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.

  • Makisaki - 2011-01-15 11:53

    So this commitee has just decided to say exactly what has been said before. Move to higher grounds. They will act to avoid loss of life? A little late to start now. Must say it is still wonderfull how job creation works in RSA - and to have a couple of plane/heli flips on Sunday added as bonus. Eish - one wonderfoooool country

      Cynic - 2011-01-15 12:21

      You're a typically cynical South African...while there may be cause for cynicism, declaring areas as disaster areas allows for emergency funding and other resources to be made available to those areas to assist with the recovery efforts. So even though it's easy to view this as too little too late, it's actually a needed part of the process to get things done in order to restore normality to the affected areas...if normality will ever be possible for those affected by these disasters.

  • logical007 - 2011-01-15 13:25

    What are these IMC people actually going to chat about??? How they going to stop the floods? Did they write that hysterical artical 'Flood warning in Gauteng' mentioning to raise the entrance of your house?? Another excuse to waste tax payers money.

  • johann - 2011-01-20 12:03

    Years ago there was floods and many people were affected.But now there is no more respect for nature .High water marks is being ignored as we sit here.Local goverment allow building below the high water mark. So yes i do feel sorry for the people who were so ignorant to build and buy below the floodline.This is just going to happen more and more as we are going to have a lot more rain..

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