KZN floods: 87 people still missing

At least 87 people remain missing after devastating floods that ravaged parts of KwaZulu-Natal two months ago, leading to devastation and homelessness.

The Department of Justice and Correctional Services is in the process of presuming death when it has been proven that there is no prospect of finding missing persons alive.

“This will be used as a last resort to help families find closure,” Premier Sihle Zikalala said during a briefing in eThekhwini on Sunday.

He said the floods affected 85, 280 people, and 461 died.

“Unfortunately, we still have 23 unidentified companies with uncollected DNA. 87 people are still missing, 6, 895 homeless and 50 injured. In total, 27,069 families were disrupted, 8,584 houses were destroyed and 13,536 were partially destroyed. ”

Disaster crews, police and members of the U.S. National Defense Force (SANDF) are still in the province assisting search and rescue teams. To date, 249 people have been rescued during their operations.

Zikalala and eThekhwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda visited families housed in the 209 temporary residential units built to accommodate flood victims at the provincial department of human settlements and public works. Construction of the temporary housing continues, he said, with the aim of accommodating 4,396 families who slept in halls, churches and schools.

SEE ALSO: The impact of the KZN flood on the psyche will soon take its ugly head if not addressed

‘Landowners raising government purchase prices’

Meanwhile, the availability of land to build homes for the victims remained a problem. To date, four properties owned by sugar production company Tongaat Hullet have been identified. In addition, of the land identified in other parts of the province, 258 parcels of land, with 5% located in eThekwini, are ready for use for housing, Zikalala said.

Landowners are doubling prices to take advantage whenever the provincial government contacts them.

“Land access is a major barrier to disaster intervention. We need to debate whether existing laws and regulations should not be amended, during disasters, to include land evictions through fast-track processes.

“Our laws and bye-laws are designed to facilitate recovery and should not be a barrier to emergencies and life and death. “

He tackled a number of people who had hindered the building of homes within their family areas, labeling “not in my backyard” syndrome.

“The Government has also noted the concerns of some long-established communities who are opposed to the relocation of flood victims on government-owned land adjacent to their property.

“But these communities have tried to build up moral morale, claiming to be in solidarity with the victims of the homeless floods. The fact of the matter is that the government cannot build houses on the very unsuitable land that saw houses being washed during the floods, ”said Zikalala.

SEE ALSO: KZN Premier Zikalala mourns the loss of beloved Ukhozi FM newsreader Sicelo Mbokazi

‘Infrastructure damage at R6b’

Mobile phone networks such as Vodacom and MTN, affected by the floods, reported that over 80% of the damaged infrastructure was back in operation.

Damage to transport infrastructure amounted to R6 billion, including the M4 and R102.

Water and electricity restoration has gradually improved. In eThekhwini, the inner western region is almost 90% restored. The southern region has improved from 15% to 85% and the supply of the northern region has shifted from 15% to 60%. ”

“Meanwhile, construction and refurbishment work on the uThongathi Water Treatment Works is expected to take up to 4 months to complete in September this year. A budget of at least R30 million has been allocated, ”said Zikalala.

EThekwini has provided 20 water tankers for the affected areas. Approximately 48 static tankers were installed in some areas for self-collection of water.

“In total, eThekwini has deployed 190 water tankers to supply water throughout the city. We are forever grateful for these Gift of the Givers Foundationmade 14 boreholes and 11 of which have already been drilled. ”

While the province waited for much-needed funding, it began reallocating more than R3b from its departments to fund the aftermath of the disaster.

According to Zikalala, the much – publicized National Treasury R1b ​​allocation was the national budget for nationwide disasters for the financial year 2022/2023. The Treasury budget was at R1.8 billion, he said.

“We want to confirm that there is no outstanding application from the Province for short-term humanitarian support or long-term reconstruction. All applications have been submitted to the national government through the National Disaster Management Center. ”

To date, the province has applied for R17.813 billion for provincial departments and municipal damages.

As of June 1, the donor account was R3.6 million. At least R100 000, Zikalala said, has been booked using the donor by the Department of Health.

At least R3 million has been set aside to set up four schools and R500,000 from the Qatar government will be allocated to the Department of Social Development, which must provide daily meals for families at risk.

KZN floods: 87 people still missing Source link KZN floods: 87 people still missing

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