Thu, 28 Jan 2021

While Durban families living in danger due to the recent torrential rains have been evacuated, eThkekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda says he wants to prevent the loss of life in the future.

Speaking in Ward 44 in Inanda's eMapulazini, where two houses collapsed claiming the lives of two people, Kaunda said planning was under way to prevent further deaths.

"We have to ensure we evacuate families. Where the zone has been identified as a dangerous zone, we need to relocate people. We have relocated many of the affected families here to a transit camp."

He added that those who lived near the affected families had also been relocated.

"We have also moved surrounding families to avoid any danger to them going forward."

Kaunda said part of the intervention was to appoint companies to try to rehabilitate damaged houses.

Infrastructure issues

He said the municipality wanted to focus on infrastructure and prevention methods.

"The roads around the area, the drainage system, a lot has to be done to fix that. The access roads need to be operationalised and we need proper infrastructure to avoid any further damages in the area."

Kaunda added that the evaluation of danger zones in the city would be key to preventing future loss of life and damage to property.

"In all areas of eThekwini, processes have started to evaluate all dangerous zones during flooding. What needs to be done urgently [is that] they put that in the form of a budget."

"We should not come to these things after they happen. It is important to come with proactive engagements and interventions so we are certain that we will prevent further damages to our people."

Disaster management teams on standby

Meanwhile, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka announced that disaster management teams would remain on standby following a South African Weather Service warning on Friday afternoon that severe thunderstorms were likely in parts of the Amajuba, uThukela, uMzinyathi, uThukela, uMgungundlovu and Harry Gwala districts.

He said the warning indicated that the thunderstorms were likely, along with strong winds, hail and heavy downpours.

Hlomuka urged residents to be cautious.

"Motorists need to be extra careful on slippery roads. We are also appealing to communities to continue to check weather reports before embarking on any outdoor activity."

He said dedicated teams were monitoring routes and areas that were prone to "weather-related incidents".

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