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70 people killed and R1.1 billion in damages after the Durban floods

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Premier Willes Mchunu confirmed that 70 people were killed in the Durban floods, which have left the city with damages worth R1.1 billion.

Last week, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) experienced a horrendous flash of storms that resulted in 70 people being killed. On Monday, 29 April 2019, Premier Willies Mchunu held a briefing following the emergency meeting with the eThekwini Municipality’s executive committee on Friday, 26 April 2019. He confirmed that the floods also wreaked havoc worth R1.1 billion in damages.

“The KwaZulu-Natal cabinet at its specially convened meeting resolved to seek for the classification of the Provincial State of Disaster.  We requested National Government to invoke Section 41 of the Disaster Management Act No.57 because the Province alone cannot cope with these incidents.

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“We also resolved to make sure that all locations where they are going to hold elections are to be restored immediately,” said Mchunu.

The floods destroyed houses, roads and infrastructure and killed 70 people – 64 in Durban and six from the Ugu District Municipality. Although the R1.1 billion is a raised estimate from an earlier estimate of R658 million from the eThekwini Municipality, Mchunu mentioned that an even higher figure would be needed to restore the city and added that he was going to ask President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare the province a state of disaster.

An estimated 1 659 people have been displaced by the floods and are being temporarily accommodated in tents. A record of 235 homes have been destroyed and two people are still missing, but Mchunu affirmed that the city would continue to search for them.

KZN MEC for Corporate Governance and Traditional Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube said that the city will assist all families of the deceased.

“The assessment will inform the president’s availability of funds,” she said.

The premier has declared Thursday, 2 May 2019, as the provincial day of mourning and prayer and the event will take place at Curries Fountain Sports Field at 09:00.

Abenathi Gqomo
[email protected]

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