‘Over 250’ dead as floods ravage South African communities

The rains, which started on Monday, caused flooding in communities in South Africa’s Kwazulu-Natal province.

On Wednesday, Sipho Hlomuka, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, was quoted as saying the death toll from the flood had risen to 259.

Described by the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government as “one of the worst weather storms” in the country’s history, efforts are underway to help displaced people.

During a visit to the community on Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa called on communities to partner with the government to ensure an effective response.

“This is a tragic toll of the force of nature and this situation calls for an effective government response in partnership with communities,” he said.

“This situation calls on us to come together as a nation and offer help to those who desperately need our care and support.”

Speaking after visiting affected communities alongside the president, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, South Africa’s infrastructure manager, described the effect of the weather incident as “massive”.

“This morning I joined President Cyril Ramaphosa as he inspected damaged infrastructure in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The devastation caused by the floods is massive, and we certainly have a daunting task ahead of us,” Ramokgopa said in a statement.

“Our teams are already on the ground, formulating immediate solutions to restore and rebuild damaged infrastructure, so that essential services in affected communities can be restored as soon as possible.

“My deepest and most sincere condolences to the families who have lost loved ones.”

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