Citizen Reporter
Reporter
2 minute read
12 Apr 2022
11:23 am

LIVE: KZN floods – Cabinet declares national state of disaster, R1 billion immediately available

Citizen Reporter

Follow our live blog here for the latest on the KZN floods.

A man looks at empty containers swept over during floods in KwaZulu-Natal, 13 April 2022. Picture: Jacques Nelles

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that a national state of disaster will be declared, after a special cabinet meeting held on Sunday to assess the social and economic aftermath of flooding in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

The president said this would enable to mobilisation of more resources and assistance, since a provincial state of disaster in KZN would have been inadequate.

This decision was informed by the fact that the disaster has implications beyond KZN, and there have been warnings that the North West and Free State may also be affected by bad weather.

The damage to the Durban Port has far-reaching consequences beyond KZN.

WATCH: President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation about the KZN floods

KZN floods: 16 April 2022

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During the special cabinet meeting, the work currently underway to provide relief to those affected and rebuild after widespread damage was also discussed.

Last week, president Ramaphosa visited the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality in KZN and received an update on the responses of local, provincial and national authorities to the provincial disaster. 

While he spoke to the media on the ground, tonight’s address will be the first time he formally addresses the nation on the matter.

“The President has since the start of the emergency undertaken consultations with the National Disaster Management Centre and the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Disaster Management,” explained the Presidency in a statement.

Death toll

By Monday the death toll was well over 400 people, while several more were still missing.

An estimated 40,723 people had been affected by the flooding, according to KZN Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC, Sipho Hlomuka.

ALSO READ: Godongwana says relief funds are available as death toll surges to 395

Infrastructure repair

According to KZN Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC, Sipho Hlomuka, the eThekwini Metro – which is one of the most affected areas – is continuing with repair efforts to the province’s damaged infrastructure. This includes things such as roads, water, sanitation and electricity infrastructure. 

“Transnet is making progress on the efforts to repair Bayhead Road which will improve access to the port.”

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has assured the public that the rebuilding of bridges that are vital for economic activities in KZN would be prioritised.