KZN floods: How disaster relief efforts and funding are unfolding - and how you can help

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Bilall Jeewa from the Gift of the Givers in Tongaat outside Durban where they helped residents affected by the heavy rains in KwaZulu-Natal.
Bilall Jeewa from the Gift of the Givers in Tongaat outside Durban where they helped residents affected by the heavy rains in KwaZulu-Natal.
  • A fund has been established by the KZN government for the public to support relief operations.
  • More than 40 000 people have been displaced.
  • The government has committed around R1 billion in relief funding.

More than 40 000 people have been displaced after widespread flooding and landslides in KwaZulu-Natal, prompting various government departments and organisations to pledge funds and manpower for relief efforts.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka said the province needs "support from all sectors of our society as it deals with one of the most tragic natural disasters to have ever occurred" in KwaZulu-Natal.

Specialised Urban Search and Rescue teams from other provinces have arrived in KwaZulu-Natal and will be offering support.

There have also been several visits by government leaders, including President Cyril Ramaphosa, Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and Human Settlements Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi. These visits saw more than R1 billion committed to the provincial government.

READ | KZN saw eight new rain records on 12 April, with Margate doubling a high set 25 years ago

In addition, the Department of Water and Sanitation has reprioritised R45 million to provide 80 freshwater tanks to three municipalities.

The following funds have been earmarked for relief efforts:

  • The Community Schemes Ombud Service will contribute about R30 million;
  • The National Home Builders Registration Council will contribute R2 million and assist with assessments of structural damage to homes;
  • The National Housing Finance Corporation will donate 152 million, along with project management capacity for rebuilding homes; and
  • For those who have been displaced, community halls are being used as a shelter and soup kitchens have been set up.

Both the government and humanitarian aid organisations have called on South Africans to contribute to relief efforts.

An account has been set up by the provincial government for those who might want to contribute towards relief efforts.

Gift of the Givers said the immediate need among those affected by flooding and landslides includes hot meals, blankets, bottled water, warm clothes, sanitary pads and diapers. Food parcels, school uniforms and stationery will also be needed as the province rebuilds.

To assist those in need, the organisation launched a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy.

The Salvation Army in KwaZulu-Natal has been offering relief to families and communities affected by the devastating floods. The organisation said it was in urgent need of warm blankets and clothing as well as food.

The divisional commander, Major Brendan Browski, said food and clothing were being distributed from Montpelier and Durban Central Corps (churches).

The Salvation Army also urged the public to contribute towards its Red Shield Appeal.

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