Disaster areas declared after floods

2012-01-27 14:19

Five municipalities in the Ehlanzeni district of Mpumalanga have been declared disaster areas.

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

Traditional affairs spokesperson Simphiwe Kunene said Premier David Mabuza made the declaration after 1 452 households were damaged by storms and flooding between January 16 and 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 R445.7 million.

Rebuilding roads and bridges would be the most expensive at an estimated cost of R266 million.

The provincial government provided just over R36 million in the short-term and the municipalities contributed R25.7 million towards rebuilding.

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

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