KZN municipalities to allocate community halls for displaced people

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government has instructed all municipalities to identify and allocate community halls to be used as shelters for the homeless.

This follows the storms over weekend, which resulted in the flooding of roads, human settlements and damage to properties.

According to the South Africa Weather Service (SAWS), the rains affected mostly coastal areas with those around eThekwini impacted.

The weather service issued an early warning last week, alerting the province about disruptive rainfall in Hluhluwe, eThekwini, Jozini, KwaDukuza, Mandeni, Maphumulo, Mkhambathini, Mthonjaneni, Mtubatuba, Ndwedwe, Nongoma, Ulundi, Umdoni, Umhlabuyalingana, uMhlathuze, uMlalazi and uPhongolo municipal areas.

Giving an update on the latest storms and floods, the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government and eThekwini Municipality said that some areas are currently inaccessible and have become islands.

A number of roads and bridges, especially in uMdloti and La Mercy, have been affected and road users are urged to be on the alert and to stay at home if possible.

Almost 250 people evacuated

The provincial government reported that approximately 250 people have been evacuated in Tongaat and Tehuise care centres.

“Currently, 82 care centres with 3 186 people counted around the city can be used to accommodate people. So far, 40 people in St Catherine, Waterways in Tongaat 44 units, Plain Street, retirement village in Tongaat, were evacuated.

“The Westbrook retirement village was evacuated. A total of 190 people have been evacuated and the fire brigade unit has assisted with pumping the water in the hall. The Ilembe district was hugely affected with a number of households being left homeless and the road network infrastructure being affected,” a joint statement said.

In King Cetshwayo, severe damage was reported to the Ngobese house, which fell due to heavy rains and wind. A family of nine members living in a one-room house had to be moved following damage to their house.

The Zululand District also experienced heavy rainfall and is being closely monitored.

“We can assure the people of KwaZulu-Natal of the preparedness of all our disaster teams in all districts, including being alert to all the areas that are prone to flooding.”

Relief interventions continuing

The provincial government also reported that relief interventions are ongoing to ensure that all community halls with displaced people are receiving adequate relief assistance, social support services and medical assistance.

“In the event flood-prone areas need to evacuate people due to rising water levels, the open halls will be able to accommodate them. So far, social partners such as Red Cross, Al-Imdaad Foundation and many others have been activated to support municipalities with humanitarian aid and hot meals.

“Provincial and Municipal Emergency Services have been activated and they are on standby to respond swiftly. The Yellow Plant activation by municipal technical services have been done for snow prone areas.”

Sector departments and other stakeholders, including the NGOs have also been advised to activate their respective contingency plans to ensure that the damaged public infrastructure is repaired immediately. –