SA declares state of disaster after rain, flood damage

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Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal after recent flooding.
Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal after recent flooding.
Claudine Senekal / Ladysmith Herald

South Africa has declared a national disaster after torrential rains in several parts of the country resulted in deaths, flooding and damage to property and infrastructure, according to a notice in the Government Gazette. 

Declaring a national disaster lays the basis for financial and humanitarian aid by the government. It is separate from the national state of disaster that’s been in place since March 2020 to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr Mmaphaka Tau, head of the National Disaster Management Centre, signed the declaration after "assessing the magnitude and severity of the severe weather events occurring in parts of the Republic that resulted in the loss of life and damage to property, infrastructure and the environment caused by flooding, strong winds, sink holes (and) landslides".

In recent weeks, heavy rainfall and thunderstorms have hit KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State and Gauteng, as well as parts of other provinces.

The Witness reports that an estimated R3.3 billion is required to address the effects of the recent storms that ravaged KwaZulu-Natal and claimed 25 lives.

- Additional reporting by Fin24

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