JUST over 7 000 people remain in shelters following the KwaZulu-Natal floods that claimed over 400 lives, Premier Sihle Zikalala revealed in a briefing on Sunday.
April 24, 2022
4 min read
Just over 7 000 people remain in shelters after 'greatest disaster' in SA
Kwazula-Natal Premier, Sihle Zikalala
- As of Sunday, the death toll stood at 435
- To date, 54 people were still missing
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"The number of those who remain in shelters is 7 245 people in eThekwini, 245 people in KwaDukuza shelters, and the rest in Umzumbe, Ray Nkonyeni [and] Umdoni [local municipalities]," he said during a virtual address.
"While at the shelter, residents receive mattresses, hot meals, and vanity packs which are being provided by Sassa, the [Department of Social Development] and NGOs."
The recent floods, which the premier described as "the greatest disaster in the life of our country," directly affected 17 438 households, translating to 121 687 people.
In addition, as of Sunday, the death toll stood at 435. To date, 54 people were still missing.
A total of 6 278 people were currently homeless, and 55 people injured.
During his address, the premier further reported that the construction of Residential Temporary Units (RTUs) had started.
Constructors were said to be on-site in Ilembe District, Ugu and eThekwini, having started on Friday.
"As we continue with the construction of TRUs, our focus is to accommodate more than 4 396 families that are accommodated in halls, churches, schools," he said.
Tongaat residents told News24 on Thursday that they have been without water for 10 days. Community activists and volunteers have stepped in to provide water aid to the community who were devastated by severe flooding just over a week ago.
Zikalala added that while government had reprioritised R1 billion towards disaster relief interventions, they needed more than R1.9 billion to complete their work.
"Our plan is to ensure that as from the end of the week, we will set up 4 396 temporary accommodation or TRUs," he added.
The province had seen some signs of returning to a semblance of normality - among other things, water supply in eThekwini improved by at least 60% in the inner and outer west regions.
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In addition, the central and north regions had improved by 50% and 42%, respectively.
Most of the road access in the province was now open, however, authorities warned that delays were expected.
In terms of electricity infrastructure, eThekwini had seen an increase in the volume of faults - five times more than what it would receive on a normal day.
Search and Rescue teams have been deployed in the KZN region to aid in the recovery of missing persons since severe flooding devastated the area ten days ago. On Thursday Warrant Officer Dave Steyn updated News24 on the efforts made by these teams. Zikalala further took the opportunity to paint a picture of the estimated costs of the damage in the province, which may be revised upwards or downwards as operations continue.
"Overall, it is now estimated that the largest expenditure on rehabilitation will come from Prasa-related infrastructure, which will amount to R940 348 500 000.
"This is a clear demonstration of the ferocious nature of these storms and the work that remains ahead before we can restore our province back to the pre-floods period," he said.
Meanwhile, News24 reported on Saturday that an eThekwini municipal employee had been murdered at a water tanker filling point in Verulam, outside Durban.
During the question and answer session, Zikalala said: "We have received the report so far and we are hoping that the police will immediately investigate the case and be able to apprehend the perpetrators." News24