Pietermaritzburg: KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has urged residents across the province to be vigilant as weather conditions continue to deteriorate.
Since new years eve, parts of the province have been experiencing heavy rains which in some areas have caused damage to public infrastructure (roads, electricity) in areas like eThekwini and Msunduzi. This has resulted in several communities not having electricity with engineers working hard to restore power to the affected areas.
The department has received reports of damage to houses in the Greater Kokstad Municipality and Okhahlamba Municipalities where several houses were partially damaged by strong winds and heavy rains yesterday.
Disaster Management teams have been dispatched to the affected areas and are conducting assessments of the extent of the damage. So far no reports of injuries or fatalities have been received.
MEC Hlomuka has appealed to residents to continue to be cautious as the weather conditions are expected to persist over the weekend.
Pietermaritzburg: In yet another blow to the institution of traditional leadership within the province of KwaZulu-Natal KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has learned of the passing of Inkosi Ngonyama Rudolf Madlala (48) of the Madlala Traditional Council in uMshwathi under the uMgungundlovu District.
Inkosi’s sudden passing which took yesterday evening following a short illness leaves a deep void within the institution of traditional leadership within the Province.
The passing of Inkosi Madlala comes days following the loss of another respected traditional leader, Ibambabukhosi M.M.S Mthethwa of the Mhlana Traditional Authority in Mbonambi in the Mfolozi Local Municipality under the King Cetshwayo District.
Ibamba Mthethwa who is being laid to his final resting place today played an important role in bringing stability to Isizwe SabaThethwa. Isizwe continues to be in the prayerful thoughts of the MEC.
MEC Hlomuka has sent heartfelt condolences to his Majesty the King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu in what has been a tumultuous year for the institution of traditional leadership within the province, where it lost eight (8) amakhosi which include two AmaBambabukhosi.
Hlomuka has also sent condolences to the Province’s Provincial House of Traditional Leaders which is under the leadership of the Inkosi Chiliza.
Hlomuka has dispatched senior officials from the department to provide support and assistance to the Madlala and Mhlana Traditional Authorities as they deal with the loss of their respected leaders.
Pietermaritzburg: KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has learnt with shock and sadness of the untimely passing of the Municipal Manager of the Richmond local municipality Mr Sikhombiso Mthembu (60) this morning following a short illness.
The news of Mthembu’s passing comes at a time when the municipality is still mourning the passing of two of its staff members who also succumbed to a short illness; Mr Tyran Andrew Ramnath (38) who served as the Senior Human Resource Officer who passed away 23 December, Mr Mabhekisisa Bigboy Mhlongo (53) who served as the Strategic Manager for Community Services who passed away on 17 December.
These deaths come at a time when the sphere of local government in the province is facing immense pressure as a result of the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus which has had a negative impact on municipalities.
The loss of yet another footsoldier in the battle to improve the lives of our people through the tangible delivery of services comes as a big blow to us as the sphere of local government in the province and the community of Richmond.
Mthembu had been a loyal servant of the people Richmond and used his extensive experience in local government to serve his community.
Hlomuka has sent condolences to the Mthembu family and the municipality.
The department continues to engage the administrator in the municipality to ensure that adequate support is provided to staff as they deal with this traumatic incident.
Hlomuka has also assured residents that his department is working closely with the political leadership and the administrator to ensure that Richmond continues to function optimally.
Emanyiseni, Umhlabuyalingana: Inclement weather conditions continue to wreak havoc across rural communities in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. In the last two weeks, the province’s disaster management teams have dealt with several incidents where lives were lost as a result of severe weather conditions.
In the latest incident, two people lost their lives in eManyiseni under uMhlabuyalingana Municipality in Northern KZN when lightning strikes their home killing both parents of a six-month-old baby. The incident took place in the Mngomezulu households yesterday.
In a separate incident in Jozini ward 15 in Ndabeni area, a 70 year-old male was fatally injured in a lightning strike.
The Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka has dispatched Disaster Management teams to the affected area to provide support to the affected families.
MEC Hlomuka has also expressed his concern at the increasing number of incidents where lightning strikes kill people in the province. The latest incident means that in the space of two weeks the province has lost eight lives (two in Nongoma, One in uLundi, Two in Mooi-Mpofana, Two in uMhlabuyalingana and One in Jozini) as a result of lightning strikes.
Hlomuka continues to appeal to all residents in the province to exercise extreme caution when faced with inclement weather conditions. “We are appealing to all residents to take heed to the safety protocols that need to be applied wherever there are weather warning,” said Hlomuka.
MEC Hlomuka has sent condolences to all the families that have lost loved ones as a result of lightning strikes.
Residents are urged: If outdoors seek shelter immediately but DO NOT seek shelter under a tree, under telephone lines and/or power lines. Avoid outdoor activities as hail, strong winds and lightning may result in injuries. Avoid low lying roads and bridges as they are susceptible to flooding. If possible stay indoors well clear of windows, shelter pets, cover vehicles and disconnect electrical appliances.
The Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka has learned with shock and sadness of the passing of the Mayor of uMlalazi Local Municipality Cllr Thelumoya Bazil Zulu, who passed away today following a short illness.
MEC Hlomuka has expressed his dismay at learning of the news of the passing of Cllr Zulu who was a committed servant of the people.
Cllr Zulu served in various roles prior to being the Mayor. He served as a PR Councillor for the ANC in 2008. He was then elected as the Mayor of uMlalazi following the 2011 local government. His wealth of knowledge of local government came into good use as he led the council with distinction in addressing service delivery issues within the municipality which got him re-elected as the Mayor for the second term following the 2016 local government elections.
“In him, the residents of uMlalazi had a dependable leader. He never shied away from challenges and dealt with them head-on. We often witnessed him visiting residents and businesses dealing with issues first hand, all in the interest of serving his community” said Hlomuka.
“As the sphere of local government, we have lost a genuine leader whose contributions will be missed. We lose such a leader at a time when this sphere is facing severe pressures placed on it by the outbreak of the Novel Corona Virus. During these times Cllr Zulu was one of the Mayors that was at the forefront fighting against the spread of the virus in our communities through the speedy roll-out of essential services” adds Hlomuka.
Cogta MEC, Sipho Hlomuka has sent condolences to the family of Cllr Zulu, who have had to make immense sacrifices so that their father can fulfil his call of serving the residents of uMlalazi.
Hlomuka has also sent condolences to the family of municipalities within the King Cetshwayo District and to the African National Congress the political home Cllr Zulu belonged to.
Watersmeet, Alfred Duma Municipality: Christmas came early this year for senior citizens of the Alfred Duma local municipality when they received gifts, which include hygiene packs with soap, sanitisers and masks, from the KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka.
The handover which which took place today in Ward 16, Watersmeet (Phayikeni), marked an important point in the provincial government’s efforts to protect the elderly as the country and province face the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The hygiene packs distributed by Hlomuka ensure that the elderly have products to use to protect themselves and their loved ones against the spread of the virus.
The outreach is part of efforts by MEC Hlomuka to ensure that rural communities have adequate Personal Protective Equipment and are educated about the regulations that have been introduced by government to protect human life. Part of the visit saw Hlomuka visiting the Siyathokoza Early Childhood Development Centre where he distributed hygiene packs and gifts to children.
During this visit, the MEC was accompanied by uThukela District Mayor Cllr Siphiwe Mazibuko, his Deputy Cllr Nombali Mchunu, the Alfred Duma LM Mayor Cllr Vincent Madlala, his Deputy Cllr Thuli Hadebe and Ward 16 Councillor, Thulani Hlomuka.
Unlike in previous years, seniors arrived in groups to receive their festive cheers from the MEC as he acknowledged the value of caring for the elderly and the importance of showing gratitude to them since they play a fundamental role in helping the communities expand with their knowledge and wisdom.
“Festive season is the season of love so we thought it is proper to come and spend time with the elderly from various wards in this municipality to thank and appreciate them for the love and wisdom they continue to share with our communities and towards development. The gifts we have given them today, which include hygiene packs and groceries, are our way of saying to them that we want them to stay safe and to prosper even during this difficult time,” said Hlomuka.
During the visit Hlomuka took a moment to visit and celebrate the life of one of the oldest citizens in the district, Gogo Paulina Mbonani of Gcabhane village who recently turned 92.
KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has called for calm among the residents of the Richmond local municipality following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus at its offices.
Reports received by the department indicate that a number of senior officials within the municipality have tested positive for Covid-19. Reports indicate that one of the officials has sadly passed away.
As a result, the municipality has closed its main offices and testing centre from today to decontaminate the premises. Relevant departments have been engaged by the municipality and a contact tracing process is underway.
Hlomuka has urged residents across the province to continue to be vigilant when in public by continuing to wear masks, sanitising and maintaining social distance. As the province and country deal with the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Hlomuka has appealed to all residents to utilise electronic means to access services from their municipalities, which include online payments to minimise the need to physically visit offices.
Durban: Yesterday KZN’s disaster management teams responded to a number of weather-related incidents which were caused by the severe thunderstorms that struck areas in the interior of the province.
In the uMzinyathi district’s area of Muden under the Umvoti local municipality, two people were swept away by an overflowing river last night. Search and rescue efforts led to the recovery of the body of one person while another one is still missing.
In Bhumaneni in the Mooi-Mpofana local municipality, one person was killed while two others were injured when lighting struck their home during yesterday’s storm.
KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has deployed disaster management teams to provide support to the affected families.
Hlomuka has also urged residents to monitor and observe the frequent weather warnings that continue to be issued by the South African Weather Service.
Durban: Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Sipho Hlomuka has applauded Non-Governmental Organisations for the active role they play in providing support to communities who are afflicted by weather-related incidents across the province.
This morning MEC Hlomuka held a special breakfast with Social Partners consisting of organisations that work with the department to respond to incidents and disasters in communities.
During the breakfast, MEC Hlomuka hailed the important role played by social partners in providing emergency relief to communities during their greatest hour of need. The breakfast which is hosted at a time when the province is expecting an increase in the number of weather-related incidents as a result of the summer season, which brings with it heavy rains, hail, strong winds and severe thunderstorms.
“As the provincial government, we are not under any illusion when it comes to the magnitude of the task that lies ahead of us as we respond to the needs of communities more especially during weather-related incidents. We acknowledge that we cannot do this alone. We cannot walk on this road alone and need a reliable partner who can walk with us in responding to the challenges that face our communities. This is why we value the work of the civil society in our communities. Without your involvement in disaster response and the fight against social ills, our work towards these objectives would not have the same impact” said Hlomuka.
Durban: KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has learned with shock and sadness of the tragic incident that has befallen the uPhongolo Local Municipality where two of its councillors lost their lives in a what is believed to have been a motor vehicle accident which took place this afternoon.
Reports that have been received by the department indicate that both councillors lost their life in the incident while three people, one of them a councillor, were injured and taken to hospital.
MEC Hlomuka has sent condolences to the families of the deceased councillors whose names are known to the department but will not be released since their next of kin might yet to be informed.
“The sudden loss of the two councillors leaves a deep void in the sphere of local government in the province. The deceased councillors were dedicated servants known for their commitment to the development of rural communities. As a department, we are deeply saddened and wish to express our sincere condolences to the affected families. We also wish those that are injured a speedy recovery” said Hlomuka.
The department will await guidance from the respective families on the funeral arrangements for the deceased.