Flood-hit areas declared national disaster

2011-01-15 11:11
Johannesburg - A committee set up by government to help communities afflicted by floods throughout the country will declare flood hit areas a national disaster, an official said on Saturday.

"The inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) agreed to work at declaring the areas affected by floods, thunderstorms and veld fires... as a national disaster," corporative governance and traditional affairs Minister, Sicelo Shiceka said.

The committee will be chaired by Shiceka and includes Ministers Tokyo Sexwale (human settlements), Lindiwe Sisulu (defence), Nathi Mthethwa (Police) and Siyabonga Cwele (national security).

Ministers Tina Joemat-Pettersson (agriculture), Angie Motshekga (basic education) and Bathabile Dlamini (social development) would also be part of the IMC.

"We have to move with speed and in a coordinated manner in assisting the communities and affected areas," Shiceka said.

The IMC would on Sunday visit disaster areas in KwaZulu Natal, Gauteng, North West, Free State and Northern Cape provinces.

"Government will do everything it can to avoid loss of life as a result of floods and urges everyone to cooperate with disaster management personnel as they respond to disasters.

Due to the heavy rains forecast for this weekend, he urged communities, particularly those in low-lying areas and those near rivers, to move to higher ground in the case of floods.

Are you affected? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.
- SAPA
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