescue teams continue their efforts to locate and assist them.
KZN MEC for COGTA, Honorable Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi, has extended her deepest condolences to all the affected families. MEC Sithole-Moloi emphasized that the government is fully committed to restoring the dignity of the victims and providing the necessary support to help them rebuild their lives. She expressed her regret that many families had to seek shelter in schools due to the damage to their homes. She encouraged all affected individuals to support one another during this challenging time as the government continues to implement various interventions.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to all the families who have lost their loved ones due to this tragic event. We stand with you during this difficult time. We also commend the disaster response teams, non-governmental organizations, and all the individuals who have selflessly extended a helping hand in saving lives and providing much-needed support. Your commitment and dedication are truly appreciated,” she stated.
The department is working in close partnership with other sector departments and municipalities to address the immediate needs of the affected individuals, particularly those whose homes have been completely destroyed.
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Social Development, Honorable Nonhlanhla Khoza, was joined by eThekwini Municipality Councillor Zama Sokhabase and a team of dedicated social workers, who witnessed firsthand the distressing aftermath of the heavy rain and tornado. The severe weather conditions have had a profound impact on the lives of the affected families, leaving them in dire circumstances and in desperate need of immediate assistance.
During her visit, MEC Khoza distributed Social Relief of Distress (SRD) vouchers to the families currently housed in Shembe Memorial Primary School. These vouchers will enable the victims to procure essential items, including food, to meet their immediate needs.
The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, together with relevant stakeholders, is working tirelessly to ensure that all necessary resources and support are provided to the affected communities. We are committed to the long-term recovery and rehabilitation of the areas affected by this disaster.
Updates on the ongoing disaster response and recovery efforts will be provided regularly. We remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting the affected communities and helping them rebuild their lives.
Issued by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.