18 January 2022
18 January 2022
MEC AND PRINCIPALS ASSESS DAMAGES CAUSED BY FLOODS
Stakeholders meeting aimed to give briefings on the state of disaster where most parts of the Alfred Duma municipality was affected by the flash floods. The briefing was held at the UThukela District Health Department Boardroom today. MEC for CoGTA Mr Sipho Hlomuka, UThukela District Mayor Inkosi NB Shabalala, Alfred Duma Mayor Cllr ZJ Sibisi, Chaiperson for District House of Traditional Leaders Inkosi Sithole including senior management from Uthukela Mr MM Sithole, Alfred Duma Mrs SS Ngiba, Mr Abed Karrim from Al Imdaad Foundation and various organizations took part in the programme.
Mr SE Ngema from the KZN Provincial Disaster Management Centre briefed stakeholders on the heavy rains that were accompanied by lighting which caused damages to households, businesses and infrastructure. At least 94 people are reported to be affected, 22 adults and 3 children were displaced. These were relocated to the Indoor Sports Centre in Ladysmith. In his remarks, Mayor Inkosi Shabalala was concerned about the way Qedusizi Dam functions, saying the way the system works, has an impact on the flooding of the town.
He said if we could control how the dam is functioning that would have a significant impact in terms of mitigating the floods. He was also concerned about the negative impact the floods would have in the operation of businesses that could cripple the town's economy. His remarks were also echoed by his counterpart Mayor Sibisi who raised concerns about the impact this would have to small businesses. He said he hoped that MEC Hlomuka and stakeholders will come on board and assist the ddddemise of businesses.
Inkosi Sithole appreciated the briefing and was pleased that there is something that has been done to assist those who needed help. He said livestock farmers were badly affected by the floods as they lost many of their livestock. Social partners Al Imdaad Foundation also gave briefing on their operations to rescue and evacuate people affected by the floods in town. They have since created a coordinating Disaster Management structure to assist the victims of floods.
Mr Karrim raised technical challenges they encountered with the structure they were offered to temporarily accommodate the victims. He also raised concerns about criminal activities taking place in relation to affected businesses in town. MEC Hlomuka was not entirely pleased about the report saying that it was incomplete and didn’t give one overall picture of what really happened. Management then informed him that it was a preliminary report on what has been done, and that comprehensive report will be ready by Thursday.
The MEC and entourage conducted a walk-about in the CBD area inspecting the devastation and impact of floods on businesses. One owner said they have been hit hard by the flash floods. They have since cleaned up the place and said they have suffered hard blow from the floods as all of their food stuff were flooded. The MEC and leadership were touched by the situation and gave words of encouragement. Affected businesses remain closed. Leadership then went to visit the Hlongwane family where it is alleged that a member of the family was swept away by the floods and remains missing. The principals consoled the family and offered them food parcels.
Issued by: Jabulani Mkhonza
UThukela District Municipality
Cell: 072 175 5650