KZN flood victims moved to decent accommodation

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government has availed three buildings that will ultimately see a total of over 1 600 community members, who were accommodated at nine halls, being moved to decent accommodation ahead of the Christmas holidays.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube -- accompanied by Human Settlements MEC, Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba and the Director-General of the KwaZulu-Natal Government, Dr Nonhlanhla Mkhize -- facilitated the relocation of people housed in mass care shelters, who were affected by the April floods.

Handing over accommodation, located at Astra Building in Durban, on Tuesday to 531 families, Dube-Ncube said government has been hard at work to assist communities to recover from the tragic events of the April and May 2022 floods.

The Premier assured that in the next seven days, there will be no flood victim living in a mass care centre in KwaZulu-Natal.

“As government, we have mobilised all available resources and are undertaking every effort to ensure that as we rebuild and rehouse flood victims, no one is left behind. Three buildings are being made available today, starting with this Astra Building in Russel Street, O’ Flaherty Building in Sydenham and Pinetown Student Village,” Dube-Ncube said.

She said the mass care centres that will be shut down include Gospel Church, Chesterville, Mountview Hall, uMlazi K, Emaus, Tshelimnyama and Nazareth.

Other relocations planned for this week include Mpola Hall, which is accommodating 195 people; Rurafo Hall with 158 people; Isithundu Hill with 199 people; Marrianridge with 120 people, and Truro Hall in Pietermaritzburg, which is accommodating 23 families.

“In KwaDukuza Municipality, we closed five mass care centres last week and we are down to only four,” Dube-Ncube said.

She said the only remaining mass care centre in uMsunduzi will be closed this weekend, as they move the families to Transitional Emergency Accommodation (TEA).

“We have made many strides if you consider that over 14 449 people were displaced, with 4 983 left totally homeless. Seven months later, we are close to pronouncing that no flood victims will spend Christmas in a mass care centre.

“Where we are is a completion of a herculean responsibility we have undertaken with due care and dedication. Even in the well-developed world that experiences hurricanes, some victims are still in shelters but we are a caring government, hence we set our own standards. We have spent sleepless nights proffering solutions in the best interest of our fellow citizens” the Premier said.

She said since the floods, government has successfully implemented immediate humanitarian assistance in the form of Social Relief of Distress Grants, food, water, shelter, sanitation, clothes and blankets.

Government has also provided burial assistance, death certificates, identity documents, post-mortems, health services and psychosocial support.

“We undertook extensive work to restore basic services such as water, electricity, sanitation and waste removal. This work still continues, as we rebuild major road and infrastructure that was washed away. The reality is that we are a province that is far better than the bleak situation of April and May 2022,” Dube-Ncube said.

The Premier also expressed her appreciation to private sector partners.

Statutory approval for 14 land parcels underway 

While families are housed in TEAs, Dube-Ncube said the process of preparing land for permanent development will unfold.

“To date 14 land parcels are undergoing statutory approval procedures, such as Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA) Approvals. We are working as fast and as quickly as we can to end all the frustration and anxiety,” the Premier said. –