Update Media Statement
17 October 2023

Pietermaritzburg – Our disaster management teams, in collaboration with the Joint Operation Cluster involving all municipalities and law enforcement agencies, have swiftly responded to the infrastructure and home damages caused by persistent rains. Families whose homes were damaged and submerged in water have been successfully evacuated.

As our teams continue to assess the extent of the damage, preliminary reports indicate that in the Ubuhlebezwe Local Municipality, located in the Harry Gwala district, two houses were completely destroyed due to heavy rains, while another two sustained partial damages.

Fortunately, no injuries or fatalities were reported during this period. Our disaster management team acted promptly to provide immediate relief, and the affected families have chosen alternative accommodation with relatives.

In the eThekwini Metro, two houses in KwaMashu Township were submerged in water, and another in Molweni, in the western parts of the city, was damaged by a fallen tree. Several roads have been damaged by the rains and have been closed to ensure safety; part of the Hullets Bridge collapsed on Old South Coast Road. A boundary wall of Botanic Gardens on John Zikhali Road in Morningside Collapsed, resulting in parts of the road becoming unstable. The road is deemed unsafe to be used by the traffic enforcement officers.
Additionally, several roads in eThekwini experienced waterlogging, but they remain passable.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi, the , has lauded the disaster teams who have been on high alert since Monday, monitoring the persistent rains.

MEC Sithole-Moloi emphasized that disaster teams are maintaining a heightened state of readiness as they continue to assess and monitor the rains in the northern parts of the province.

“The rains are still ongoing in the northern part of the province, where a level 6 alert has been issued by the South African Weather Services. Our disaster teams have been activated and will respond promptly to any eventualities. We also want to commend residents for heeding the warnings that have been issued. The risk has not subsided; we urge them to exercise caution continuously.

We appeal to motorists to follow instructions from traffic officers, as some roads have had to be temporarily closed due to flooding. If possible, please postpone all non-essential travel until the weather clears.

All our municipalities are prepared to respond, and residents in low-lying areas are advised to relocate to safer places if necessary. Public facilities such as halls, churches, and schools will serve as safe havens should the situation deteriorate,” she stated.

As rainfall persists in various parts of the province, our teams remain active on the ground and will provide timely updates on the recorded impacts of the rains.

All municipalities have activated their disaster operations centers and convened their daily Joint Operations Centers (JOCs) to closely monitor the situation. Municipalities have also prioritized the dissemination of precautionary messages to vulnerable communities through social media platforms and loud-hailing and Ward Councillors.

Issued by KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs