The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government in South Africa is continuing with rescue efforts after 306 people were confirmed dead as a result of floods due to heavy rains, said the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Sihle Zikalala on Thursday.
This follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit to the affected areas on Wednesday. The government has declared a state of disaster in the province so as to channel the resources fast and rebuild the infrastructure and remedy the situation.
“The Presidential entourage witnessed instances where a number of homes had been washed away, church roofs collapsed on top of children, bridges and roads damaged cutting off entire villages and township sections. Water and electricity supply has also been badly affected in most areas of KwaZulu-Natal and over 200 schools have been damaged in the aftermath of this inclement weather,” said Zikalala.
Authorities are still tracing family members of the deceased so that they could conduct some counseling for them. The government is providing blankets, shelter, food, and other goods to people affected by the flood.
Alan Mukoki, the CEO of the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI), said the damage to infrastructure and trade logistics platforms will derail the economic recovery.
“We urge the government to do everything in its powers to assist our businesses to mitigate the risks they are facing. We also wish to encourage our insurance companies to attend to claims expeditiously,” he stressed and encouraged the corporate and civil society to donate to and assist those affected by the floods.
The death toll is likely to increase as rescue teams continue to search for the missing people. The South African Weather Service warned earlier this week that localized rainfall, heavy at times, could be expected over KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend.