South Africa: KwaZulu-Natal Floods Declared a Provincial Disaster

Storms: Vehicles have been swept away by massive floods in Durban (File Photo).

Pretoria: SOUTH Africa’s National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) has classified the recent deadly floods in KwaZulu-Natal as a provincial disaster.

The Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Ministry declared the disaster following assessment reports received from the KwaZulu-Natal province.

The widespread flooding over the Easter weekend resulted in the loss of 87 lives in three provinces namely KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and the Free State, with 71 lives having been lost in KZN.

In terms of the disaster management legislation, the Premier of a province has the authority to declare a provincial state of disaster following such a classification by national government.

“The NDMC has responded to KZN’s request for classification of disaster and has classified the incident as a provincial disaster. The province may now declare it as classified,” said Cogta Minister Zweli Mkhize.

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a seven-day period of mourning from 1 – 7 May. The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government on 2 May held a provincial day of mourning and prayer to comfort families of the deceased. “There are various interdepartmental interventions that are underway under the leadership of the NDMC. This includes setting up a Joint Operational Centre, which focused on establishing the technical support needed, and determining who should intervene where,” said Cogta in a statement.