by NJABULO BUTHELEZI
DURBAN – PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa believes authorities have defied concerns they would be incapacitated to respond to the dire situation caused by the recent deadly floods.
It is just over a month that the inclement weather left more than 400 people dead mostly in the KwaZulu-Natal province.
The Eastern Cape and North also suffered loss of life and damage to infrastructure.
“When this natural disaster struck, there was some concern that authorities had neither the capacity nor the will to respond efficiently and effectively to the dire situation of those who had lost everything,” Ramaphosa stated.
He was writing in his weekly letter on Monday, a day after he visited eThekwini in KZN where he met business-people in the city to lend support to their efforts to restore their operations.
“Having paid my second visit to the city since the floods, I am clear that this concern was misplaced,” Ramaphosa said.
“In KwaZulu-Natal, as in the Eastern Cape and North West, all stakeholders have been hard at work to recover from these tragic events,” Ramaphosa said.
The National Disaster Management Centre has been coordinating all spheres of government in their efforts to provide humanitarian relief to affected households.
According to the president, stakeholders have provided food, clothes, blankets, dignity packs and school uniforms.
Sheltering services are currently provided to over 7 000 people in the four most affected districts in KZN.
The Departments of Home Affairs, Health and Social Development have been assisting affected communities to access important services.
Mobile classrooms are being procured and work is underway to repair damaged waste water treatment works, pump-stations and reticulation.
Damaged roads are being repaired and 18 new bridges are planned.
Ramaphosa noted progress in fixing key infrastructure supporting the Port of Durban.
Additional measures are being put in place to provide financial support to businesses in distress.
“As government, we are mobilising all available resources and undertaking every effort to ensure that, as we rebuild, no-one is left behind,” Ramaphosa pledged.
– CAJ News