KwaZulu-Natal has been declared a disaster area by Premier Willies Mchunu after a “mega-storm” caused devastation in parts of the province on Tuesday. As many as eleven people are confirmed to have died and many more are missing with search and rescue operations continuing on Thursday. More than 133 schools were also affected by the storm.
The storm caused millions of rand worth of damage to public institutions‚ commercial property‚ housing infrastructure‚ roads‚ bridges and affected the supply of utilities such as water and electricity.
In a statement issued on Thursday‚ Mchunu said the financial cost of repairing damaged infrastructure was still being quantified.
“The executive council has declared a provincial disaster. The executive council has agreed that the provincial government and district municipalities must urgently assess the storm water drainage system with a view to improve it where it is necessary‚” he said.
“The executive council noted the collapse of some houses and in this regard‚ the Department of Human Settlements‚ working with relevant authorities‚ will attend to the issue of poor workmanship on some houses.”
He said that in view of the declaration‚ the provincial treasury would meet sector departments to address the reprioritisation of budgets.
“We can confirm that more than 133 schools have been affected and this includes high schools with some of them being used as marking centres.
“The estimated costs to repair the damaged schools is about R136-million. Government will do everything in its power to ensure that learners who are preparing for the final matric examination are not affected‚” he said.