A KwaZulu-Natal man was killed after he was struck by lightning on Christmas Day, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka said on Friday.
He sent condolences to the family of 20-year-old Msawenkosi Sizwe Zulu, who hailed from Ulundi.
“He was struck by lightning on Christmas Day, while he was on his way back from a traditional song and dance festival,” Hlomuka said.
Zulu was a matriculant at Mhloluthini High School. Hlomuka also sent condolences to a Msinga family who also lost a loved due to a lightning strike on Thursday.
“As a department, we are really saddened by this tragic loss of life that has taken place as a result of the ongoing bad weather conditions. Our teams are working with the local authorities to provide the necessary support to the affected families,” said Hlomuka.
Inclement weather continues to ravage KZN Cogta responded to several incidents across the province on Thursday, including at Mzokhulayo, in Ndwedwe, where 30 houses were damaged by strong winds.
“In this incident, one person was also struck by lightning and is receiving medical attention at a local hospital. The department also responded to an incident in Msinga where over 54 houses were damaged in a severe thunderstorm,” Hlomuka said.
On Christmas eve, uMzimkhulu was struck by severe thunderstorms that damaged 308 houses.
“The incidents that we have experienced over the past three days have been heartbreaking and we are working hard to ensure that those that are affected get help as soon as possible,” Hlomuka said.
Storms to continue in KZN Severe thunderstorms were set to continue in large parts of the province on Friday according to the South African Weather Service.
It indicated that uThukela, uMgungundlovu, uMzinyathi, Amajuba, Zululand, uMkhanyakude, King Cetshwayo, Ilembe and Ethekwini would be affected. Hlomuka urged residents to exercise caution, as thunderstorms “could have a serious impact”.
“We are appealing residents to not throw caution to the wind and to stay up to date on the weather reports,” he said.