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Ramaphosa pronounces nationwide state of catastrophe




Following a request from the province of KwaZulu Natal (KZN) within the wake of devastating floods within the province to have a nationwide state of catastrophe declared, President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed that cupboard has determined to grant this request. 

Speaking throughout his first nationwide deal with associated to the KZN floods, the president stated the  nationwide state of catastrophe for the KZN floods can be gazetted shortly to make sure an “effective response across all spheres of government.”

He additional defined that this designation additionally allows the mobilization of extra sources and as such, cupboard felt {that a} provincial state of catastrophe was insufficient. 

“To ensure an effective response to these tragic events, the National Disaster Management Centre last week classified the flooding as a provincial disaster. This was followed by the declaration of the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal to invoke extraordinary measures to deal with the situation.”

The president additionally took a while out to acknowledge Langa, within the Western Cape, which was just lately ravaged by fired that destroyed about 300 properties and displaced round 1,000 individuals.

“We are working with the City of Cape Town to provide shelter and relief to the affected families,” he added earlier than shifting focus again to KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape. 

Cyril ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa | Picture: GCIS

‘A humanitarian disaster’

“The rains of the final week have precipitated in depth harm to homes, companies, roads, bridges and water, electrical energy, rail and telecommunications infrastructure. The flooding has disrupted gasoline and meals provides.

“Nearly 4,000 homes have been completely destroyed and over 8,300 homes have been partially damaged. It is estimated that more than 40,000 people have been displaced by these floods,” stated Ramaphosa.

LIVE: KZN floods – Cabinet declares nationwide state of catastrophe, R1 billion instantly accessible

He declared the floods in each provinces a “humanitarian disaster that calls for a massive and urgent relief effort.”

“The lives, health and well-being of thousands of people are still at risk. The floods have caused great economic and social damage,” he added.

The president additionally spoke to the necessity for socio-psychological assist to assist these left traumatized by the occasions of the previous few days.

Government’s catastrophe response

“We might be responding to this catastrophe in three phases. First, we’ll deal with fast humanitarian aid, guaranteeing that every one affected individuals are secure and that their fundamental wants are met.

“Second, we will focus on stabilisation and recovery, rehousing people who have lost homes and restoring provision of services. Third, we will focus on reconstruction and rebuilding,” defined Ramaphosa.

The last section won’t solely contain the development and restore of main infrastructure in KZN, however it should additionally contain the development of homes in suitably-located areas and measures to guard the residents of those areas from such hostile climate occasions sooner or later.

The Solidarity Fund

“I have met with the leadership of the Solidarity Fund to ask that it makes its capacity available to confront this dire emergency. The Board has agreed to assist with humanitarian and other forms of relief in partnership with government, the private sector and various other non-governmental and community-based organisations,” stated the president. 

He confirmed that Treasury will make an preliminary quantity of funds accessible as a part of authorities’s efforts with the Solidarity Fund to implement these assist measures.

“The Solidarity Fund has effectively managed the resources that government, the private sector and many South Africans made available to manage the COVID-19 effort as well as the July 2021 unrest assistance measures. The Fund will now set up a separate bank account for the Flood Disaster.”

These checking account particulars might be made accessible on Tuesday by way of the Solidarity Fund web site.

Damage to properties

Dramatic footage has shown houses collapsing, substations washing away, and cars and buildings under water. Phil Magakoe/AFP
Dramatic footage has proven homes collapsing, substations washing away, and automobiles and buildings beneath water. Phil Magakoe/AFP

According to the president, the Department of Human Settlements has begun an evaluation of damages to homes throughout the province, and has decided preliminary necessities for the availability of non permanent lodging, repairs to broken homes and the alternative of destroyed homes.

To this impact, Ramaphosa says preparations are underway to offer non permanent residential items and it’s anticipated that building of those ought to start by the tip of this week.

“Financial assistance through a voucher system is being made available to assist households to rebuild partially damaged houses. A national team of project managers and engineers have been deployed in the province to assess the damage and to advise on the rebuilding.”

Additionally, the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure is figuring out appropriate state land that can be utilized for resettlement.

What about corruption?

“There can be no room for corruption, mismanagement or fraud of any sort,” declared the president. 

“Learning from the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are drawing together various stakeholders to be part of an oversight structure to ensure all funds disbursed to respond to this disaster are properly accounted for and that the state receives value for money,” he added. 

He listed numerous stakeholders {and professional} our bodies corresponding to engineers and accountants who can be a part of this oversight construction. 

“We are determined that there must be transparency and accountability as the projects are costed and implemented, as well as how resources are deployed from the beginning.”

WATCH: eThekwini denies that worker stole donated items meant for KZN flood victims



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