KZN pledges R20 mln in Bulwer aid

2009-11-13 00:00

THE provincial government has committed an estimated R20 million to rebuilding the houses that were destroyed by the storm in Bulwer last Friday, said the MEC for Social Development, Meshack Radebe, during a visit to the area yesterday.

Radebe and the charity group, Gift of the Givers, were delivering aid to the area totalling R3,3 million.

He said the government has estimated that the figure may rise above R20 million as the losses and the damage caused by the storm are still being investigated.

“The R20 million will go towards rebuilding the houses that were destroyed, but the government will only build one house per household and the people will have to build their other rooms that were destroyed by themselves.”

Radebe said that rehabilitating the houses is an emergency because “living in a tent is no way to live”.

“The contractors who will build these houses will have no Christmas because they will be working seven days a week to complete these houses.”

Radebe, who said the situation has improved since the devastation he witnessed on Saturday, visited the family of the Shiyekile Mbelu (67) who was killed during the storm.

He committed his department to covering all the funeral expenses, adding that “Mbelu deserves to be buried with dignity”.

He urged community members who have not received assistance to be patient with the government, promising that it would “support the Bulwer people until they are through the nightmare”.

He chastised those who were greedy and had turned the tragedy into a political football by claiming that the government is not responding to the tragedy in time.

The aid totalling R1,3 million brought by the department included items such as cooking oil, toilet paper, sugar, potatoes and groceries.

The Gift of the Givers brought supplies totalling R2 million, including beds, clothing, gas stoves, tents and food and toys.


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