KZN Premier calls for acceleration of critical infrastructure repairs

KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, has directed the provincial government to accelerate the urgent repairs of critical infrastructure, including homes, schools and roads, following the huge damage caused by thunderstorms and gale force winds over the weekend.

On Monday, Dube-Ncube, joined by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi, Human Settlements and Public Works MEC, Sipho Nkosi and uMkhanyakude District Municipality Mayor, Siphile Mdaka, led a provincial government oversight visit to the hard-hit area of Mtubatuba in the Inkosi Mtubatuba Local Municipality.

"Many schools and homes have been damaged and electricity infrastructure destroyed, leaving people homeless and in the dark. As the province, our budget alone will not suffice to cover the cost of this devastation,” Dube-Ncube said.

The Premier emphasised that all responsible officials must ensure classrooms are urgently cleared of debris where possible and temporary classroom structures are installed urgently where there is extensive damage to ensure that the commencement of matric examinations is not disrupted.

“I am deeply saddened by the devastating impact of the recent storm on these communities. We are actively devising plans to assist all those affected. We are engaging national government requesting support as we face this disaster,” the Premier said.

The death toll has risen to six people, with the discovery of another person struck by lightning in the Mpofana Local Municipality under Umgungundlovu District Municipality.

In Mtubatuba, five people, including a one-year-old child, lost their lives following structural collapse under heavy rains and strong winds.

The Premier affirmed the provincial government's commitment to aiding all grieving families with burial arrangements, with many having lost all their possessions during the storm.

“We have taken a decision that the provincial government will help families lay to rest their loved ones. Some families have indicated that they are unable to conduct these services on their own and we will make available the necessary support to make sure they are buried with dignity,” the Premier said.

Source: South African Government News Agency