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By Kyle Zeeman

Digital News Editor


Gqeberha floods death toll rises

The floods destroyed homes, bridges and schools, and displaced thousands. The damage was estimated to be around R6 billion.


More than a week since devastating floods hit the Eastern Cape, the death toll in Gqeberha has risen to 11.

The body of an eleventh flood victim was recovered by the Gqeberha K9 Search and Rescue and Diving Unit on Wednesday from the Swartkops River in Kariega.

It is believed the unidentified man was trying to cross the river last Thursday when he disappeared in the strong current.

ALSO READ: Nelson Mandela Bay needs more than R1bn to fix flood damage

“His identity is currently unknown and police are appealing to anyone who can assist in identifying him, to contact SAPS Kariega,” said police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu.

Search still on for more victims

Police and emergency services continue to search for two women alleged to have drowned or reported missing in separate incidents due to the floods.

Ramphosa’s promise

The floods, which were declared a national disaster, destroyed homes, bridges and schools, and displaced thousands. The damage was estimated to be around R6 billion.

On a visit to the area last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa promised to assist those who had lost their homes.

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“Within 30 days, we will have provided temporary housing for those who have lost their houses within a period of 30 days. In the meantime, we will have accommodation for those who have been displaced.”

He said the floods were caused by climate change.

“Bridges have fallen, roads have been cut in-between so this rain caused quite a lot of damage.

“It is an act from God; it is climate change because we should not have 230 millimetres of rain in two hours where everything was washed away,” he said.

WATCH: Ramaphosa’s remarks while visiting Eastern Cape:

Challenges with land for displaced

Human Settlements Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi confirmed efforts were underway to relocate residents, but there were some challenges.

READ MORE: Insurance claims mount as floods devastate Eastern Cape

“We have difficulties of land invasion. One of the issues is that we are already getting emergency court orders today so that no one invades land.

“I’m saying this upfront because we are going to evict if you don’t go to the land we have identified.

“We are going to build temporary housing for communities. This will be from now until the end of the month,” the minister said.

Additional reporting by Molefe Seeletsa

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