Premier warns residents of heavy rains expected over the weekend in KZN

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KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala.
Darren Stewart

The KwaZulu-Natal government has been warned of possible heavy rains over the weekend, Premier Sihle Zikalala said on Thursday.

Zikalala was addressing the media following an executive council meeting held on Wednesday.

He said the total amount of damage caused by the KZN floods is officially an estimated R25 billion.

This, he said, was experienced in roads, rail, bridges, housing, water, agricultural infrastructure and manufacturing.

He presented a consolidated progress report on the work done so far to support affected families, rebuild the province and grow the economy since the flood disasters.

He touched on measures taken to ensure that those affected by the floods were cared for. These include the identification of land parcels amounting to 49 hectares which will benefit all those affected by the floods.

“We want to assure everyone that we are working very hard to restore normality. There will be continued water disruptions in all municipalities until the supply is back to normal. In eThekwini alone we have in excess of 100 power stations which have been damaged during the floods. Water supply has improved by 75 to 80% in most areas around eThekwini,” said Zikalala.

He said in eThekwini alone 68% of jobs were impacted by the floods, with about 30 000 employees being laid off as their companies have not re-opened since the floods.

“These people may not be getting salaries for some months, but we are encouraged by the rebuilding progress made so far,” he said.

Action SA provincial chairperson Musa Kubheka said about 40 000 South Africans remain displaced across KZN following the devastating floods that hit the province in April.

“The province and its people are taking tremendous strain as the R1bn relief aid promised by President Cyril Ramaphosa has not been released. There is no clear indication as to when these funds will be made available much to the detriment of those who remain affected. ActionSA cannot rely on unverified figures and will therefore revisit community halls that are currently housing displaced people around the province to ascertain living conditions and to assess if relief aid is reaching them adequately,” said Kubheka.

He said the resettlement process of the displaced required timelines as this is in line with the restoration of dignity to those who have been affected by the disaster and have no means to self-sustain.

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