President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured bereaving families that financial assistance would be provided to them following deaths of loved ones caused by heavy storms and flooding in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).
This assistance will also reach other areas affected, with over 70 lives claimed. Ramaphosa, who cut short his Tuesday, 23 April 2019, trip to the African Union (AU) Troika Summit in Egypt due to the emergency, returned home on Wednesday, 24 April 2019, from Cairo where he had gone to discuss Sudan’s uprising and Libya’s latest fighting.
He flew straight to the troubled area, visiting Amanzimtoti on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast on Wednesday.
During the visit, he was shown the extent of the damage that the heavy rains caused on Monday night, 22 April 2019, in the area, that have taken at least 51 lives due to the resultant floods which swept homes and people in their paths.
“As government at national level, I immediately contacted our (National) Treasury and said, ‘Do we have money to assist our people?’ And they said, ‘Mr President, we have the money’.
“So money is going to be mobilised to assist our people [because] these are emergency situations that we budget for, so resources will be mobilised in the biggest way so that our people who are currently in need are assisted,” the grief-stricken Ramaphosa said.
The president said the local government was already working closely with non-profit organisations to provide essentials for those who have been left with no shelter, clothing and food – with more than 1,000 displaced.
Several people in the area were still unaccounted for, while some schools, businesses, train services and universities remained closed due to the destruction, local government officials said.
Ramaphosa commended individuals, emergency services and disaster centres throughout the province for risking their lives to save those trapped under the rubble.