Disaster areas declared after floods

2012-01-27 19:43
Johannesburg - Five municipalities in the Ehlanzeni district of Mpumalanga have been declared disaster areas, a provincial official said on Friday.

They are the Mbombela, Nkomazi, Umjindi, Thaba Chweu, and Bushbuckridge municipalities.

Traditional affairs spokesperson Simphiwe Kunene said Premier David Mabuza had made the declaration after 1 452 households were damaged by storms and flooding between January 16 and January 19.

Of these, about 330 households were severely affected - 130 in Bushbuckridge, 74 in Nkomazi, 59 in Mbombela, 40 in Umjindi and 27 in Thaba Chweu.

Kunene said his department was helped by the department of social development and Ehlanzeni district municipality to provide food, blankets, and shelter to those affected.

Seven deaths were recorded in the province during the flooding.

Major infrastructure, including roads, bridges, schools, and agriculture installations, were also damaged in the extreme weather.

The cost to repair infrastructure was estimated at R445.7m.

Rebuilding roads and bridges would be the most expensive at an estimated cost of R266m.

The provincial government provided just over R36m in the short-term and the municipalities contributed R25.7m towards rebuilding.

Kunene said Mabuza would engage with the national government for the balance.

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