President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured flood affected residents of KwaZulu-Natal, the North West and Eastern Cape that government and stakeholders are drawing all resources to ensure that the three provinces recover with no person left behind.
The flooding caused extensive damage to homes and infrastructure and claimed the lives of at least 435 people in KwaZulu-Natal alone.
The President visited KZN for a second time over the weekend and said any concerns regarding the government’s ability to rebuild and recover are misplaced.
“The National Disaster Management Centre has been coordinating all spheres of government in their efforts to provide humanitarian relief to the many households that have been affected. It has been pleasing to see the NGO community, business and relief organisations joining in working with government to provide much-needed relief assistance.
“All these stakeholders have provided food, clothes, blankets, dignity packs and school uniforms to vulnerable families to meet their basic needs. Sheltering services are currently being provided to over 7 000 people in the four most affected districts in KwaZulu-Natal. Work has started to build temporary residences for affected families on state-owned land parcels identified in KwaZulu-Natal for possible resettlement,” he said in his weekly newsletter on Monday.
According to the President, work is also ongoing to fix damage to infrastructure and where not possible, alternative plans are being made.
“Mobile classrooms are being procured so that learning and teaching should not be interrupted for longer than necessary in flood-affected schools. Work is underway to repair damaged waste water treatment works, pump-stations and reticulation. Damaged roads are being repaired. Eighteen new bridges are planned as part of the Welisizwe Rural Bridges programme.
“There has also been considerable progress in fixing key infrastructure supporting the Port of Durban. Given the importance of the port to the national and continental economy, port traffic has been restored, terminal operations are back at full capacity and work to repair damaged rail infrastructure is underway.”
The President added that in an effort to ensure affected business can continue to operate and to save jobs, big and small businesses will receive support from government.
President Ramaphosa praised the resilience of the communities that have been mostly affected by the devastating floods. He also hailed the collaborative work that provinces and municipalities carried out to ensure that mop up operations can commence swiftly.
“Municipal and provincial governments have been working closely with national departments and agencies to enable people to rebuild their lives and to get local economic activity back on track.
“They have been working with all stakeholders in all of these areas to ensure that we effectively coordinate recovery efforts and that we plan and rebuild in a manner that is more resilient to extreme events of this nature in the future.
“The perseverance of affected communities, their determination to succeed and their ability to rally together in times of crisis has been an inspiration. We salute all those who have been part of the effort to help the people of the affected provinces,” President Ramaphosa said.
Source: South African Government News Agency