Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
10 Jan 2022
10:32 am

IFP blames KZN flood deaths on ANC not providing rural infrastructure

Citizen Reporter

The IFP called on the ANC to take responsibility for the numerous incomplete projects across the province.

Some of the damage caused by a storm in the Maphumulo municipality in KZN. Picture for illustration: Supplied.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) legislature says it is devastated by the horrific torrential rains that have wreaked havoc in the province. 

Floods and several river drownings were reported across the province at the weekend.

While the death toll from the heavy rains was yet to be confirmed by the provincial government, hundreds of families were left destitute and homeless in Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas since late December last year.

The IFP on Monday said in one of the drownings reported in KZN, an unidentified woman drowned in the uMdloti River, in Ndwedwe, in the Ogunjini area.

The party said the victim is believed to have been trying to cross the river to attend a funeral in the Ogunjini area.

Blessed Gwala, the IFP’s member of Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Portfolio Committee in the KZN legislature, attributed the drownings, in part, to the ANC government’s failure to provide much-needed infrastructure to rural communities.

ALSO READ: Storms left trail of destruction in KZN, thousands of homes damaged

“The Ndwedwe drowning could have been avoided if the long-abandoned bridge project, worth more than R38 million, had been completed. 

“The ANC’s corruption, and the embezzlement of funds earmarked for improving the lives of the people of KZN, has plunged the province into unnecessary misery,” Gwala in a statement.

He said should the bridge have been constructed, lives would be saved as most locals cross this river daily to access healthcare services at Osindisweni Hospital. 

Gwala called on KZN Transport MEC Peggy Nkonyeni to take responsibility for the numerous incomplete projects across the province.

The IFP also called for the MEC to institute an urgent investigation into the whereabouts of the funds earmarked for the construction of the Ndwedwe bridge project, and that the bridge be completed without further delay.

“The IFP is also aware of a power struggle within the Department of Transport, with one of its key officials being suspended, resulting in numerous projects stalling.

“It is unfair to deny the people of KZN their basic rights because of internal tussles,” Gwala said.

10 die in Eastern Cape floods

Meanwhile, at least 10 people, including a South African Police Service (Saps) diver, were killed in flash flooding from torrential rains in the Eastern Cape province.

The policeman died conducting rescue and recovery operations.

Sudden rains pounded parts of the southern province including East London, on the Indian Ocean coast, on Saturday.

Within hours, low-lying areas were severely flooded.

Among the worst hit was Mdantsane, a sprawling township on the outskirts of East London.

Scores of people mainly in Mdantsane were displaced and some roads are “completely submerged making access to distressed communities that much more difficult,” the Eastern Cape provincial government said in a statement. 

NOW READ: NGO helps Eastern Cape residents stranded by floods

Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe. Additional reporting by AFP.