Storms in KwaZulu-Natal since 15 December have left a trail of destruction in several areas within the province.
Stormy weather conditions on just one day – 30 December – resulted in the deaths of four people, including a three-year-old that drowned in ward 8 in the Maphumulo Municipality.
KZN disaster management teams are rolling out interim relief measures to 1,692 households that have been affected.
The damage caused by the storms ranged from structural damage to houses, flooding of roads and hail destruction.
Some areas also experienced blackouts as a result of extensive damage to power lines after trees were uprooted by the storms.
The most affected areas include the districts of uMgungundlovu (400 households) and Ilembe (300 households), including the collapse of a part of the R74 road which connects KwaDukuza and Greytown.
“After yesterday’s severe thunderstorms that brought hail and heavy rains, the number of households that are affected is expected to increase,” said Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka.
“The department continues to support and co-ordinate the response by the affected municipalities in partnership with sector departments,” added Hlomuka.
KZN has received more than 12 severe weather warnings from the South African Weather Service from 15 December 2021.
Hlomuka has urged residents and all sectors of society to partner with the provincial government in the fight against climate change.
“All of us have to acknowledge that climate change is real, frequent and violent. We need to pay attention to all the severe weather warnings issued by the South African Weather Service to practice risk avoidance behaviour such as staying indoors, avoiding sporting and recreational activities during thunderstorms, and ensuring that we do not cross overflowing and running rivers, either by car or on foot,” said Hlomuka.